Absolutely! The MST is a volunteer-run organization and would appreciate your time and energy! Please contact the MST and let us know your skills and interests and how you'd like to help.
Don't worry if you don't know how you can help - just get in touch and we'll find something for you to do!
Welcome to Mycology walks
Guides for Welcome to Mycology walks prepare new members for the next level, Introduction to Field Identification, and teach:
- Safety in the woods (whistles, ticks, weather, poison ivy, etc.)
- Ethical and responsible mushrooming
- How to further participate and increase their knowledge
- The life cycle of fungi
- Examples of different categories used in field identification (gilled mushrooms, polypores, etc.)
- The role of fungi in the environment
If you've completed the requirements for Welcome to Mycology walks yourself and can attend Introduction to Field Identification walks, then you know everything you need to be a guide for Welcome to Mycology walks.
Introduction to Field Identification walks
Guides for Introduction to Field Identification walks prepare members for independent Intermediate Field Identification forays, and teach:
- What features of mushrooms are important for identification, and how to recognize the differences (eg. gills, ring, veil, texture and colour of various features, relationships with trees)
- How to use field guides, online resources and identification keys to identify mushrooms
- How to collect, document and prepare specimens
- How to take spore prints
- How to know which specimens are suitable for identification, and which groups of mushrooms are worth it for novices to try to identify
- How and why to use loupes and magnifiers
If you've completed the requirements for Introduction to Field Identification walks yourself and can attend Intermediate Field Identification forays, then you know everything you need to be a guide for Introduction to Field Identification walks.
Intermediate Field Identification forays
Intermediate Field Identification foray leaders are definitely experts! They recognize many species on sight and can identify many others quickly. It takes lots of practice and identification to get to this level! If this is you, we definitely want to hear from you! The MST always needs more expert identifiers.
Each Intermediate Field Identification foray also needs several volunteers to assist the foray leader with keeping people organized and safe, and making sure all foray attendees are accounted for when the foray is over. Expert identification skills are not required to be an assistant, and it's a great way to learn from the experts.
The MST is always looking for walk guide and foray leader volunteers. Please email the Foray Director and let us know you'd like to help!