Walt has one of the largest, if not the largest, petrified wood collections in the world. He has come to study paleobotany as a botanist, looking at the fossil plants from the same perspective he would today’s living plants, but framing that view in the context of geologic time, plate tectonics, adaptation, survival, and extinction. Walt has traveled the world looking at collections and collecting.
Walt has worked as a botanist in one way or another in his working life, in New Mexico at the Natural Training Center B.S.A., Angeles National Forest U.S.F.S., U.C. Riverside, Santa Monica C.C., and as a consultant for numerous city, county, state, and federal jurisdictions. He received his 1st two specimens of petrified wood when he was about 10 and has been addicted ever since. Academically, his undergraduate work was at C.S.U. Fullerton and graduate work at U.C. Riverside. Leading serious botany and geology field trips started in 1967, giving paleobotany talks from 1975, and paleobotany seminars and classes from 1992. These programs have taken him from Dallas, TX, to Billings, MT., and Spokane, WA. to Toronto, Canada, and throughout CA., plus numerous hard to remember places in between. Foreign talks and seminars have been given in New Zealand and China.