If you’re a fan of fungi, this opportunity is for you. If you find the microcosm of the forest floor as fascinating as the mountain vistas, take note. Dr. Gary A. Laursen will be visiting Valdez to teach a 1-credit class, called Mushrooms of Southcentral Alaska. The class takes place the weekend of September 8-10, and the cost is $301, which includes a useful field guide and hand lens. Students will be collecting, identifying, and preparing wild mushrooms for preserving. Also shared will be information on wild/edible mushroom eco-physiological roles, and resources for further mushroom photography, spore printing, identification using keys, mycophagy, preservation, labeling, and herbarium accessioning. Students must register for this class by September 1, either at Prince William Sound College at 303 Lowe Street or online at uaonline.alaska.edu, and Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver may apply.
Dr. Laursen is an adjunct research professor and the director and president of the High Latitude Mycological Research Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. According to the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., “Dr. Laursen’s research in mycology (the study of fungi-mushrooms and toadstools) focuses on fungal genomics, phylogeography, systematics, taxonomy, and ecology. Experiences have included 38 years of extensive field and laboratory studies in arctic, subarctic and subantarctic environs. Alaskan work has focused on ecological and systematic problems demonstrated by the higher fungi in five of six AK provinces (Southeast, South Central, Western Arctic, Interior, and Northern Arctic and alpine zones). Research investigations have emphasized ecological studies on subantarctic, boreal, alpine, maritime, taiga, subarctic, and Arctic tundra fungi. A broad ecological base has been gained from extensive fieldwork performed. Not only fungi but also associated lichens, lichenicolous fungi, slime molds, bryophytes and higher plant assemblages and their adaptive mechanisms within tundra (cold-dominated) habitats have been emphasized in research conducted.”
For more information contact Wendy Goldstein at 834-1689. To register for this course click here.