Environment: Growing a Forest From Scratch

A "Muddy-Your-Boots" Biologist Tries a Unique Experiment

Daniel Janzen, 47, is a tenured professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania, but for the past 14 years his home has been a rented, tin-roofed cabin in an isolated Central American wilderness. The location, Santa Rosa National Park on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, is ideal for his favorite pursuits: rambling across abandoned pasture, collecting seeds and caterpillars, weighing and identifying trapped mice, netting insects by night -- work he calls "muddy-your-boots biology." Janzen, in fact, spends so little time in Philadelphia that he maintains no residence there. He prefers to sleep on a cot in his university office.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!