Willamsburg Libraries Event Calendar

Date: 5/19/2018
Time: 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Title: The Wondrous World of Mushrooms
Contact: Katie Krol, 4132687472
Location: Hawks~Hayden Room and outdoor walk
The Wondrous World of Mushrooms: an introductory talk on mushroom identification and the life of fungi, with a guided walk on Hilltown Land Trust conservation land
Saturday, May 19th, noon - 3:30 PM
Meekins Library & Hilltown Land Trust's Bradley property, Williamsburg
Mt. Holyoke Professor and mushroom enthusiast Shawn Massoni will give a talk on beginning mushroom identification and the fascinating world of mushroom biology at the Meekins Library. The group will then head to the Bradley Property, a Hilltown Land Trust conservation area, to search for mushrooms in the woods! Shawn will aid in identification of fungi out in the field.

"Shawn Massoni's short Biography: I received my PhD from UMass Amherst in Microbiology, and have gone on to do postdoctoral research in virus-mediated gene therapy and bacterial genetics. I am currently a visiting professor at Mount Holyoke College, where I teach various courses in the biological sciences, including introductory biology, microbiology, bacterial genetics, parasitology and mycology. As a microbiologist, I’ve always been fascinated with the “unseen world” (actually the title of one of my general biology classes), which included the world of fungi. For as long as I can remember, I have been intrigued by mushrooms: are they plants? are they edible? are they going to kill me if I touch them? As a teenager, I was an “armchair” mycologist, reading about other people’s exploits and adventures, mostly on treks to find hidden psychedelic mushrooms in the darkest corners of the world. What I didn’t realize was that the fungal organisms in my own backyard were just as magical and mysterious as those in the rainforest. Prior to college, I began mushroom hunting, making up what I lacked in technical knowledge with what I had in aesthetic sensibility: looking for the beautiful, the bizarre, the intriguing. It was only later once I became more knowledgeable and increasingly bold that I started hunting mushrooms for food and medicine, which I have done for many years here in the northeast. While not technically a mycologist, I have a passion for fungi that has only increased as my knowledge and confidence increased. Therefore, I love to help others gain the knowledge that will help them to gain confidence in their own abilities to correctly identify the mushrooms around us and to appreciate their beauty and diversity. "

Bring your mushroom field guides and gear for venturing out into the woods. 

www.meekins-library.org           413-268-7472