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Naturalist Field Day: Lichens

October 13, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

$70 – $80
Delve deep into the study of lichens and never look at your forest the same way again.

Lichenologist, mycologist, and photographer Tim Wheeler leads this Naturalist Field Day on lichens.

Our locality has a high diversity of lichen species in an array of beautiful forms. Learn about the ecology and biology of lichens as you become comfortable identifying common species. We will also study available fungi. We will meet at MNHC for pastries and coffee before traveling by bus to the field site: Tim’s home in the Jocko valley. Our study area will be among the conifers in a shady, lichen-rich forest. We will break for a comfortable lunch outdoors or in Tim’s home depending on weather.

Begin by learning how to categorize lichen by thallus growth form. Then move from species to species finding distinguishing traits. We will look at habitat, substrate, and key features. By the end of the day you will be able to determine if a lichen is crustose, fruiticose, or foliose and be able to identify at least 10 species found in Western Montana. You will also be able to recognize many more by genus. From pixie cup to tattered rag bag, freckled pelt to brown-eyed sunshine, lichens are an excellent subject for study and enjoyment.

Check out this short National Geographic film (with Tim Wheeler!) to learn more about recent discoveries in lichen symbiosis.

What to Bring:

  • Lunch, water, snacks
  • Boots/walking shoes, layers, and warm clothes appropriate for the weather
  •  Journal
  • Camera (optional)

Reading Materials for the Curious:

Cost: $70 members/$80 non-members
Register online here.

Scholarships are available. Please call 406.327.0405 for more information. 


October 13, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
$70 – $80
Event Category:


Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory St.
Missoula, MT 59801 United States