Norris Center Resources

The natural history collections at the Norris Center contain approximately 6,000 specimens of fungi collected from across California, with a particular focus on the Redwood Coast Region. Most were collected by Christian Schwarz and Noah Siegel, as well as some specimens collected by former museum curator Tonya Haff. It also includes a few specimens collected by David Arora, a former UCSC student and one of Santa Cruz’s first serious mushroom enthusiasts.

The fungal collections here are special: they cover our county very thoroughly, probably more thoroughly than any other county in California to date. The specimens are also extremely well-photographed, meaning that we will not be left guessing at the 'face' of the organisms we are studying. Microscopic data accompanies many of the collections, and many more of the specimens are being worked on by a small but dedicated body of undergraduate students, graduate researchers and community members doing thesis projects, ecology research or independent studies.

Many of the specimens are part of the ongoing Herbarium Sequencing Project funded by the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz. Read more about it and see the results here.

We are in the process of representing our specimens, their associated photographs, microscopic data, and DNA sequences on Mushroom Observer and MycoPortal. You can search our uploaded specimens on MycoPortal here. We also loan specimens out to amateurs, unlike many other collections. We believe strongly that citizen scientists and non-professional enthusiasts are a core part of the future of mushroom taxonomy.

UCSC Resources

Two undergraduates have published field guides to the fungi of UCSC.

fungi of ucsc coverNorris Center undergraduate Christian Schwarz published a guide to the fungi of the UCSC redwood forests. Check it out on Amazon, or come to the Norris Center for a discounted price. 




cover of the slime molds bookNorris Center undergraduate Carrie Niblett published a guide to the slime molds of UCSC. Check it out on Amazon, or come to the Norris Center for a discounted price.




Santa Cruz Resources

Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz

Learn about the annual fungus fair, FFSC meetings, workshops and more. Resources on mushroom collecting, cooking, identification, and safety tips. Talk fungus on the FFSC forums!

Bay Area Mycological Society

"Mushroom of the month" articles, information on poisonings, resources for local mushroom enthusiast groups and publications.

The Mycota of Santa Cruz County: Projects

Learn about  mycology research in SC county, and get involved in citizen science projects.

General Resources

Mycological Society of America

MSA is dedicated to the study of the fungal kingdom. MSA hosts a peer-reviewed mycological journal and maintains a bi-monthly fungus newsletter.

California Mushrooms Descriptions and Photographs

An index of 600+ fungus species known in California; with images, keys, a glossary, and information on edible species. Frequently being updated.