Fungus Among Us: Uncovering the Fascinating World of Mycology - Webinar

Thursday, November 16, 2023

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Enter the mysterious world of mycology (the study of fungi) with local experts Dr. Michael Beug and Krista Cushman.

Enter the mysterious world of mycology (the study of fungi) with local experts Dr. Michael Beug and Krista Cushman as they share their knowledge about fungi and more in the Columbia Gorge.

Register here.

Curious about what mushrooms can be found in the Gorge? What about how yeast mildew and mold can spread so rapidly? The field of mycology goes in depth into the ecology of these organisms.

Did you know that fungi are extremely important for forest ecosystems? Not only do mushrooms make a wonderful meal, but some species of fungi are vital for increasing plant biodiversity, decomposing woody material, and increasing plant water and nutrient uptake.

Join us on Thursday, November 16, at 6 p.m. PST for a free, live conversation with Dr. Beug, a local mycologist, and Krista Cushman, a local viticulturist. Live chat will be available during the webinar, so attendees can ask questions to our featured speakers.

The webinar will be recorded and uploaded to Friends' YouTube channel within a few days.

Featured Speakers:

Dr. Michael Beug taught chemistry, mycology and organic farming at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington for 32 years. He is active in the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) and the Pacific Northwest Key Council; a group dedicated to writing macroscopic keys for the identification of fungi. In addition to this new book, he coauthored Ascomycete Fungi of North America, published in 2014. His photographs have appeared in over 80 publications. He regularly writes about mushrooms for McIlvainea: Journal of American Amateur Mycology, The Mycophile (NAMA newsletter), and Fungi Magazine. Michael received the 2006 NAMA Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology and has prepared over two dozen presentations about mushrooms for the NAMA Education Committee. In 2017, mushroom expert Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti, created the Mike Beug Scholarship, in honor of the professor who helped shaped Stamets’ career as a mycologist.

Krista Cushman is a gardening, plant crazy, chicken loving viticulturist with a profound love for the Columbia Gorge. She spends her days outside looking for bugs, fungus, and mold in vineyards. Ever since the first autumn morning that she noticed the explosion of mushrooms in the forest she has been running into the woods with wonder and a hunger for knowledge whenever she finds a spare moment. In a different life, she received a master’s in education from Lewis and Clark and was inspired and guided by place-based education. Now she combines her love of foraging and the Columbia gorge with teaching. A yearning to know the forest and how each organism relates to one another fills her with a deep sense of awe and purpose. Sharing the outdoors with her daughters and cultivating their relationship with the woods is her great joy in life. If you find yourself walking through the woods, yodel and she just might yodel back.


Kenzie Hammond is a reptile and amphibian enthusiast and environmental educator. She joined Friends in April 2023 as the Youth & Community Education Specialist to lead Friends’ outdoor youth education efforts. Kenzie is also an adjunct professor at Clark College where she teaches Environmental Science and Pacific Northwest Reptiles and Amphibians. Prior to these roles, Kenzie worked at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife where she was a Chinook Salmon Spawning Ground Surveyor, as well as at the Oregon Zoo and OMSI where she was an educator. Kenzie received her master’s degree from Oregon State University in Fish and Wildlife Administration.