Mycological Society of San Francisco
The Mycological Society of San Francisco was founded in 1950 to promote the understanding and enjoyment of mushrooms and other fungi. Our mission has since expanded to preserve mycological habitats and to promote and maintain the rights of the general public to collect mushrooms for study and recreational purposes on public lands. Our expert taxonomists often consult with open space management agencies to identify the fungi which are found on these lands.
The MSSF hosts a myriad of activities throughout the year. Our general meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month from September through May (the locally active mushroom season) at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. Each general meeting begins with mushroom identification, book sales, and cultivation activities, then features a guest speaker on a selected mycological topic. Our adjunct culinary group meets once a month to explore and share the culinary possibilities of wild mushrooms. Throughout the year we teach and sponsor classes in mushroom identification, cultivation, the basics of mycology, microscopy, cooking, etc. Each December, the MSSF creates an extensive Fungus Fair, where we collect, identify and display hundreds of mushroom species from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and points north and south.
At the heart of MSSF activities are forays for identification and collection of mushrooms. Throughout the year we offer numerous camping forays and single-day mushroom walks. On occasion we conduct weekend mycological retreats with forays, culinary fare, identification, workshops, talks and slide presentations.
The MSSF is also active in promoting mycological education and research. Our members assist with academic research projects, we maintain a species database and an extensive mycological library, and we sponsor annual scholarships for leading students of mycology. We also provide toxicology and identification expertise to the California Poison Control system and help with the identification of mushrooms in cases of suspected poisoning.
MSSF members are invited to join our lively and informative members-only email discussion group, where organizational announcements and events are posted, and where much information on mycological topics is exchanged.
The MSSF is run through the volunteer efforts of four elected officers, four elected councilors, numerous committee chairpersons, and the general membership. Council meetings are conducted on the second Tuesday of each month from September through May, and are open to the general membership. Our Scientific Advisor is Dr. Dennis Desjardin, Professor of Mycology at San Francisco State University and the curator of the Thiers Herbarium.
About the MSSF Website
The MSSF website was the first mushroom club website in North America. It went online on October 10, 1995 and was created by Michael Wood, who was webmaster from 1995–2008. The 2009 redesign of the MSSF website was developed by Michael Wood of Paradigm Micro Systems.