Fungi Kingdom University Workshops

The PVMA conducts a different series of 3-4 hour workshops on mushroom identification, edibility/toxicity, medicinal fungi, associated habitat and tree associations, and the functional roles of fungi every spring. Excluding religious and national holidays, these take place on Sundays in March, April and May between 9:45 AM and 1:30 PM at my home in Leeds (Northampton), MA. There is limited space available for this popular educational offering, so if you are interested in participating in the series you are advised to secure your inclusion by sending in the $85 fee for all sessions along with your $15 membership fee immediately (total cost $100) via PayPal (see previous PVMA page) or by sending your money to Michael Ostrowski (See the previous page for directions). Three knowledgeable guest mycologists in addition to myself lead a workshop. They include Bill Bakaitis, Dr. Roz Lowen and Bill Yule. 

Spring 2017

March 19: Good field identification of fungi entails careful observation of numerous characters and the use of adequately descriptive language. Dianna Smith will introduce us to fungal anatomy and ‘Myco-speak’. Learn meanings of terms commonly used by taxonomists and field guide authors to describe the various parts of fungal organisms. In this two-part lesson, we will also delve into the meanings behind the names of many common found fungi. Everyone will have an opportunity to practice their newly developed skills to write and test the success of their fungal descriptions.

April 9: The milk mushrooms of our region are plentiful and often confusing for even experienced collectors. Dianna Smith will help demystify the identification of over 50 Lactarius/Lactifluus species common in the northeast considering their definitive features and their mycorrhizal associations with particular trees.

April 23: Dr. Roz Lowen will talk with us about how fungi are named (and why they are sometimes renamed) and relate this to her research experience finding Marasmius oreades in the NH White Mountains

April 30: Bill Yule ‘Mushrooms Love Trees’. Bill will educate us on the role of ectomycorrhizal fungi, and present an illustrated seasonal view of mycorrhizal mushrooms and their tree companions.

May 7: Many russulas are notoriously difficult to identify. Dianna Smith will help us learn to identify at least 50-60 species based on field characteristics and their ecological preferences.

May 21: Bill Bakaitis ‘Boletes in the Northeast’ As most Amateur Mycologists come to realize, there are multitudes of fungi encountered on our walks which seem to chase after a very small set of variable observable characteristics, a condition which makes field identification difficult. Over the years, Bill Bakaitis has used his training in the cognitive sciences to construct various user friendly tools to assist in the difficult task of field identification of boletes.  In this illustrated lecture a simplified flow chart, which can later be taken into the field, guides the audience/collector through sixty-five of the most frequently encountered boletes in the northeast.  Along the way four conventional mycological approaches/species concepts are discussed.