2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

The Fungal Kingdom


Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Noelle Machnicki mycology, ecology , Lalita Calabria botany, phytochemistry, systematics
Fields of Study
biology, ecology, field studies and natural history
Preparatory for studies or careers in
ecology, biology, natural history, education, and environmental studies.
One year of general biology and one quarter of ecology or natural history.

Fungi. What are they? Where are they and what roles do they play in terrestrial ecosystems? How do they get their energy? How do they grow? What do they taste like? How do they interact with other organisms? During this two-quarter long program we will answer these and other questions about fungi.

Fall quarter will cover the fundamentals of fungal and lichen biology, fungal and lichen diversity, physiology, and systematics. Students will learn to describe and identify fungi and lichens using chemical and microscopic techniques, along with a wide variety of taxonomic keys. Students will participate in a quarter-long project to curate their own collections of herbarium-quality lichen and mushroom specimens. Several multi-day field trips and day trips will provide students with an opportunity for collecting specimens and studying the natural history of western Washington.

During winter quarter, we will explore fungi and lichens through the lens of forest ecology. Forest ecosystems rest on a foundation of fungi, and students will learn about the pivotal roles fungi and lichen play as mutualists to plants and animals, as nutrient cyclers, disease-causing agents, and indicators of environmental quality. Lab work will focus on advanced methods and examining taxonomically-challenging groups of lichens and fungi. Students will also learn about museum curation by organizing and accessioning the class lichen and mushroom collection for submission into the Evergreen herbarium.

Students will engage in a two-quarter-long group research project relating to fungi. Research topics may include ecology or taxonomy-focused lab and field studies, cultivation or herbarium research. During fall quarter, students will participate in research and writing seminars and quantitative skills workshops to inform their research.  Each group will prepare a concise research proposal including a thorough literature review and a pilot study exploring the most appropriate data collection and analysis methods for answering their research questions. During winter quarter, students will conduct research experiments in the field and/or lab, analyze their data and write a research paper outlining their results.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$300 for field trips in fall.
Upper Division Science Credit
Upper-division credit will be awarded for upper-division work.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
May 2nd, 2012 New program added.