Closeup of different mushroom varieties in someones hand.

Juliana McCaig, an avid appreciator of fungi, shares her thoughts and experiences after completing the Introduction to Mycology course with Continuing Studies at UVic. This popular, self-paced community course is open to learners who want to dive deeper into the world of fungi. Here’s what Juliana had to say about her experience: 

What motivated you to choose this course?

I was looking for resources to expand my knowledge and appreciation of the fungi I came across in daily walks in the woodlands surrounding my home. I heard about this course, which was highly recommended, through the South Vancouver Island Mycology Society.

How would you describe your overall experience?

Great! Both the course instructors gave engaging lectures and have chosen interesting supplementary resources. They both have deep knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for mycology. The first several modules are somewhat challenging if you have not taken any biology courses (I had not), but you can rewatch the lectures, reread the text, study the vocabulary given and retake the quizzes if needed.

I was pleased that by the end of the course I really understood the content and vocabulary. I felt I had moved from a complete newbie to a novice in mycology. Hard to pick the subject I was most interested in; they were all good. I liked the taxonomy information and other vocabulary (helps with identifying fungi and understanding “experts” on the ID sites), fungi for medicines and food, lichens, Garry Oak info, etc.

Were there any challenges or obstacles you faced?

There was a glitch with the marking system for one of the quizzes. I was in touch with Ann Greenwood, the coordinator, and I was really pleased that she looked into the problem so quickly and had it resolved.

How would you describe the impact of this course on your personal or professional development?

The course has enhanced my knowledge and appreciation of the field of mycology. I am more knowledgeable about appropriate resources for identifying fungi and I am using them. I lead walks in our local woodlands for people wanting to learn more about the trails in their neighbourhood—it is encouraging and great fun to be able to share my new learning.

If you were to recommend this course to a friend, what would you say?

It’s a great course and does exactly what it says it intends to do in the course description. I learned a great deal. As the course progresses, the modules do become easier, and there are lots of interesting local and BC examples and content. It was somewhat addicting, and I will miss it.

Anything else you would like to share?

As a senior, this course gave me the confidence that I could successfully take on more learning. I may take the Introduction to Biology and Natural History. . . in the fall.

Thanks to Dr. Kendrick and Dr. Berch for instructing such an informative and interesting course!

Curious to learn more about mycology?

Discover more details about the course.



  • Posted March 27, 2024