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The Laguna is Home to the California State Lichen! Presentation with Shelly Benson


July 12, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Laguna Environmental Center
900 Sanford Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401 United States
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Lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) is the CA state lichen and it grows on oaks in the Laguna. Join Shelly Benson, former president of the California Lichen Society, for an evening lecture on lichens. These fascinating organisms are found all around us, growing in nearly every habitat and on almost any surface; however, they are commonly overlooked. Shelly will explain the intimate fungal-algal relationship known as the lichen. She will also cover the ecological importance of lichens and how humans have used them through time. The backdrop to this talk will be the Heron Hall art exhibit of paintings by Lucy Martin of Mushrooms and Lichens.

Shelly Benson has been studying lichens for the past 18 years. She received a Master of Science degree in 2001 from the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, where she studied lichen ecology in the tree tops of old growth forests. Shelly served as president of the California Lichen Society from 2013-2016. She worked on several lichen inventories in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to lead lichen walks and workshops around the region. Shelly is interested in using lichens as indicators for air quality and climate change.