Wild mushrooms are my passion. Each foray is a treasure hunt, finding them, learning their identities, and most importantly documenting their presence and discovering new species. Local research involves mushroom surveys from May to October and education and citizen science projects with the local mushroom club. We have study plots where we have begun to investigate mushroom diversity in relation to oak trees and invasive buckthorn, which is thought to have a negative impact. Support is needed for me to work with and educate the team of volunteers.
My 19 years of research with colleagues and volunteers has added a wealth of data on the mushrooms of the Chicago region. The previous flora of 405 species was done one hundred years ago (W. S. Moffatt. 1909, 1923. The Higher Fungi of the Chicago Region). Our current mushroom flora is nearly 1,000 species (agaricomycetes). This myc0flora will be posted and updated online then published when complete.
I run the MycoGuide website [www.mycoguide.com] to share my knowledge of mushrooms and mycology with the public. Over 100 pages are available now but I have much further to go to cover the large number of species in the Midwest and provide related resources to study them.
These mycology projects are under-funded by a large amount each year. The past year has been especially tough. Working on a shoe-string budget is not a healthy situation. For six years I have been self-employed with contracted projects. I currently have short-term employment.
I wish to continue training amateur mycologists in the methods for mushroom studies and wrap up the documentation of my collections to be deposited in the local herbarium. Contribute today and share this campaign with your family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you for all of your support.