A free mycological curriculum, a cover in Science Magazine, an article in the New York Times, new partnerships and collaborations and much more!
First of all, THANK YOU for supporting the work we do for the fungi. Did you know that we turned 10 this year? We want to include you in our journey and share our progress with you.
Our free mycological curriculum is published in English and accessible to all! Teachers and educators can use this comprehensive study program to teach students the wonders of fungi. Together with Reconsider and Fantastic Fungi we’ve created a standard guide for teachers to bring mycology lessons into their classes, along with many other free resources that are part of Fungi Education.
We've had over 1,800 enrollments from 44 countries! We've also hosted 9 training webinars for teachers, which you can use to learn how to teach some of the curriculum lessons.
We visited schools and taught lessons from the curriculum in the USA and Chile to almost 500 students.
We partnered with Ecovative who sponsored this program and, who created a mycelium grow kit lesson and provided us with kits and materials to distribute to schools in the USA.
Click here to visit our Fungi Education website and enroll in our free global mycological curriculum. Spanish version coming soon!
This year we sampled mycorrhizal fungi in soil alongside Toby Kiers from the Society for the Protection of the Underground (SPUN), biologist Merlin Sheldrake and musician and acoustic ecologist Cosmo Sheldrake. The expedition to northern Patagonia, Chile, was the start of a global sampling effort by SPUN to create maps of arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity. These open-source maps will help chart underground mycorrhizal systems, and determine carbon sequestration hotspots among others, and document new and existing fungal species able to withstand drought and high temperatures.
The old-growth forests of Melimoyu, Chile, were explored alongside Swiss mycologist from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada Dr. Jean-Marc Moncalvo. Film director Mateo Barrenengoa joined the expedition and soon we will have a new documentary to show. Stay tuned!
As our last expedition this year, Giuliana Furci joined the research team for British author Robert Macfarlane's upcoming book "Is a River Alive?”. The group included Colombian lawyer César Rodríguez-Garavito from New York University, and musician/acoustic ecologist Cosmo Sheldrake to explore the Los Cedros Biological Reserve in north-western Ecuador which was recently protected from copper and gold mining by the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court based on Rights of Nature articles in their Constitution.
In partnership with Micolab and IUCN SSC FUNCC, we held the 2nd Fungal Redlist Workshop of South America, where nine mycologists from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay were trained in the use of the IUCN criteria for the evaluation of fungal species and their threat of extinction. Ten species have already been evaluated, 4 of which are in a threatened category.
Did you see our Fungal Elders short documentary? We are striving to document all ancestral uses of fungi and how they are related to humans since the beginning of documented time. For this purpose, we are creating a comprehensive global map according to the Elder’s Program Ethical Guidelines we have developed internally.
This year our media partner in Chile, Ladera Sur, held their LS Festival for the first time. The Fungi Foundation was part of the event with an interactive stand that attracted people of all ages to explore our fungal samples, magnifying glasses, field guides and short documentaries. Giuliana Furci was the main speaker on the last day, where she gave a powerful talk and closed the three-day festival.
Together with the Museo Interactivo Mirador (MIM) in Chile, we are creating the first permanent mycological exhibition in the country that combines the fungi kingdom, innovation, science, and art. We started by giving all the museum staff an introductory class about fungi and during the next months we will start planning the final interactive exhibition.
“Fruiting Bodies: An exploration of mushrooms through a decolonial lens” is an ongoing three three-part virtual series by the Museum of Food and Drink of New York (MoFAD), which had Giuliana Furci as their first speaker. Curated and moderated by journalist and writer Simran Sethi, the conversation ranged from the magic of mushrooms as instigators of restoration and connection to the importance of extending the focus on conservation beyond fauna and flora to include funga.
Together with Alma Institute, during July we held a fundraising event to support "Historias y Memorias Mazateca", an ethnographic project that aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the Mazatec people. Inti García Flores, custodian and guardian of a very important historical archive of the Mazatec culture, taught the audience about the importance of sacred mushrooms in the Mazatec culture; the legacy of Chojn Chijné Maria Sabina Magdalena García and the ritual of the sacred mushrooms. All funds are being used to restore, digitalize, catalog, and preserve an archive that includes journals, video footage, ceremonial textiles and jewelry, and an abundance of historical artifacts, which are currently endangered by climate damage.
Starting this year, people in Chile can play a new fungal board game. The Fungi Foundation collaborated in the creation of “Mycelium” with scientific advice to make sure the game is as accurate as possible. We were also part of the creation of the new “Fungi Route” in Santiago’s main urban park, a self guided trek that takes visitors into the history of the area and connects them with the surrounding funga.
Special thanks to all our volunteers and interns, who have been essential to all of our programs. The year 2022 proved to be one of our most successful years, thanks in a huge part to your support. We will continue to work for the fungi, their habitats and the people who depend on them during 2023.