Like Santa Claus, mushrooms are cloaked in mystery, lying hidden for most of the year only to pop out and surprise us with bounty. This course concerns mycology- the study of fungi, a kingdom of life more closely related to animals than plants. We will examine several types of fungi including mushrooms, yeasts, and molds, focusing on those which play a tremendous role in ecological communities in the Pacific Northwest or are important to humans for food and medicine. During this course students will gain practical skills in identifying and using mushrooms. Class will meet twice a week; each week will begin with a topical lecture/discussion and end with a field trip or lab. Many of the field trips will be off campus and require students to drive or carpool 10-45 minutes and walk for 1-3 miles on uneven terrain, occasionally off trail.
• The Fifth Kingdom (4th edition) by Bryce Kendrick
• Mushrooms of British Columbia by Andy Mackinnon and Kem Luther
• Mushrooms of Cascadia: an Illustrated Key by Michael Beug
• Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets.
• Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest by Steve Trudell and Joe Ammirati
S/NX grading. Narrative Evaluation
As part of the course, students will be expected to:
1) Prepare a digital iNaturalist collection of 40 mushroom species that includes digital photographs of the mushroom, habitat, and spore print along with notes about how the species can be used.
2) Research and write a paper about a mushroom species.
3) Give a brief class presentation about a significant mushroom species.
4) Weekly quizzes on mushroom ID and questions related to the lectures and readings.
5) Participate in class labs, field trips, and activities.
Regular class attendance and informed contribution to discussions is essential. Students that miss more than two class periods without prior arrangement may not receive credit. Students also will be evaluated on their grasp and understanding of the themes and issues presented in the readings.