Wild mushrooms are indicators of soil and air quality, and support plant growth and communication. Join us for the 3rd annual mushroom blitz, traversing the Osborn Preserve collecting as many fungal species as we can find. As you build your identification and sustainable harvesting skills, you will add to the Center’s research databases.
Melina Kozanitas, Mycologist and Biology Lecturer, Sonoma State University
Melina is an SSU alum and now teaches Mycology and other classes in the Biology Department. She is leading this popular event for the third year in a row.
To identify and measure the impact of climate change on the preserve, the Center tracks changes in biodiversity such as mushroom distribution and abundance. We rely on the interest and enthusiasm of community and students to help us monitor changes. The Mushroom Blitz is designed for people of all experience levels: novices and expert mycologists alike are invited to come learn and share their knowledge.
We will meet Melina in the Osborn Education Center for an orientation, and then break into small groups to hike the trails of the preserve to a variety of habitats. Along the way, we will comb the hills and forests to find as many different species as we can, learning how to identify mushrooms, sustainable collecting techniques, and how to add information to local databases with iNaturalist. Our research protocol calls for collecting, photographing, recording locations and transcribing descriptive information. After eating lunch on the trail, we will meet back at the Education Center to identify specimens and discuss our findings.