University of Alaska Fairbanks Geobotanist Maps New Trails in Climate Change Research

…from The Sun Star

“Pursuing multidisciplinary studies brings many atypical experiences, as a UAF biologist discovered last year while trying to protect his expensive equipment, and his head, on a bumpy truck ride on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia. Dr. Donald “Skip” Walker’s research takes him to some rough country, but not usually on the way to the airport.

“For those interested in geobotany, Walker encourages an interdisciplinary approach. He recommends courses “in geography, soils, geology, hydrology, climatology, taxonomy, analytical skills, GIS is almost essential these days – and remote sensing.” He also mentions the importance of fieldwork. “Whether it’s observing birds, or plants, or clouds, or whatever, you’re observing nature and how it operates. I think that’s true with whatever people do,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most difficult [aspects] because it requires so many different interdisciplinary skills. But it’s highly rewarding … if you can last.””