Notes from the Field

Recent Articles

1,000 Ascensions: Madagascar expedition

Climb 1,000 stairs, learn 1,000 new words, see 1,000 new things, share 1,000 conversations These are all just some of the steps involved in discovering new plant species and understanding plant biodiversity – or at least they were on my most recent trip to Madagascar in search of strange and wonderful plant life. The idea of 1,000 ascensions came to me on the second day in the field, on our way to Manongarivo Special Reserve – a protected area, managed by Madagascar National Parks in northwest Madagascar. As we came closer to Manongarivo, my colleagues explained a little about the park. In Malagasy, Manongarivo literally means “go up one thousand times” which refers to low mountains and hills that make up this region. If you want to go to Manongarivo, you better be prepared to go up 1,000...
Read More >

Yunnan, China

Dr. Peter Fritsch, BRIT’s VP of Research and Director of the Herbarium, is on a visiting scholarship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, based at the Kunming Institute of Botany in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Peter went on a brief (8-day) field trip in late October-early November to far northeastern Yunnan Province and the bordering area of Guizhou Province.
Read More >

The changing plant life of small islands in the Sea of Cortéz

We met at the office at 6:30 am and proceeded to spend about two hours packing the truck with food. 40 mouths are many to feed, and after hundreds of pounds of coolers, boxes, bags of rice, and beans, stuffed in between with fresh fruit, we load up and hit the road...
Read More >

Botanizing with La Mula Mil

This "Notes from the Field" post is from BRIT Biodiversity Explorer Dr. Sula Vanderplank Riders: Trudi Angell, Leslie Pringle, Theodora “Teddi” Montes, Karen Brown, Polly “Polita” Parker, Marlene Jones, Steve Enright Guides: “Chayo” Nazario Talamantes Cota, “Bule” Raúl de los Santos Martinez ********************************************************************** La Mula Mil (The Mule 1000) is a group of women traveling from San Jose del Cabo to Tecate, Mexico — from the southern tip to the northern border of the Baja California Peninsula — all on mule-back. “ 4 months, 3 women, 2 expeditions, 1000 miles in Mexico by mule.” Beginning last November 3rd, they graciously allowed some of us to accompany stretches of their journey. On the original journey, 50 years ago, botanist Reid Moran travel...
Read More >