Norris Center Mycology & Citizen Science Initiative

Christian Schwarz teaching a class about local fungi

The Norris Center is proud to support a rebirth of UCSC's introductory mycology course. Although plants and animals have many courses dedicated to their study, the other megadiverse kingdom of Eukaryotic life doesn't have a broad natural history course associated with it. Thankfully, we are making headway on remedying this situation! We're excited to take advantage of the uniquely-suitable, heavily forested UCSC Campus to explore the biodiversity of fungi that surround us!

Christian Schwarz (expert local naturalist and author of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast) will teach the course during winter quarter, with an emphasis both on field observation and documentation, as well as reading classic texts and cutting-edge primary literature on this fascinating group of organisms. Students will become very familiar with the use of citizen science tools both to add observations as well as to download and analyze large-scale data. Students will also be introduced to methods in DNA extraction, use of bioinformatics databases, and herbarium curation techniques.

Recent publications featuring Christian Schwarz