Matthew J. Nelson
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Now, for the first time, Arizona visitors and residents will be able to set out on any part of the Arizona National Scenic Trail with a “bible” of the trail’s twists and turns, its flora and fauna, and its geology.In an easy-to-use format, the book serves up the 800-mile trail section by section (43 altogether) so that day-hikers as well as thru-hikers can feel confident about the route and inspired by the magnificence of the scenery, wildlife, and diversity of terrain.Botany fans will relish the comprehensive descriptions of plant life among the trail’s 13 microclimates from the South start at the Mexico/Arizona border to the North end, at the Arizona/Utah border.Geology aficionados will take note of the equally detailed descriptions of rock and the ground beneath their feet (or beneath their mountain bike wheels or their horses’ hooves).Especially helpful are the descriptions of the 22 “gateway communities” that provide easy trail access and supplies along the trail’s route from South to North.Overall, this new book will become a personal guide and irreplaceable source for any hiker, mountain biker, or equestrian heading for the Arizona National Scenic Trail–whether they intend to do a part of one section, or a weekend of two or three sections, or hike the entire trail over a period of weeks.
Acerca de Matthew J. Nelson
As executive director of the Arizona Trail Association, Matthew J. Nelson led development of this guidebook as the primary editor and wrote many of the passage descriptions. He has more than 500 published articles to his credit, and has explored many parts of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) on foot, bike, and horseback. As an archaeologist, Mr. Nelson surveyed portions of the now 800-mile trail in its proposal stages. He designed a portion of the trail along Passage 16, and has participated in numerous trail work events. He is the trail steward for Passage 16d, and was hired as the executive director of the Arizona Trail Association in January 2012.Other key contributors are Terri Gay, Sirena Dufault, Wendy Hodgson, Dr. Liz Slauson, Rick Obermiller, and Aaron Seifert.Terri Gay started dreaming of hiking the AZT in 1989. She became actively involved with the trail in 2003 and completed section-hiking it in 2009. She assists the Arizona Trail Association with a variety of projects requiring graphic design, event planning, and promotion. Ms. Gay played a key role in compiling photographs and updated descriptions for this comprehensive guidebook.Sirena Dufault is the gateway community liaison for the Arizona Trail Association, and steward for the trail’s Passage 16c. Ms. Dufault provides outreach to the communities near the trail and organizes Arizona Trail Days events across the state. In 2008-09 she section-hiked the AZT. She provided the extensive Gateway Communities section and several passage descriptions to this guidebook. Wendy Hodgson is the herbarium curator and research botanist at the Desert Botanical Garden, in Phoenix, where she has worked for nearly 40 years. Her research includes floristics—rare and endemic plants of the Southwest, particularly the Grand Canyon; systematics of agaves and yuccas; and Sonoran Desert ethnobotany. An avid hiker and plant collector, Ms. Dufault is committed to connecting science and the public. With that as her incentive, she is helping develop the Plant Atlas Project of Arizona, which trains volunteers to conduct plant inventories of selected areas of the state.Dr. Elizabeth A. Slauson holds a B.S. in Urban Horticulture and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Botany from Arizona State University. During her 15-year tenure at the Desert Botanical Garden, in Phoenix, her roles included curator of collections, research botanist, and director of research . She has served as a scientific advisor/committee member for the Center for Plant Conservation, the Texas Rare Plant Task force and Recovery Team, the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study Congress, the Arizona Native Plant Society, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and the Malpai Borderlands. Currently Dr. Slauson teaches BIO 108 Plants and Society at Scottsdale Community College and is the director of the college’s Herbarium.Rick Obermiller contributed all of the guidebook’s geology chapters, and has served as a trail steward, board member, and trail builder for more than a decade. Mr. Obermiller has lived in Arizona since 1972, graduated from Arizona State University, and has been hiking and backpacking the state ever since. As an amateur geologist and mineral collector, he finds Grand Canyon to be the perfect location for studying and appreciating the forces that have shaped Arizona and the planet.Aaron Seifert, who is a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP), owns Flagstaff-based GISeifert (www.GISeifert.com). He provided the extensive and detailed passage maps for this book, in consultation with the Arizona National Scenic Trail Regional Stewards. As these maps are now i…
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