The Fungal Kingdom

Fall 2018 quarter

Taught by

botany, phytochemistry, systematics
ecology, biology, mycology


8 credits of general biology and 4 credits of ecology/natural history.

From mushrooms, antibiotics, and high-fructose corn syrup to yeasts, “acid-washed” jeans, and bioremediation, humans have been using fungi for thousands of years. Fungi play fundamental roles in terrestrial ecosystems as recyclers of organic matter and as partners with plants and algae to form mycorrhizae and lichens. This upper-level program will focus on understanding these unique and pivotal organisms through exploring the taxonomy, ecology, biology, and physiology of fungi and lichens.

Our program time will consist of fieldwork, laboratory work, lectures, workshops, and seminars. We will take one-day field trips and two multi-day field trips. There will be an emphasis on learning relevant field methods to assess biodiversity of lichens and fungi, along with developing laboratory skills to identify lichens and fungi using chemical and microscopic techniques.

We will expect students to research topics in the primary scientific literature and to summarize and share their findings with the entire class. Students will have opportunities for independent directed work, both individually and in small groups. Students will also have the chance to further their skills in technical writing, library research, critical thinking, and public presentations. Credit equivalencies for the program include mycology, lichenology, lichen taxonomy, fungal taxonomy, and scientific writing.

If you are a student with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact the faculty or the office of Access Services (Library Bldg. Rm. 2153, PH: (360) 867-6348; TTY (360) 867-6834) prior to the start of the quarter. If you require accessible transportation for field trips, please contact the faculty well in advance of the field trip dates to allow time to arrange this.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology botany ecology environmental studies field studies natural history

Preparatory For

ecology, biology, natural history, education, and environmental studies.


Fall Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$375 for multi-day field trips.