Hola Amigos,

Paolo, here attempting to introduce myself for my first eCampus class.

I arrived in Juneau in 1972 and Fairbanks in 1975. I bought several acres of boreal forest & permafrost near Ester and have lived there off grid since. I also recently returned from my 24th trip to South America. I used to be an explorer in the Andes and Amazon but age caught up with me. I am still a researcher and occasional lecturer, having given 200+ talks on Machu Picchu (a well known Inca site), often to local guides in Spanish.

Some things that sparked my interest in botany were ‘terra preta’ or biochar, which sustained Amazonian agriculture for millennia; yacón, an amazing tuber that can be grown in Fairbanks and contracting leishmaniasis four decades ago when I was effectively cured by a jungle ‘weed’. Dr. Meriam Karlsson at UAF has a few of the plants growing and I believe it might be a remedy for MRSA. Still, what I know about botany might just be visible under a macro lens. I watched all of Steffi’s videos in the first Module and, although she explained it clearly, I could barely decipher what was said. However, confusion may be a good place to begin learning something about Alaska flora.

I have a decent camera but will probably use my iPad with a macro lens and MacBook’s microscope for this course, assuming I don’t expatriate, given my frustrations about a conundrum of indecipherable terms.

Maybe I will even learn to forage without poisoning myself.


One comment

  1. Welcome Paolo,
    the videos are meant to be resources for you, not at all as a high bar to pass in the first week. You should watch them multiple times. Please take your time and get familiar with the terms at your pace. Perhaps make a game of it. Pick two or three terms each day and try to find them outside and take a picture of the term and the plant. There is also a manual (above under the syllabus and schedule tab), select course manual and you can download the manual. It has lots of line drawings and definitions of the terms I have covered and many more. Once you look over the first quiz you will realize that the class encourages you to make mistakes and learn from them in the next attempt at reaching a better score. I hope you enjoy learning some of these new terms as you work through the other activities in the class. Best, Steffi.

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