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Audubon presents mushroom workshop

By Staff | Jul 31, 2015

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor a Natural History Workshop on mushrooms the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, in Room 156 of the Instructional West Building. It will be led by Walt Sturgeon, a noted mushroom expert.

The workshop is open to anyone with an interest but space will be limited and pre-registration is required. The registration deadline is August 11. Register on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org.

There will also be a fee of $15 for PVAS members and $20 for nonmembers.

The workshop will include both classroom time and some fieldwork on the NCTC campus. It will provide a general introduction to the topic of mushrooms and cover a wide range of specific subtopics such as best field guides, ecology, folklore, distinctive edibles, hallucinogenic and toxic species, bioluminescent species, insect-mushroom interactions, and oxidation reactions.

Attendees will be encouraged to bring fresh mushrooms for identification.

Sturgeon is a field mycologist with over 30 years of experience. His photos of mushroom and fungi, some award-winning, can be seen in numerous mushroom field guide publications. His own publications include three he co-authored: “Waxcap Mushrooms of Eastern North America,” “Mushrooms and Macrofungi of Ohio and the Midwestern States,” and “Mushrooms and Other Fungi of the West Virginia High Country.”

Sturgeon has received the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology, and Northeast (North America) Mycological Federation (NEMF) Eximia Award. He is the past president of the Ohio Mushroom Society and has associations with many other mycological organizations.

This event is one of a series of Natural History workshops on different natural history topics the society is sponsoring this year.

These workshops are intended for people who are interested in learning about particular natural history topics in considerable depth but cannot commit to pursue the much more comprehensive natural history education available through PVAS’s Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program, which can take a year or more to complete.

For more information contact Krista Hawley at adultprograms@potomacaudubon.org or 703-303-1026.