Education Committee

For Our Members
  • A goal of the Education Committee of the Mycological Society of San Francisco is to help new members learn about fungi common to the greater Bay Area and Northern California. To achieve this end we schedule local walks called Quick Start Forays. These walks are usually held on the second Saturday or Sunday of the month from October through May to observe, discuss and inform members about mushrooms & other fleshy or woody fungi that might be present at that time. Where and when possible, specimens are collected and field characters important in identification are pointed out. These weekend outings precede the monthly third Tuesday MSSF general meeting where participants can get further information about mushrooms found on the forays. Check the MSSF calendar for specific days, times & locations.
  • Another way the MSSF helps to educate novice members about fungi is through periodic classroom sessions on fungal terminology, life cycle and habits. These evening sessions are usually held at San Francisco State University. Again, check the calendar for scheduling.
  • The MSSF also has an active cultivation committee that sponsors classes on how to cultivate various species of fungi. Check the cultivation link for information about any current or upcoming classes.
For the Public

In addition to providing members with information about fungi, the MSSF can also provide educational displays and literature for the general public. We are available to set up a display at events and have people on hand to discuss fungi, answer questions and display fresh fungi when available. If you or your group is interested in having the MSSF participate in an event please contact one of the educational committee chairs.


If your school or group would like to invite a member of the MSSF to speak or make a presentation to a class or meeting, contact one of the education committee chairs to see if arrangements can be made. Members of the MSSF are experienced in a variety of specialties related to fungi. Some of these areas include mushroom characteristics, identification, culinary, toxicology, cultivation, ecology and medicinal uses of fungi. Individuals may be available in your area to speak on a topic of interest to your age group.

Quick-Start Guide

One of the first tasks necessary in identifying a mushroom, or other fungus, is to recognize and describe important and distinguishing fungal characteristics. These include appearance features such as color, size, and shape as well as information about where the fungus grows including substrate, habitat and season. Once the mushroom’s characters are known, they can be used to begin the process of identifying it through the use of a field guide, web resource, or by providing a good description to an expert. To help collect this information we have developed a Quick Start Guide to record observations about mushrooms you find. It will serve as tool for collecting field information useful in identifying mushrooms. Click here to get started!

On November 11, 2021, a group went on a quick-start foray to McLaren Park in San Francisco; 23 fungal species were found, as well as 2 slime molds (PDF species list).

Education Chair:
Brennan Wenck-Reilly: