MycoGeeks

FFSC

Chances are you’ve seen some of these folks around a lot: leading a foray in the field, working up a mushroom ID, leading a class or providing updates at a meeting. What are their names? Or perhaps you’d like a face to go with posts on the Google Groups list. Follow along below for names, faces and intel.

Richard Lyness

Richard Lyness
Walk softly in the woods.

FFSC TITLE: President, Minister
MEMBER SINCE: 1995

Current FFSC President, Richard Lyness is a relatively recent convert to being partisan of mushrooms and fungus. He discovered FFSC 20 years ago, learning that most partisan appreciate good wine, value good food, and walk slowly through the woods. For the past several years, Richard has been our Program Minister and a partisan of the Culinary Committee. In his other life, Richard is a career counselor, executive coach, and an expert witness on vocational issues in Family Court. He also is an avid partisan in Chefs Lounge.
Philip D. Carpenter

Philip D. Carpenter
I'm a self-taught amateur mycologist who enjoys both studying and eating mushrooms.

FFSC TITLE: Programs Minister
MEMBER SINCE: 1984 (initial year of the FFSC)

Phil joined the FFSC the year it was formed and has been an active member ever since. He has served as an officer of the club for most of the nearly 30 years he has been a member, including 7 years as CEO in the 90s and years as Prime Minister. He has been a key member of the annual fungus fair planning committee for the past 20 years, including being the current co-chair. Adept at mushroom taxonomy, he serves as a resource for the local hospitals on mushroom poisoning cases. He also teaches mushroom identification classes for the Fungus Federation, for local park districts, for local and distant colleges and for private and institutional organizations throughout central California.
Christian Schwarz

Christian Schwarz
Curiouser and curiouser, my fascination with fungal cultures (both biological and human) only gets richer, the farther I fall down this rabbit hole...

FFSC TITLE: Minister of Science
MEMBER SINCE: Sometime in 2006

Christian is a taxonomic adviser for the club and the founder of the UCSC MycoTeam, and co-author of the upcoming field guide "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast." His interests are primarily taxonomic, but the complexities of ecology and evolutionary are never far from his mind. He is also author of the middlingly popular blog, "Notes of A Mycophile".
Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson
Before my hand... Stretched out for the mushroom... A butterfly breathing - Issa

FFSC TITLE: Minister emeritus
MEMBER SINCE: 1993

Since joining in 1993, Debbie has worn the hats of Membership, Sustenance, Culinary Events, CEO and Propaganda. A mycological dilettante, she enjoys both cooking and dyeing (with a y!) with mushrooms, and at obsessive moments even makes them of chocolate. The best part of mushrooming? Slowing down, observing and appreciating the incredible detail to be found in the woods.
John Brown

John Brown
Got Inocybes?

FFSC TITLE: Minister emeritus
MEMBER SINCE: 1992

John started started his ministership in Stores and finished in Science. In recent years his attention has been devoted to an independent study of the genus Inocybe, with mentoring from Dr. Dennis Desjardin. John is known for his patience and good humor, especially with novice mushroomers. PiPi Valley remains his favorite place to hunt boletes.
Hugh Smith

Hugh Smith
There's a whole world out there waiting to be discovered!

FFSC TITLE: Minister emeritus
MEMBER SINCE: maybe 2007
WEBSITE: Hugh Erle Smith

... started out as a child... growing up in the tide pools of the Pacific coast with my marine biologist mother. Since before he could remember, Hugh acquired an intense interest in all of the wonders that nature has to offer. Latin became his second language. Later Hugh became interested in photography, and then his brother took him on his first mushroom hunt in Fort Bragg, California. It was a very successful mushroom hunt! It was a full blown Boletus edulis season. Hugh had never seen a mushroom so big! And there were so many. Being already accustomed to the Macro world he was hooked. Photographing mushrooms is much easier than photographing Nudibranchs in the tide pools. Living in Northern California (Yuba City) he does most of the hunting there and the Pacific Coast. Hugh carries his camera everywhere he goes. There's a whole world out there waiting to be discovered!
Noah Siegel

Noah Siegel

FFSC TITLE: Itinerant Taxonomist
MEMBER SINCE: Sometime in 2010

Noah Siegel's field mycology skills are extensive – he has spent over two decades seeking, photographing, identifying and furthering his knowledge about all aspects of macrofungi. He has hunted for mushrooms throughout the United States and Canada, as well as on multiple expeditions to New Zealand and Australia. He is one of the premier mushroom photographers in the nation, having won numerous awards from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) photography contest. Noah has spent the last four years traveling up and down the Californian coast, amassing pictures of over a thousand species!

He is currently working on, with Christian Schwarz, A Guide to Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, a comprehensive book to northern Californian mushrooms. He serves as a trustee for the Northeast Mycological Federation and is the northeast representative to NAMA, as well as the chair of the NAMA Foray Committee and also serves on NAMA's Photography Committee.
Adam Ryszka

Adam Ryszka
You can't find them all, but I am sure going to try!

FFSC TITLE: Minister emeritus
MEMBER SINCE: Late 2006

Adam has been very active with the FFSC from the day he joined and within a year was nominated and elected Minister of Local Forays. He brings to the club a first-hand knowledge of the north-western woods of Santa Cruz county, having wandered through them for many years. Ever present at local events, especially the Fungus Fair, he has become a familiar face to many. Active in outreach for the FFSC, he has volunteered his time for mushroom related events with UCSC, the YMCA, local Scout troops and the Monterrey Natural History Museum. Currently he is working with local researchers and citizen scientists on field studies and transforming that data into modern media (web, video, digital publication). And of course he is also engaged on that never ending search for deeper woods and greener meadows...
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