PVMA MYCOLOGY EDUCATION SEMINARS

FUNGIKINGDOM UNIVERSITY WORKSHOPS 

for Spring 2019

The PVMA conducts a series of 3-4 hour workshops on describing fungi, mushroom identification, edibility/toxicity, medicinal fungi, characterisitcs of various genera and species, associated habitat and tree associations, cooking, citizen science, the functional roles of fungi, and other topics every spring. 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 - before the collecting season begins. If you want to jump-start &/or radically improve your understanding of our connections with the world of fungi, you will want to take this unique opportunity to expand your knowledge and appreciation of these important organisms. To keep the price within everyone’s means, we are charging just enough to cover the costs of giving our deserving guest speakers a fair honorarium in return for sharing their wisdom and passion for fungi with us. 

There is limited space available for this popular fungal 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 6 sessions along with your $15 membership fee immediately (total cost $100). You can pay by credit card via PayPal (http://fungikingdom.net/we-invite-you-to-join-the/index.html) or by sending your check to Membership Chair and Treasurer, Michael Ostrowski, 27 East Street, South Hadley MA 01075.  

In addition to PVMA mycologist Dianna Smith, five knowledgeable guest mycologists will be leading a workshop this year. They include Jessdica Benson Evans, Noah Siegel, Bill Yule, Tom Bigelow, Susan Goldhor and hopefully Robert Gergulichs. Bring your lunch and something to share for each session. Coffee and tea will be provided.

March 10: MYCO-SPEAK   Dianna Smith, PVMA’s club mycologist, will open our series with a review and expansion on one of our most popular and useful programs for both beginning and intermediate mycophiles. We will focus on learning the meaning of commonly used terms employed in field guides to describe the parts and characteristics of individual fungi. Participants who study and employ these terms will be better prepared to see critical details, accurately describe them, and identify and appreciate fungi encountered during our scheduled walks.

March 17: EDIBLE MUSHROOMS & POISONOUS LOOKALIKES                   Jessica Benson Evans, President of the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association. Join Jessica as she helps us answer the question, “Is it edible?” The not-so-simple answer is “maybe, but...” Before we should eat any “edible” fungi, it is important to know which look-alikes we may encounter. Effects from consuming these poisonous look-alikes can range from discomfort to death, so it’s important to know how to spot the differences! This introductory workshop will detail common edibles and regionally occurring fungi that look similar, with a few bonus fungi just in case.

Jessica is an amateur mycologist who coincidentally eats very few edible fungi. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy eating mushrooms, it’s just that she likes studying them more! Jessica is the current President of PVMA and has been seriously studying mushrooms in the Pioneer Valley for three years.

March 24: Noah Siegel Taking the Trickiness out of Tricholoma: An overview of Northeastern Tricholoma, and Heebie-jeebies No More: A look into Hebeloma. Noah will help us learn to recognize and identify species of these two difficult genera.

Noah's expert photographs have appeared on the covers and have been featured in articles of multiple issues of FUNGI Magazine and Mushroom the Journal, the primary mushroom enthusiast magazines in the United States, numerous mushroom books, as well as many club publications. He authored, along with Christian Schwarz, Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, a comprehensive guide for the northern California coast. Noah travels and lectures extensively across America, following the mushrooms from coast to coast, and everywhere in between. 

March 31: Bill Yule An introduction to the morphology and ecology of the genus Amanita and a survey of the common species of the Northeast. We will start with a look at some of the famous and infamous species and then go through a survey of the seven sections that the genus can be divided into and explore the characters of each. After lunch we can go through a species list and try to place individuals in the proper section.

Bill is an environmental educator, naturalist and amateur mycologist from CT. He teaches at The Connecticut River Museum and works on three educational boats on the CT River. He has been active in mycological education for 25 plus years and has given programs throughout the Northeast. He is a member of three local "mushroom clubs", CVMS, COMA and PVMA, as well as the North American Mycological Association.

April 7: Tom Bigelow: Resistance is Futile: The Allure of Corticioid Fungi. This presentation is an introduction to the amazing world of corticioid fungi, exploring what they are, the role they play in the environment, their diverse lifestyles – and how to go about finding and identifying them. Part of my fascination with fungi is photographing them, so this presentation includes images of many of the common and not-so-common crust fungi I have come across in the field.

Tom has been a member of the New York Mycological Society for 11 years. He has served as the club’s president for the past four years. Tom was deeply influenced by Gary Lincoff, who instilled in him the necessity for a comprehensive fungal survey of the five boroughs of New York City. This means going out almost every weekend, all year round, chronicling the finds of the NYMS. 

April 28: THE HIDDEN FOREST: Susan GoldhorTHE HIDDEN FUNGAL FOREST:  Most of us walk through the woods with our eyes focused on the search for fungal fruiting bodies. But the fungi we see in the forest are only a tiny fraction of the fungi that are there.  Susan will talk about the invisible fungi that actually run the forest ecosystem.  Where are these fungi and what are they doing?  This talk will cover the real meaning of symbiosis; the truth about lichens; how to blame fungi for global warming (if you want to duck the human connection), and how to have healthy relationships.  We guarantee that you'll never look at the forest the same way again.  

Susan is the president of the Boston Mycological Club, the oldest such club in the world, and a contributing editor to Fungi magazine.  She is a biologist who is fascinated by fungal effects on ecosystems and by the fact that so many folks who manage ecosystems know nothing about fungi (which accounts for the many mistakes they make).