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Boise Biologist Brings Tree Climbing To New Heights

David L. Anderson
Two climbers hold hands in the canopy of a tree on a climb led by Anderson.

Boise biologist David Anderson wants to change the world with tree climbing.


He was first exposed to tree climbing while conducting research for his biology masters thesis. And he never stopped. Now, he hosts international trainings as well as local tree climbs.  


“Someone standing on the ground with a harness on for the first time looks doubtful, and they look afraid, and they look uncertain,” Anderson says about leading climbs for first-timers. “And they get up to the tree and all of that changes to this jubilation and celebration.”


Anderson says getting into forest canopies is the only way to study the ecosystems that exist up there and he wants to help empower scientists with his expertise. He just got back from Colombia where he trained Latin American scientists and donated gear to help boost research into forest canopy conservation.


“If we can put tree climbing in the hands of scientists,” Anderson explains, “we will have a new understanding of the natural world above our heads. Stuff that we don’t even know we don’t know yet.”


Anderson is hoping to find new places that will let him host public climbs, like the one he led at the Idaho Botanical Garden last year


He’s holding two more of these climbs on July 20 and September 14. The cost is $19 and is open to anyone 10 and older. More information is available on his website.


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