Getting Outdoors Connecting to Place & People (Bill Simpson)

Video Shot in: 2023

In this video, Bill Simpson reflects on the importance of connecting students with the natural environment in their studies. He discusses the value of outdoor education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he teaches, emphasizing the need for real-world experiences in environmental science education. While he personally hasn’t been deeply involved in such programs, he recognizes their potential impact on students. Simpson also touches on the shift in his own research from fieldwork to remote sensing, acknowledging the benefits of both but expressing a desire to return to more hands-on, field-based research. He notes that while remote sensing provides global insights, it can sometimes detach scientists from the physical environment they study. Simpson also comments on the broader trend in science towards outdoor and immersive research experiences, highlighting the benefits of interdisciplinary connections and personal interactions that occur in field settings. Additionally, he reflects on the role of technology, like Zoom, in education and research, acknowledging its benefits but also its limitations in fostering deep, meaningful connections.