Beginning Microscopy for the Amateur Mycologist
Posted by pabloski on February 03 2012 13:58
A few years ago, NYMS held a Beginners Microscopy Class. It was well attended; many of the participants now incorporate microscopy into their mushroom observations. While we do a little microscopy at our Monday Night meetings, time does not allow for a thoroughgoing exploration of these techniques.
We have decided therefore, to have another class to accommodate new members who have joined NYMS in the intervening years.
The sessions are scheduled for June-July when the Myxomycetes appear and the late spring fungi are fruiting. These will be the grist for our observations.
This class is open to NYMS members only.
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Beginning Microscopy for the Amateur Mycologist (Naturalist)
Four evenings, 2 hour sessions each Monday evening, June 11, 18, 25, July 2 or 9 (depending on the July 4 weekend), 6:30-8:30 PM, Downtown Community Center, 120 Warren Street, New York, NY. Paul Sadowski and Cristina Rodriguez study group leaders.
First session, hardware: Introduction to the compound microscope, calibration of the eyepiece reticle, illuminating the specimen, care and feeding of slides, cover slips, mounting fluid, reagents, dyes, razor blades and miscellania. A brief look at spores of Stemonitis splendens and other myxomycetes.
Second session, Myxomycete dissection continued, spores and capillitia under the objective and their use in keys and the literature. Introduction to gilled mushroom dissection, mounting and observation.
Third session, working with dried material, a look at cystidia and basidia in specimens of Pluteus cervinus. Coordinated look at Largent's book on microscopic analysis in mushroom identification.
Fourth session, observation strategies for basidiomycetes, observation of hyphae in polypores, observation of ascomycetes.
Each student is encouraged to bring their own equipment and supplies. The Society has a microscope available for use by students without microscopes but that will necessarily cut down on the time available to each student. The Society will provide a small quantity of supplies: slides, cover slips, dyes, mounting fluid, etc. Once again, the availability will be limited.
We will make authorized copies of Leo Tanghe's Primer on microscopy. One is encouraged to purchase Identifying Mushrooms to Genus III: Microscopic Features by David Largent (Mad River Press). We will arrange a bulk purchase to save on postage.
The student should purchase for their own use (alone or in a group purchase): glass slides (1”x3”), cover slips, razor blades, tweezers (fine), dissecting pins, tissues, small squeeze bottles of ammonium hydrate or potasium hydroxide, Meltzer’s reagent, phloxine, immersion (or mineral) oil and ethyl alcohol. Of course, each student should bring a compound microscope with a maximum magnification of 1000x fitted with an eyepiece reticle. A stage micrometer will be available for calibrating the reticle. Three ring binder with notebook paper and pen(s). The Downtown Community Center cannot accommodate the storage of personal equipment or supplies, it is a carry in-carry out situation.
The objective of the class is to introduce the student to the microscope as a tool in mushroom identification. Like our Monday Night Identification sessions the meeting is collaborative under the guidance of the group leader.
As we will be handling dangerous implements and chemicals as well as expensive equipment each student will be expected to sign a waiver indemnifying the Society, the DCC, the group leader and other students from any personal injury incurred in the activity of the study group.
We hope that each student will attend all four sessions, as the course is conceived as a whole.
Please contact Paul Sadowski for further information and to indicate interest in attending these sessions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration will be limited to 20 students. Minimum registration fee is $65. Materials and literature should come to an additoinal $45-50. We will be giving priority to students new to microscopy.