The Pacific Northwest Fungus Master is back! Author of Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (a must-have reference for this part of Alaska) and Tricholomas of North America, Steve will once again grace us with his vast myco-knowledge. He has been identifying and photographing mushrooms and studying their ecology for over 30 years. Steve belongs to the Mycological Society of America, North American Mycological Association, and the International Mycorrhiza Society, writes for several mycological publications, and frequently serves as foray mycologist or invited lecturer for mycological societies and other nature groups. His research interests include the roles of fungi in forest nutrient cycling (bio excerpt borrowed from Timberpress). Copies of his books will be available for purchase at the Fungus Fair, along with autograph opportunities!
Kitty LaBounty got her botanical start as a young girl growing up in Oregon collecting plants and lichens in the basket of her bicycle. While working towards a degree in botany at the University of Washington, she journeyed to Southeast Alaska as a student volunteer botanists for the USFS ecosystem inventory and mapping project. She fell in love with the region and has now made Sitka her home for more than 30 years.
In addition to her life-long interest in plant ecology and identification, Ms. LaBounty is a passionate gardener, wild food harvester, and dabbler in fungi and lichen-based natural dyes. She enjoys sharing her passions with others - listeners of Raven Radio (KCAW) may recognize her voice as one of the long-time hosts of the Garden Show. She has regularly taught a fall mushroom workshop in Sitka, and worked with many students at the University of Alaska Southeast on science examining the relationships and roles of fungi in the ecosystem. More recently, she has piloted a course on the Flora of Southeast Alaska for the University of Alaska.
In 2017 LaBounty is taking part in the Sitka Big Year Project, an effort to document all of the fungi, flora and fauna of the greater Sitka area and will be happy to talk about highlights of the project with anyone interested.
Karen Dillman has worked with lichen dyes for over 25 years. She is an ecologist with the Forest Service on the Tongass National Forest in Petersburg. She has conducted field work in lichenology with various national and international experts in many lichen-rich parts of Alaska and the world. She obtained an MS in Plant Biology with an emphasis on lichens from Arizona State University.
Craig Ziolkowski is an amateur mycologist who started foraging wild foods as a child with his grandparents in Wisconsin. Initially interested in mycophagy, Craig quickly learned that to ensure his harvest was safe to eat and possibly share with others, he must also be comfortable with the identification of the many “look-a-like” species. After countless trips to the forest and numerous forays he continues to learn about and appreciate the fungal species of Alaska and the wonderful people encountered along the way. Prior to arriving in Alaska, Craig has worked directly with applied mycotechnologies in the fields of: phytoremediation, soil restoration, horticulture, and fermentation. More recently, he has been involved with several large anadromous fish and marine mammal research projects throughout the state of Alaska. Craig enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and is a proud member of the Turnagain Arm Mycological Society, as well as the North American Mycological Association and the Wisconsin Mycological Society.
Far North Fungi
Gabe DeGange and Allison Dunbar started Far North Fungi in January 2017.Their mushroom journey began much earlier. They were both inspired to pursue mushrooms by a speech given by a famous mycologist at the Bioneers conference in 2011. Allison watched in the audience in California while Gabe watched remotely in Alaska. Two years later, Gabe and Allison would meet at Paul Stamets' Fungi Perfecti mushroom cultivation conference. Their connection over mushrooms grew stronger as Allison worked on a mushroom farm in Atlanta and Gabe dreamed of starting his own mushroom business.
In the Summer of 2014, Allison came to visit Alaska and see the progress Gabe was making on his business. After networking and exploring the great Alaskan outdoors, they decided it was advantageous to combine their skills and become business partners.Through much hard work, second jobs, trials and errors, the mushroom vision was realized and Far North Fungi was born.
Kate Mohatt has co-organized the Girdwood Fungus Fair since its inception in 2008. She is the Prince William Sound zone ecologist based in Girdwood
and co-authored the Mushrooms of the National Forests in Alaska brochure. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR and completed a Masters in Plant Science at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT studying mycorrhizal fungi associated with whitebark pine. She has been collecting fungi in Alaska since 2006, with annual trips to the west coast in the fall to extend the mushroom season.