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.
This event is open to all ages and levels of knowledge. All minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian. No strollers are permitted due to unpaved trails. No previous experience is required.
We will be hiking in small groups 1-3 miles with approximately 200-350 foot elevation gain that is adaptable to participants’ abilities.
Fairfield Osborn Preserve is a 15-minute drive from Sonoma State's main campus, on Lichau Road in Penngrove. Parking is limited so please consider carpooling, and let us know if you plan to do this so we can open more registration spots accordingly. Driving directions will be provided in your registration confirmation and email. We will meet at the Osborn Education Center which is across the footbridge on the east side of the parking lot.
Participants must sign a waiver upon arrival. Pets and smoking are not permitted.
A restroom, potable water and microwave are available on site.
This is a rain or shine event.
What to Bring
Please bring a backpack, sun and insect protection, rain gear, a water bottle with at least 1 liter capacity, a bag lunch, and shoes to hike in. Layered clothing, long pants and a mushroom collection basket are recommended.
How to Sign Up
See registration link below. Each participant should register separately.
This event is free of charge.
About the Center
Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.