BIO 315: Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada

Dates: June 2-7, 2024
Instructor: Brian Perry
Fee: $395.00 + meals and accommodations fees
Units: 1
Term: Summer 2024

Class Number: 1965  Section Number: 01Z

Course Description

A survey of the spring fungus of the Northern Sierra Nevada with an emphasis on fleshy fungi. Other kinds of fungi and fungus-like organisms including lichens, wood-rotting fungi and slime molds also may be examined.

orange fungi in bog

Instructor Bio

Brian Pery received a PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 2006, where he worked on the systematics and evolution of the Ascomycete family Pyronemataceae. From there Brian went on to a postdoctoral position at San Francisco State University and then joined the faculty at the University of Hawaii in 2009 as an assistant professor of Biology. In 2013 Brian accepted a faculty position at California State University East Bay, finally making it back to California where he was born and raised. Brian has been studying fungal diversity, systematics and evolution since 1995. In addition to documenting the mushrooms and other fungi of Vanuatu, Dr. Perry's research focuses on the assembly, dynamics and biogeography of island fungal communities, endophytic fungi of Hawaiian plants, California fungi, the systematics of Mycena and allied genera and the evolution of fungal bioluminesence. Brian teaches both introductory and advanced courses in mycology at CSU East Bay. Brian may be contacted with this email address:  His website is:

Course Details

Course Schedule

Participants should plan to arrive Sunday afternoon in time for dinner @ 6 pm and to attend an orientation lecture on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. The last class meeting ends at 12 p.m. on Friday.

Supplies List

Field equipment:

  • collecting basket
  • wax paper
  • small tackle box for collecting fragile and/or tiny specimens
  • sturdy knife
  • a small hand cultivator or garden trowel (for digging truffles)
  • a 10X hand lens

Required Textbook:

Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada, by D.E. Desjardin. The Instructor will have copies for purchase at SNFC. Please be sure to bring $25 cash or a personal check.

Additional Recommended Textbook:

California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide, by D.E. Desjardin, M.G. Wood and F.A. Stevens, Timber Press, 2015. Order at Timber Press or Amazon. A limited number of copies may be available for purchase at the SNFC

Lodging and Camping Supplies

Camping gear if you are staying on campus:

  • tent and sleeping pad (unless you are staying in our tent with a cot provided)
  • warm sleeping bag
  • pillow, toiletries, and towel
  • flashlight and lantern
  • alarm clock

Field gear for everyone:

  • day pack
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • water bottles
  • plastic containers for packed lunches
  • sense of humor

You might also want to bring:

  • camera
  • binoculars
  • hand lens
  • camp chair


The weather in the Sierra Nevada can vary greatly, even in a single day. Be prepared for chilly temperatures at night, even below freezing early in the summer. Rain is a possibility any time, whether forecast or not. Variable weather clothing that can be layered is best: long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, sun hat, rain gear, and a warm hat or gloves for cold weather and/or night activities. And, if you come later in the season, bring your swimsuit for afternoon dips in the lakes!