Identifying Lichens to Genus, CSU Chico Herbarium, April 14, 2018


Identifying Lichens to Genus

Date/Time: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 9:00am- 4:00pm
Location: California State University Chico Herbarium
Instructor: Tom Carlberg (

Course Fee: please refer to Friends of the Chico State Herbarium, www.
Registration: via Friends of the Chico State Herbarium,

There are reported to be 5,241 species of lichens in 733 genera in North America and more than 1,800 species in California, yet few people are able to place names on even the most common lichens, which means that an essential component of most natural resource inventories is lacking. Opportunities to learn about identifying lichens are infrequent, although the basic characters used in identification can easily be learned in a day.

This one-day workshop will focus on identifying the lichens of the lower Sierra Nevada foothills to genus. The morning will be spent covering lichen basics – anatomy, morphology, and reproduction of lichens. Lunch will be spent in the field, with lichens, and possibly some hands-on collecting. In the afternoon will be back in the lab for guided exploration, using dissecting microscopes, reference materials, chemical spot tests, and vouchers and a key provided by the instructor. Please bring dissecting tools, a hand lens, a thumb drive, and lunch. Participants will benefit more from the workshop if they are experienced with using dichotomous keys.

Tom Carlberg has a degree in Botany from Humboldt State University. He has been a cryptogamic botanist for 19 years, working for governmental agencies, private contractors, and non-profit organizations. His current special interest is ageing lichens that grow on the leaves of evergreen vascular plants. He is the president of the California Lichen Society (CALS), past editor of the Bulletin of the California Lichen Society, and chair of the Society’s grants committee. In addition to CALS, he also belongs to the American Bryological and Lichenological Society and the British Lichen Society.

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