Learn to identify common California lichens, and learn to hear the stories they tell
Is life feeling a bit tedious and dull these days? Do you feel a general sense ennui, angst, or other existential pain? Does it all seem to be a bit too much?
Most likely, the problem is that you’re not looking at enough lichens. Lichens are symbiotic organisms–fungi living with photosynthesizing partners–that are all around us. Lichens are beautiful, and they also play critical roles in ecosystems. As small organisms that are sensitive to fine-scale environmental conditions, lichens can be used as powerful ecological indicators. Once you begin to pay attention to lichens you can hear the stories they’re telling about the world around us.
Join Dr. Jesse Miller for a look at some of the diverse lichens of Golden Gate Park. We’ll learn to identify some common lichens, and also discuss their ecological roles. We’ll walk a mile or two, moving slowly and looking at the cool lichens around us. Everyone is welcome, but please leave your dogs at home. No previous experience with lichens is needed.
A $5-25 donation to support lichen research is requested at registration, but not required (pay what you can). Private lichen and plant identification lessons are also available with the instructor.
Space is limited so please register early to ensure you get a spot. The specific location where we will meet will be sent upon registration.
Instructor bio: Jesse Miller has worked with lichens since 2007. After several years working as a field botanist and lichenologist in Oregon and California, he completed his PhD in plant ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He now teaches ecology at Stanford. His recent research includes studying the effects of larger, hotter wildfires on lichen diversity in the Sierra Nevada. For more info, see his website: jesseedmiller.com