2016 Confirmed RMC Workshops

Bio & Eco

Mycosystem Functioning – Peter McCoy
As mycologists and ecologists uncover more and more influences that fungi hold on the environment, it is becoming increasingly clear that the fifth kingdom might need to be placed as number one! Fungi are everywhere, filling every plant, swapping DNA with other organisms, and ensuring the overall health of all ecological webs. In this presentation, Peter will cover some of the more obscure corners of the fungal realm from Antarctica to the bottom of the ocean and expose what we’ve all been missing. The result just may change the way you think about fungi, and the world at large.

Identifying Patterns of Disturbance and Patterns of Health: The Practice of Landscape Reading Nance Klehm
We will work in small groups to notice, observe and map physical form, patterns and dynamics on the land. Handouts included. Landscape reading helps develop a greater awareness of a living place and can be an important first step in the design process.

Parallel Hyphae: Gut Ecology and Soil Ecology Erwin Karl
Drawing upon new findings from researchers and personal experiences in fermentation and mycology, we will explore the ecological roles or fungi and microbes in the human gut and the soils of forests and fields. We will look at mechanisms for exchanging water, nutrients and other materials, as well as communication between organisms and the application of these models in other fields like network analysis.

Bryophytes of the Northeast: Identification and Ecological SignificanceElli Mazeres
Hike through the surrounding areas examining and identifying terrestrial bryophytes, including epiphytes. Numerous substrates will be examined and any species that can be identified to species macroscopically will be the focus although genera that need to be identified to species microscopically will also be mentioned. The role and function of bryophytes in local ecosystems will also be discussed.

Local Fungi & FloraLupo Passero
Join local herbalists Lupo Passero and Benjamin Shwartz, and mushroom enthusiast Zach Chavez for an in-depth and informative walk and talk about the local flora and fungi of the Northeast region. We will explore the delicate dance within our beautiful hardwood ecosystem and explore the the plants and mycelium that share in this scared relationship.

Of the Hyphosphere: Fungi from the Beginning Peter McCoy
Fungi have been argued to be among the first multi-cellular organisms to have evolved on Earth—an ancient kin from which plants and animals descended long ago. Today, fungi are found in nearly all habitats, forming complex symbioses with plants and animals, and helping balance the overall health of dynamic ecological webs. In this presentation, Peter will walk through the fascinating landmarks in fungal evolution that have led to these current collaborations and detail how integral fungi have become to all aspects of life. From the heart of Antarctica, to the bottom of the ocean, to the soils of the Colorado plateau, Peter will help expose these hidden connections in the fungal history of Earth. The result just may change the way you think about fungi and the world at large.

Endophytes: An Emerging Frontier For Fungal DiscoverySamuel Davis
The fungi that inhabit plants without harm, “endophytes” are an emerging group of fungi for discovery. They are a taxonomically diverse group containing many poorly studied fungi, yet have many potential applications from improving stress tolerance of plants to novel compounds for new medication. The presentation will highlight some current projects and need for more research in this area.

Xylaria: What, Where, How?Roo Vandergrift
A discussion of what holds the genus Xylaria together (and what doesn’t), why they’re important, the incredible diversity in the genus both in North America and the tropics, and how to identify them.

Learning to Identify MushroomsWilloughby Arevalo
This workshop intends to teach the core principles and skills of mushroom identification and ease the learning curve by clarifying broad concepts while offering tools for both the beginner and intermediate mushroomer.


Radical Mycology – The Radical Mycology Collective
From an idea, to a verb, to a way of seeing fungi, Radical Mycology has evolved over the last 8 years to take dialogues around the importance of human-fungal relations into a range of new directions. In this presentation, the Radical Mycology Collective will present the ideas and actions underlying the Radical Mycology project and explain why we all strive to share our passion for fungi with the world.

Female Fungal ForagersMara Fae Penfil and Olga Tzogas
The study of mycology first formed in the wombs of women. Though the knowledge was shared with every child as they matured, it was often the women of history who carried on the responsibility of harvesting wild fungi to feed and heal their families. We will reconnect with these ancient mycelial roots in this participatory, women’s only, field-based workshop, exploring the core skills and ethics of mushroom foraging. While weaving a tapestry of the influences women have had on mycology, we will observe fungi in their natural settings through a scientific and intuitive lens alike.

Mushrooms in Water Color: An Ode to Beatrix PotterMara Fae Penfil
Beatrix Potter is well-known for her infamous children’s books like Peter Rabbit, but she was also a mycologist who loved to draw and paint the specimens that she found. In this hands-on workshop, participants will be encouraged to use their creativity to depict how they perceive the various aspects of fungal anatomy. All materials including mushroom specimen and art supplies will be provided; participants may bring their own specimen if they prefer. 

Mycelial Meditation and VisualizationMara Fae Penfil
Beyond embracing the natural processes of fungi and plants to clean-up pollution found in the environment, it is important that we (as active human contributors to pollution) learn how to heal our own toxic environments, whether they be emotional, spiritual or physical in nature. In this meditation and visualization, we will use concepts in fungal ecology as a metaphor to explore our daily interactions in the world and allow the mycelium to transform us. We will create an intentional and safe space where we can share any personal stories and experiences that arise during this visualization.

Drawing from Experience: Visual Perception and the Art of Fungi Alanna Burns
Drawing fungi is a rewarding way to deepen our human experience. Stillness and attention to surroundings as they are connects us to nature’s spirit. Participants will learn to incorporate observational tools used in drawing to aid in mushroom identification and appreciation. We will spend an afternoon walking in the woods, interpreting our surroundings, and sharing our perspectives. Drawing materials and paper will be provided, and sketchbooks encouraged!

Fabricating Myco-Objects Marina Zurkow
Marina Zurkow presents her work done to date in a studio art practice, and the work produced in a class called “The Fungus Among Us” – a 7 week course on thinking with mushrooms and fabricating with them in the context of creative technology, as a counterpoint to the profligate use of plastics in fabrication.

Mushroom Whispering: Connecting to Fungal Spirits Sue Van Hook
Sue Van Hook has been deeply connected to fungi from the coastal sand dune forests of Northern California to the Maine woods and to the Hudson River Valley where she has lived and worked as a mycologist/educator/healer for the past two decades. She is attuned to listen to the spirits of the fungi that are here to help and heal. Sue will lead a shamanic journey to the lower world to meet up with mushroom spirits and learn what they have to tell us.  Bring a towel or mat to lie upon, a bandanna or eye mask, and a journal

Medicinal Mushrooms for People and the Planet John Michelotti
People have been utilizing mushrooms for thousands of years for healing. Let’s talk about which mushrooms have been utilized and how, what research and anecdotal evidence is out there and what resources you can trust. Learn how to make your own medicine and get involved.  Also, the earth has been using mushrooms to heal for millions of years. From the first organism to grow on the earth and make nutrients accessible for other life on earth to honey bee immune systems and colony collapse, let’s talk about ways mushrooms are already healing the planet and how we can help.

Fungi and Human Health – Mara Fae Penfil
Discover the amazing world of medicinal fungi and how our intimate relationship with these medicines have evolved through time. We will build a foundation of knowledge from which to explore this topic by overviewing the body’s systems and common health conditions, and move forward through a discussion of how medicinal fungi can be used holistically for prevention and treatment of illness. Participants will leave with the basic understanding of how to prepare a variety of fungal medicines in the comfort of their own home.

AlcheMycology: Spiritual and Physical Fungal Alchemical MedicinesJason Scott
We will explore the Fungal Queendom through the lens of Hermetic Alchemy, from philosophy to practice. We will look at determining astrological correspondences and different process for creating Fungal Spagyrics.

Photohacks with Resupinate Fungi Zaac Chaves
An underlog identification walk in which we will share and collaborate so that we might achieve marvelous documentation with obsolete camera technology.

The Fruiting Body: Exploring Fungi Through DanceFern Katz
Dancing outdoors fosters a deep connection with nature. When we dance in the fields and forests, we are able to listen with our whole selves. This guided authentic movement based workshop will allow folks to drop into what it feels like to embody fungi, explore relationships of fungi in nature, and connect with others. No previous dance experience required, simply arrive with a desire to gain a new perspective on fungal life and celebrate the cycle of growth and decay through dance.


Aseptic Lab Skills and Tools Olga Tzogas
Learn the fundamental techniques to properly create sterile culture. These are skills that can transcend to multiple fields not just mycology.  We will learn proper technique and lab do’s and don’ts. Plus demonstrations on how to expand from petri plates to grain spawn and beyond.

Growing Woodland Mushrooms for Forest Health Steve Gabriel
Cultivation on logs, stumps, and woodchip beds is approachable and can intimately connect production with good forest management practices. This workshop will be part hands-on inoculation, and part woods walk to discuss this low-energy and sustainable approach to cultivate shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, and Stropharia mushrooms.

Cordyceps Cultivation William Padilla-Brown
There are some species of Cordyceps that will grow more readily than others! Over the past year William Padilla-Brown, and colleagues around the United States have been successfully working on cultivating Cordyceps militaris. Will has also had success with cultivating Golden Thread Cordyceps (Tolypocladium ophioglossiodes). This workshops goes through a presentation on New Research, the history, and value of these two species of Cordyceps, followed by hands on media preparation for cultivation, participants will receive an inoculated jar of their choice!

Growing Oyster Mushrooms On Straw and Waste Products Willie Crosby
I will give a summary of the SARE grant I received last year on comparing yields of oyster mushrooms growing on straw with 4 different treatment methods. Wood ash, lime, pasteurization, and fermentation. Overview of how to treat and inoculate straw. All participants will get to inoculate a bag of straw.

Constructing and Operating an Aseptic Lab Willie Crosby
Identify the reasons why an aseptic lab is necessary and beneficial, and where it is unnecessary. Outline basic needs for lab construction and potential equipment to use at different budgets for an aseptic lab. An overview of lab technique, maintenance and expansion of mycelium.

Liquid Culture Will Change the World (Of Cultivation) Peter McCoy
In this crash course workshop, Peter will present a streamlined method for growing an abundance of edible and medicinal mushrooms for low to no dough. At its core, this process revolves around cultivating a fungal inoculum in a liquid medium, as opposed to agar-filled petri dishes (which are more common). With this liquid medium, the majority of the cost, complexity, and risks of mushroom cultivation can be easily avoided. How is this possible? Come to the presentation to find out!


Microbial Remediation: Designing Roles for Spontaneous Vegetation, Native Plants and Compost To Heal Urbanized Soils. Nance Klehm
A visual presentation of of remediation sites and research in Chicago and Los Angeles followed by discussion and Q + A.

Towards Community-Based Bioremediation: Opportunities, Strategies and Barriers Scott Kellogg
Urban residents require the knowledge and tools necessary for assessing and responding to environmental health risks.  Knowledge about bioremediation, the process of utilizing naturally occurring organisms to immobilize, degrade or sequester toxins will be required both for the long-term regeneration of urban ecosystem health and for remediation resulting from disasters induced by climate change.  It is essential to develop methods of community-based bioremediation and contaminant analysis that are affordable, simple, effective, and that make use of common microbial and waste-product fungal inoculants.  In this presentation, we will discuss what methods are most appropriate, identify knowledge gaps, and collaborate for future research.

Mechanistics of Mycoremedation and MycoaugmentationChris Wright
Presentation on ligninolytic fungi and how fungi mycoremediation works (e.g. oxidative nature of fungal ligninolytic enzymes, structural similarity of xenobiotics, etc.).

Mycoremediation of Acid Mine Drainage with Oyster MushroomsAlexander Jones
In mining areas with high sulfide content waste rock, bacteria-mediated reactions create low pH wastewater called acid mine drainage (AMD). These streams contain high concentrations of metals which precipitate out of solution and blanket the stream-beds, therefore, biological recovery has not been observed in many of these areas. Species of fungi metabolize metals using the same enzymes they use to degrade wood. A mycoremediative approach to AMD remediation was investigated using the oyster mushroom to remove metal, specifically iron, from AMD water. The presentation will highlight this work with a research poster and invite others to initiate similar grassroots restoration projects.

Production of Lignocellulosic Biofuel Using Fungal EnzymesAlexander Jones
Lignocellulosic biofuel feedstocks offer a more sustainable alternative to conventional, grain crops for ethanol by sequestering more carbon. To make lignocellulosic biofuels, cellulosic polymers must be separated from lignin and then transformed to simple carbohydrates. Saprophytic species of fungi exude a cocktail of enzymes to preferentially break down cellulose and/or lignin. External digestion of substrates by fungi allows for easy exploitation of the products (sugars) from these enzymatic reactions. Current research aims to resolve enzymatic mechanisms for these decomposition reactions that can be applied to biofuel production. Species of interest include Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina) and Neurospora crassa.

Digesting Household and Community Waste with MushroomsDanielle Stevenson
Oyster and King Stropharia mushrooms are great at breaking down household and urban waste.This workshop will offer an overview of some of the cool stuff you can do with fungi where you live- from growing protein-rich food on recycled materials and invasive plants, to filtering your grey water, to breaking down animal waste, oil from your leaky car and so much more.

Confirmed Panel Discussions

  • The Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons of Community-Based Mycology Groups and Bioremediation
  • Mushroom Cultivation & Farming: Adaptive Strategies for Resiliency, Productivity, and Integrity