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July 31, 2009

My name is Spencer Woodard, a northern California native, thirty years old.

This weblog follows my global travels and focuses on plants, ethnobotany, agroforestry, agroecology, traditional agriculture & land management systems, photography, and related news and current events.

I am interested in the history of human relationships with plants and how the ever-changing state of these relationships has affected the ways in which our species interacts with and influences larger ecological systems in our midst.

After relocating to Argentina for a year when I was sixteen/seventeen, I have spent at least half of every subsequent year (throughout college, now full time) living, working, and traveling throughout Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, expanding my knowledge and familiarity with useful plants and how diverse species can be incorporated into dense, productive agro-ecosystems for the purposes of land restoration, reforestation, food production, resource renewal, and the preservation/dissemination of local and non-local biodiversity. I hold a self-designed, multi-disciplinary degree in Socio-Ecological Sustainability from Antioch College.

I am currently under the employment of Island Planning Corporation, an exterior design firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial projects throughout the world. Using native species and a practical approach, IPC creates mature, elegantly simple design solutions for logistically demanding projects.

I derived the word Anthropogen (, the title of this website, from the adjective Anthropogenic, meaning… of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on natureexamples being, Anthropogenic pollutants, or, Anthropogenic landscapes.

Anthrome ( refers to an Anthropogenic Biome, which describes the terrestrial biosphere in its contemporary, human-altered form using global ecosystem units defined by global patterns of sustained direct human interaction with ecosystems.

Primarily, this weblog serves as a database of information related to edible, medicinal and otherwise useful  plant species of the world. I encounter plants, I take photos and absorb information and post some of that information on this website.

I post information on a wide range of flora from climates around the world. As mentioned above, I am interested in the history of the relationship between people and plants, I tend to focus most intently on edible and medicinal plants, or plants with other ethnobotanical significance.

Typically, the information I am uploading will reflect plant species I have encountered, either somewhere I have recently visited, or somewhere I am (at the moment of posting). I take all the photos I post, unless otherwise noted. At present I have posted photos/entries from Mexico, North, Central, and South America, East Africa (Kenya), Central West Africa (Gabon), the Balkans, Greece, the UK, Slovenia, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and a number of other regions of the world.

In addition to content related to plant identification and information I upload relevant articles, links, and other related miscellany .

Apart from collecting, cultivating and planting edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful tropical plants, my profound interest in complex agroforestry drives a continuous motivation and dedication to studying pre-Colombian land management and resource renewal systems and models. Such systems have proven far more logical, productive and historically sustainable then the modern European colonial agricultural model.

The Flora category in the site consists of an evolving expanding list of plant species accompanied by related discussion and photos.

I welcome readers to contribute to any article in any Category via the comment forum attached to the article. Upon receiving edit marks, criticism or additional information I will make any due corrections or updates. To facilitate your navigation of past posts I have included an Index page (species list). Some species listed therein are linked to their respective entry. Those species that are not yet linked can be plugged into the search bar. You can search by plant family, genus, species, common name, geographical region of origin, or use. There are many more species featured in the site archives that are not yet listed in the index. The index is due for an update.

I can be contacted through the comment forum on this website or at “spencer (dot) woodard (at) gmail (dot) com” … or “w (at) islandplanningcorporation (dot) com”.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2009 10:08:12 am

    Amazing project! Great blog too, I’ll definitely be following it. I’m working on my undergrad plant science degree in California now.

  2. August 1, 2009 10:08:27 am

    I’m in Santa Cruz. Still about 2 years to go. I have my eye on the Ph.D. in Ethnobotany the University of Hawaii offers. Is Davis a good school for botany/ag?

    • August 2, 2009 10:08:22 pm

      Yeah, Davis is a great school for plant sciences/agriculture/ecological design. Not sure about undergrad though. They don’t have an ethnobotany program like U of H, which seems to be the only school in the country with such a program. They had a summer course taught by Dennis McKenna called Plants in Human Affairs, which I always wanted to attend, never was able to.

  3. FOSTER permalink
    December 3, 2009 10:08:31 pm

    Interesting project. I have a project you´d surely be interested in also. I cultivate native tropical forestry varieties on about 200 acres, not far from PC. My project might have something to offer yours. There’s plenty of space available to piddle around with all of your interests, which I just so happen to share.

    I was prefering this to be private rather than a post, but couldn’t find how to do it on your site. Anyway now you have my e-mail.


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