|Mosses in the Field: A New Approach to Moss IdentificationInstructor: Jerry Jenkins|
Dates: August 22nd – 28th, 2021Description: A new course, focused on field identification, emphasizing macroscopic characters and ecological patterns. Field identification is hard but possible: most most of our mosses can be identified to genus or species in the field. We have created this course, and a suite of new books, charts, and digital tools, to help. It is designed for students with some lab and field experience who want to get the next level. It could be taken by a beginner, but it would have to be a brave one. The course will cover five habitats and about 60 species, traveling a little farther from Eagle Hill and visiting different habitats than we do in our introductory course. It is structured as a series of problems. Each day we pick a habitat, prepare by studying moss maps and our mobile moss forest (MMF) indoors, and then try to identify as many as we can in the field. When we can’t, we bring them back and put them under the microscope. At the end of each day, we make a map of the site we visited and discuss who is and isn’t there and why. Our goal to spend lots of time handling, comparing, and enjoying mosses, indoors and out. Nothing works better, and nothing is more fun.Resources: Our core texts are Mosses of the Northern Forest and the accompanying set of moss maps(Jerry Jenkins, 2020, Cornell University Press), the Ecological Guide to Mosses of New England (Sue Williams, Cornell, 2022, we have prepublication copies) and the Digital Atlas of Northern Forest Mosses (Jerry Jenkins, 2020, Northern Forest Atlas). For lab identification we use the Graphic Guide to Northeastern Mosses (Jerry Jenkins, 2008, Northern Forest Atlas) and Maine Mosses (Bruce Allen, 2005, 2014, New York Botanical Garden.