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Northern Ecology

Mushroom & Fungi Intro

Course Overview

Late summer brings on a plethora of mushrooms, and the North Shore and Superior National Forest are great places to see myriad species. From the fairytale Amanita to the mysterious Lobster mushroom to the unusual Ramaria species, there’s no shortage of beauties to find and identify. Michael Karns, a certified mycological identification expert, will take students into the field to identify whatever there is to be seen that day. Students will learn about mycological identification and the basics of mushroom habitats. This course is focused on expanding your understanding of fungal identification in general with the benefit of collecting some edible species as well. For a focus on edible mushrooms, and how to prepare them, see Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table.

“Hunting mushrooms is addictive. It’s like any other pursuit that taps into the natural pattern of seeking, a primal part of our brains. It’s a very cathartic, almost Zen practice as long as one doesn’t get too attached to the idea of success. Mother Nature determines when the mushrooms will show themselves. The best piece of advice I can give for finding mushrooms is to just get into the woods as often as possible. Even if you’re not successful one can never consider a day in the woods a waste.”

—Michael Karns

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