Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001), the father of ethnobotany, is regarded as one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century. Schultes made numerous explorations, new species discoveries and was one of the first academics to alert the world about the destruction of the Amazon rain forest as well as the disappearance of its indigenous people—many of who he lived and studied their plant usage.
Author of several books, including The Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers (1979), Schultes is truly a legendary American ethnobotanist, writer, photographer, Harvard professor, and explorer.
The Amazonian Travels of Richard Evans Schultes is an interactive map journal that retraces Schultes' adventures and scientific explorations.
In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon rainforest on a mission to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual and practical purposes. He went on to spend over a decade immersed in near-continuous fieldwork, collecting more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to science.
Schultes' area of focus was the northwest Amazon, an area that had remained largely unknown to the outside world, isolated by the Andes to the west and dense jungles and impassable rapids on all other sides. Schultes lived amongst little-studied tribes, mapped uncharted rivers, and was the first scientist to explore some areas that have not been researched since. His notes and photographs are some of the only existing documentation of indigenous cultures in a region of the Amazon on the cusp of change.
In this interactive map journal, retrace Schultes' extraordinary adventures and experience the thrill of scientific exploration and discovery. Through a series of interactive maps, explore the magical landscapes and indigenous cultures of the Amazon Rainforest, presented through the lens of Schultes' vivid photography and ethnobotanical research."
The interactive map is truly impressive in its detailing of Schultes' explorations.
Watch a presentation by Mark Plotkin, Co-Founder and President of the Amazon Conservation Team, and Brian Hettler, GIS and New Technologies Manager of the Amazon Conservation Team on the life of Richard Evans Schultes. Plotkin is also a renowned ethnobotanist, conservationist, and former student of Richard Evans Schultes.
I also recommend reading (in addition to Schultes' work) "One River" by Wade Davis, another famous explorer and former student of Evan Schultes. Davis' book is a fantastic account of Schultes' explorations as well as Davis' journeys.
There's just so many other insightful resources about the extraordinary life of Dr. Richard Evan Schultes.