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Members can read the most recent Society newsletter at the following link:

Public news and announcements are as follows:
  • 07 Feb 2020 12:37 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)

    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.

  • 30 Apr 2019 10:21 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)

    Tonight at midnight, the rosters for our upcoming morel forays open for registration.

    The scheduled foray dates, destinations, and leaders are as follows:

     Sat 5/4/19  Flagstaff/Sedona  C. May
     Sun 5/5/19  Mogollon Rim  C. May
     Wed 5/8/19  Mogollon Rim  T. Clements
     Thu 5/9/19  Mt. Graham  C. May
     Fri/Sat 5/25-26  Kaibab Plateau  M. Dechter

    Remember, tonight and for the next two days, you can register for ONE foray only. On and after May 3, you can register for any remaining spaces in any foray, or put yourself on the waiting list if it's full. We often have cancellations, so please do get on the waiting list if you want to go on a foray that's already filled. There's a decent chance you'll get it.

    Mike Dechter and Chris May have also decided to push back the North Rim foray from the original weekend of May 11-12 to the weekend of May 24-25. Mike's sources on the Kaibab National Forest tell him there is still so much snow up there that the roads to our target area will certainly not be open by May 11. In fact, northern Arizona is predicted to have a cool, wet month of May, and it is possible that the trip may even be pushed back into June, especially if there are more snowstorms. But good things will come to those who wait. We were also receiving some squawks about Mother's Day on the 12th, so it makes sense to make the move to a later date. Sorry for the last minute adjustments. 

    As always, any of our forays may be subject to rescheduling or cancellation, as conditions and events warrant.

    As events unfold and our schedules are solidified, it is possible that we will be adding a few more forays. There may be a Saturday 5/11 or Sat/Sun 5/18-19 foray going out, which will be added to the event page and opened for registration beginning next week.

  • 06 Feb 2019 11:00 AM | Christopher May (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Dr. Chester Leathers Graduate Student Scholarship has been awarded to Nicole Colón-Carrión, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Betsy Arnold's lab at the University of Arizona School of Plant Sciences.

    Ms. Colón-Carrión is studying the role of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi for urgent reforestation of hurricane-damaged forest ecosystems, focusing on the biodiverse native forest communities in Puerto Rico that were severely impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

    Her work aims to develop new strategies to restore severely damaged ecosystems expediently and effectively through beneficial fungi that help plants become established, tolerate stress, obtain nutrients, and use water efficiently. Moreover, it will provide hands-on and meaningful educational experiences for Puerto Rican students whose education has been affected by the hurricane and its economic and social consequences.

    The research program has three main aims overall:

    • Aim 1: Analyze the abundance, diversity, and composition of mycorrhizal fungi in roots from 6 native species of trees in Puerto Rico. 
    • Aim 2: Assess the effects of mycorrhizal-symbiotic relationships and native species of Puerto Rico by inoculating seedlings of five dominant forest trees and analyzing growth effects in a greenhouse setting. 
    • Aim 3: Quantify the efficacy of mycorrhizal fungi in improving reforestation success by transplantation and growth experiments in highly damaged forest ecosystems.

    These goals will be supported by a program of local outreach and citizen science participation, which is a topic of great interest to a number of our more scientifically-oriented Society members. Ms. Colón-Carrión has indicated that she will be coming to our annual foray or winter meeting to give us a presentation on her work, which we are eager to hear.

    Our award comes with a $1000 grant, which will be used for transportation expenses to and within Puerto Rico to allow her to continue her field work. We wish her all success in this important endeavor, and are pleased to be able to play a small part in supporting it. 

    The Leathers Scholarship was established by the AMS in 2017 to honor our Founding President Emeritus, Dr. Chester Leathers, retired Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at ASU. It provides an annual grant to a graduate student in a mycology-related field at one of the state universities of Arizona.

  • 01 Jan 2019 3:23 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)
    The AMS has completed 2018 in good financial shape. Income for the year was $17,335.54 and expenses were $8,168.67, giving us a net income on a cash basis of $9,166.87.

    We presently hold $19,356.40 in liquid assets between our Wells Fargo checking account and our PayPal account. Of that sum, $4,938.00 is allocated to the Chet Leathers Scholarship fund and the rest is unrestricted.

    It should be noted that we still are liable for an outstanding debt of approximately $4,000 for the food and hotel charges at the August 2018 annual foray, for which we have not yet been billed by the Sunrise Park resort due to some internal turmoil in their management. On an accrual basis, that would give us a more realistic "net worth" of approximately $15,000 and a net annual income of around $5000.

    If you would like to see the more detailed Statement of Financial Activities (the non-profit equivalent of an income statement or profit/loss statement), it is at this link:

    2018 AMS Statement of Financial Activities

    If you wish to see the Statement of Financial Position, i.e. the non-profit version of a balance sheet, it is at this link:

    2018 AMS Statement of Financial Position

    Naturally, as a non-profit corporation, any or all of the receipts and other supporting documentation for our financial affairs is available for any member to inspect on demand. 

    The Board is grateful for the generosity of the members of the Society, and eager to use the financial stability it provides to advance the educational, scientific, and charitable purposes of our organization to even greater heights in 2019.

  • 09 Jul 2018 10:22 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)
    Congratulations to the new and continuing members of the AMS Board of Directors, Executive Officers, and Committee Chairs.

    Mike Dechter of Flagstaff is your new President. Terri Clements is Vice President, Christopher May is Corresponding Secretary, Nathan Markham is Treasurer, and Winter Zeiler the Recording Secretary. 
  • 04 Dec 2017 12:14 AM | Christopher May (Administrator)

    Here is a brief updating on the financial affairs of the AZ Mushroom Society as of Dec. 4th. These are preliminary numbers that will likely change before the end of the year. 

    We currently have 421 members in good standing, living in 305 different households. 10 of our members are Life Members. 

    The Society holds $9,986.81 in assets (Wells Fargo checking account and PayPal account) and has no liabilities. Total revenue so far this year is $22,715.20, of which $500 is donations, $3555.01 is membership dues, and $18,660.19 is from our special events, particularly the NAMA foray. Our total operating expenses have been $18,660.17, about $16,700 of which were spent on special events, so our net increase in assets for the year thus far is $4,055.03. 

    At Saturday's meeting, we will discuss programs of charitable, scientific, and educational value that we can fund with our surplus. If you have an idea, please come to the meeting and speak up, or contact one of the officers of the society.

    If anyone would like to see our financial statements, they are available for inspection here:

    We can also provide supporting documentation to anyone who requests it.
  • 03 Dec 2017 5:24 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)
    Quite a lot of our members have set up automatic dues payments from their PayPal account to the Society's PayPal. Unfortunately, I have had to suspend these recurring payments, at least for now. It has turned out to be an accounting nightmare because of the way PayPal handles these payments, which is entirely incompatible with our bookkeeping software.

    Additionally, I did not realize until recently that if you enable annual renewals in our member management program, they become MANDATORY, unless you cancel them afterwards. Enough people have done so that it appears that this has been an annoyance to some of our members.

    If your automatic renewal has already gone through for this year, you need do nothing until your 2018 membership is about to expire next December. If it has not yet been paid, or if you set up your membership account before the recurring payments option was allowed, then you'll need to take action to pay with PayPal or a check just the same as we did last year. Remember, if your dues are in arrears after April 1, your membership is suspended and you'll miss out on morel season with us. 

    Those of you who are new members that joined on or after Sep. 1, you are already members for all of next year. You need not pay for a 2018 membership. I will ensure that your renewal date is changed to 1/1/19 in order to reflect this. 
  • 21 Nov 2017 12:19 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)

    The Arizona Mushroom Society and its members have made it into the news a few times recently.  

    Our longtime member Terry Stone wrote a nicely illustrated article about Arizona mushroom hunting for the Globe/Miami Times:

    This story from the Lumberjack, the student newspaper of NAU in Flagstaff, quotes AMS President Chris May at length: 

    Here is a story from KNAU, the PBS affiliate in Flagstaff, about the Flagstaff Arboretum's Mushroom Festival. The mushroom shaped glasses worn by our Foray Director, Mike Dechter, are especially fetching: 

    This story from last year in Indian Country Today describes the wild food dinner we had at our 2016 Annual Foray, prepared for us by Chef Nephi Craig of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Those who were there will long remember the delicious multi-course dinner we enjoyed, consisting entirely of foods that would have been available in the Americas in Pre-Columbian times:

    The Payson Roundup reported on all of the wild food that can be found in Rim Country, with a shout-out to the AMS:

    The Phoenix PBS affiliate, KJZZ, published two stories on Arizona mushroom hunting last year, quoting our members Erik Nelson and Jim Warnecke:

    Lastly, you might be interested in this article from FUNGI Magazine about the activities of citizen-scientists in mycology, including our own superstar Terri Clements, who is quoted and singled out for praise:

    That's it for now, but I'm sure there will be more as time goes by. If you write any stories like these, or are interviewed or quoted in one, or just see something in the news about our Society or Arizona mushrooms in general, let us know!

  • 28 Jul 2017 8:20 PM | Christopher May (Administrator)

    Laurel Leathers sends the following update on our friend and Founding President Emeritus, Dr. Chester Leathers:

    Rose Mary Leathers asked if I would drop you a quick line to let you know why she and Chet have not been participating in the mushroom activities. You may have heard already, but Chet suffered a mild heart attack in May which led to by-pass surgery. He is on the road to recovery but not yet up to long outings. 

    As for me, I have knee replacement surgeries planned for this year. That is what has kept me out of the hunts. Hopefully next year I can get my new bionic knees out in the woods again.  

    I miss all of my friends in the club and wish everyone a great season.


    Laurel Leathers 

    We assuredly wish both of them a speedy recovery, and look forward to the pleasure of their presence at our future functions. 

  • 04 May 2017 10:46 AM | Christopher May (Administrator)
    Got this announcement from our friends in New Mexico today. I am very tempted to attend. --CCM

    The New Mexico Mycological Society will hold its 2017 Foray at Sipapu Ski Resort, approx 25 miles south of Taos, NM. The dates are August 24-27, two weeks after the Regional Foray in Arizona and the weekend following the popular Telluride Mushroom Festival

    NMMS welcomes and encourages members of NAMA and NAMA-affiliates to join us and our Foray Mycologists Rick Kerrigan, Michael Castellano, and Clark Ovrebo. Field trips will take us into the Carson National Forest, where we'll visit elevations from 8000 to 11,000 ft. 
    Foray participants are responsible of reserving their own lodging, which is limited. So get on the phone with Sipapu, and reserve a room.

    Foray Details and Registration Form are available at

Copyright (c) 2015-19, Arizona Mushroom Society, Inc. • 3219 E Camelback Rd #176 Phoenix, AZ 85018
The AMS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, tax-deductible Arizona non-profit corporation.

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