Spring Fungi

Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by

  • UG


One year of general biology and one quarter of ecology/natural history.

When people think of mushrooms, they often picture something like a button mushroom. Although gilled mushrooms are among the most recognizable fungi, they represent only a fraction of total fungal diversity. In fact, 75% of all described fungi belong to a less well-known group called Ascomycetes. Ascomycetes include non-gilled mushrooms such as morels, truffles, and cup fungi, as well as lichens and fungi of economic importance such as yeasts and molds. In the Pacific Northwest, Ascomycete diversity is highest in the spring, making it a perfect time to study the biology, ecology, biodiversity and natural history of this important group of fungi.

Students will engage in lectures, workshops, and seminar discussions to learn the fundamentals of fungal biology, ecology, and systematics. Lab sessions will support student learning of fungal taxonomy, morphology, and methods used in molecular systematics. Students will learn to formally describe and identify fungi using taxonomic keys, microscopic features, and molecular methods. One overnight and several day field trips will provide students with an opportunity to practice field collection and survey techniques and to study the natural history of western Washington.

There will be opportunities for independent student learning. Research projects will focus on exploring the potential of ecologically and economically significant fungi to address 21 st century challenges. Topics may include the role of fungi in development of antibiotics, their contributions to our understanding of genetics, their potential use as biological control agents, or their use as tools in bioengineering. Students will participate in library research, interpret and discuss peer-reviewed literature, and take part in library and media workshops to practice formal expository and popular science writing styles. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology ecology environmental studies natural history

Preparatory For

biology, ecology, environmental studies and natural history.



Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, April 3 at 10am (Sem II D3109)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$225 for overnight field trips.


2017-03-17Fee added ($225)
2017-03-03Prerequisites added.