Recently the Arizona Mushroom Society was pleased to be able to provide a $1000 research support grant to lichenologist Dr. Frank Bungartz at the ASU School of Life Sciences. He is the curator of the ASU Lichen Herbarium and the chief botanist of the Charles Darwin Foundation of the Galápagos Islands.
These funds will be used for acquisition of 3-D photogrammetry software that will allow detailed observation and analysis of lichenous weathering of Native American petroglyphs (rock art) in Arizona and beyond. Initially they will be working with archaeologists at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve in North Phoenix and the Verde Valley Archaeological Center at the V-Bar-V Ranch near Sedona.
Many of our members will recall the lichenology lecture that Prof. Bungartz has delivered to our society, or the multiple events that we have held in his classroom at the ASU Natural History Collections building. We can all be proud that that our fundraising efforts have allowed us to reciprocate this support, to the advancement of scientific knowledge and the preservation of our cultural heritage.
If you are particularly interested in the science of lichens, which are (despite their humble appearance) some of the most interesting and complex organisms in the Kingdom of Fungi, there are volunteer opportunities available with Dr. Bungartz' research group, and he instructs Lichenology classes for credit or audit at ASU. He is also soliciting donations to a GoFundMe campaign to provide scholarships for scientists from Latin American countries to attend the 9th Symposium of the International Association for Lichenology (IAL9) in Bonito, Brazil, August 2-7, 2020. We encourage our members to support this cause.