Meet Adam Schubel: Michigan alumnus, field botanist, self-proclaimed artist at heart and filler of big shoes as he steps up to be the new Resident Biologist at UMBS. Throughout the fall, he’ll work alongside Bob Vande Kopple, who made the position his own over that past 37 years and will retire later this year. As part of the gig, Adam will live in camp year-round, maintain the trails on UMBS property, record weather activity, answer questions from local residents and complete a plethora of other tasks.
Though he’s just starting this new role, Adam has been part of the UMBS community since 2002, when he started taking classes. During his two years as a student, he took Ethnobotany, Field Mammology, Habitats and Organisms, Biology of Birds and Flora of Northern Michigan. Starting in 2004, he was a teaching assistant for a handful of classes over the next few years: General Ecology, Forest Ecology, Flora of Northern Michigan and Ethnobotany. Of his UMBS professors and those with whom he taught, he says, “I have to give all of those people a lot of credit for whatever good qualities I have as a biologist.”
Adam has most recently worked as a field botanist, especially within river floodplain landscapes. This has piqued an interest in river and wetland ecosystems. He also participates in bird monitoring, is interested in gardening with native plants and has been an environmental educator in different ways over the years.
“I have a lifelong interest in learning and education, which I think will be a natural fit for this position,” he says. “Since I’ve been a kid, though, I’ve been an artist at heart. I’ve always had some aesthetic sensibilities, which are undeveloped and untrained. I’ve always found UMBS to be an inspiring place, and I’d like to nurture those sensibilities while I’m here.”
Here are some other tidbits about Adam, questions courtesy of Alicia Farmer, in the UMBS communications office:
Q: What’s the one piece of Bob knowledge you most hope to pry out of him before he steps down?
A: I’ve actually got a pretty long list, but I’m hoping to hear some good stories of things he’s seen at UMBS over the last 37 years.
Q: Favorite beverage?
A: Coffee. Helplessly, undeniably, and with great enthusiasm!
Q: A favorite thing about UMBS?
A: The lifelong friendships I’ve formed there are unquestionably at the top of the list. The place itself is unendingly interesting and inspiring. Also the quality of research and teaching that occurs there. But I think it’s the combination of those two -- an enthusiastic working community in a beautiful setting.
Q: Anything else?
A: I’m really happy to be here and I look forward to doing my part.