Anne Weiler Walka, Writer and Naturalist
A writer, naturalist, and stubborn generalist, Ann Weiler Walka is intrigued by a landscape’s weave of geologic processes, natural histories, ecological relationships — the patterns and surprises that make up the world. Ann became the educator at MNA in 1985 after earning an M.S. in Renewable Natural Resource Management at the University of Arizona and working at the Arizona-SonoranDesertMuseum and the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Although she began exploring the Colorado Plateau in the 1970s, her relationship with this unique landscape took on new depth and intensity when she came to MNA.
Ann describes her field methods with a quote from her book Walking the Unknown River:
“Learning a place is not a linear project. On these ventures we start with … (the) power of observation … Resting from sensory intoxication, we hear local stories and first-hand accounts of other explorations here, with our bundle of field guides and our collective great brain, we try to identify the plants and animals and rock formations, and the connections among them … We read poems and sometimes write them. We sit in silence. Day after day as we open to the country it opens to us.”
Ann’s books include Waterlines: Journeys on a Desert River, a collection of poems and stories inspired by the San Juan River, and Walking the Unknown River (And Other Travels in Escalante Country). She has also published essays and poems in The Glen Canyon Reader, Wild Earth, Mountain Gazette, and MNA’s Plateau Journal, among other magazines.