Fens and Fungi


June 23-July 18, 2014

These are two lab- and field-based courses that will run in parallel over four weeks, “Fungal Ecology” and “Wetlands Ecology.”

Fungal Ecology will introduce students to the ecology and diversity of fungi, as well as human uses of fungi. Students will learn about the wide range of fungal roles in ecosystem functioning such as wood-decayers, free-living soil decomposers, plant symbionts and pathogens. This course will teach practical techniques for investigating mycorrhizal colonization of plant roots and abundance of mycorrhizal fungi in the soil, and will consider the use of mycorrhiza as tools for ecological restoration and sustainable agriculture.

Wetlands Ecology will provide each student with an understanding of the plant and animal life found in wetlands. We will investigate the biogeochemical processes and various ecological functions that benefit all the Earth’s inhabitants. Combining classroom and field-based learning activities, the class will study the varieties of wetland natural communities, soils, plants, animals, and the adaptations and ecological functions found in wetlands.