A couple of things about this picture:
1) Yes, I intended it to be silly- that's my "Alaskan Bird-Surveying Action Pose".
2) No, I'm not wearing leather "heavy metal" pants. Those are rubber hip waders that I had to wear while working in the swamps and bogs found at the Tanana Flats.

During this survey, we had two areas to concentrate on: the Tanana Flats and the Yukon Maneuver Area. Both of these pieces of property are owned by the Army. The Tanana Flats, pictured above, consists of a lot of swamps, meadows, bogs and forest land. The only way we could get to our research areas in the Flats was by a half hour boat ride plus a good deal of hiking through some very rough terrain. There were no roads or trails where we went. All we had were maps, compasses and a GPS unit. We never knew in advance what kind of terrain we would encounter, so we had to bring the gear we would need for any kind of situation. The rubber hip waders were a must-have item for getting through the swamps.

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Text and all photographs Copyright © 1999 Matthew Gerbrandt
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Revised -- October 17th, 2001