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May 2020

The Surprising World of Lichens

May 30, 2020
$80

You cannot hike, bike, climb, or ski in Colorado without encountering lichens, but few people take the time to notice or examine these ubiquitous organisms. Come take your blinders off and come be blown away by the biology and beauty of these fascinating communities of organisms that live where other life forms cannot. In this class you’ll learn about the inhabitants, anatomy, growth forms, and reproductive structures of lichens. You should invest in a 10X hand lens or loupe to…

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June 2020

Early Wildflowers of RMNP

Jun 6, 2020
$80.00

Some of the park’s early blooms are the loveliest, from tiny alpine forget-me-nots to colorful Calypso orchids. Search out these beauties with former Rocky Mountain National Park interpretive naturalist Leanne Benton as we explore from high alpine ridges to lower montane meadows depending on what is blooming. Participants will get up-close with the mountain flora to discover their adaptations for survival and interesting stories behind their beautiful faces.  Identification techniques will be honed, and participants will gain confidence using a…

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NEW! Spring Mushrooms & Fungi of RMNP

Jun 7, 2020
$80

Come learn the basics for identifying fleshy fungi (including mushrooms), their important role in the ecosystem and a brief overview of the fungal kingdom. Rocky Mountain National Park has some unique and pristine ecosystems that we will explore, including the areas near snowbanks. We will spend a good part of the day in the field, identifying mushrooms and other fungi, and gaining a first-hand appreciation of these interesting and important organisms. There will be emphasis on the Cup Fungi (ascomycetes),…

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Untangling the Mystery of RMNP Native Orchids

Jun 13, 2020
$80.00

What is an orchid? The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is the largest family of flowering plants, about 35,000 species. Surprisingly there are about 26 species native to Colorado with many growing in the montane and subalpine zones of RMNP. Our day includes learning the characteristics of the orchid family, orchid terminology, their symbiotic relationship to other plants, history of uses, and looking at specific orchid species found in RMNP. We will see how many species we can find and identify in…

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Wildflowers of RMNP

Jun 27 - Jun 28, 2020
$90 – $160

Explore the wonder and diversity of the park’s wildflowers with a former Rocky Mountain National Park interpretive naturalist. The park’s vertical topography allows for a variety of habitats; this class will search out lush wildflower displays from montane meadows to high alpine ridges. Get up close with the mountain flora to discover their adaptations for survival and interesting stories behind their beautiful faces. Hone identification techniques, and gain confidence using a flower key. Day 1: montane and subalpine wildflowers; Day…

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July 2020

NEW! Rocky Mountain Riparian Plant Ecology, Identification, & Physiology

Jul 11, 2020
$80

Riparian (streamside) ecosystems are hotspots for biodiversity and human recreational activities. In addition to these functions, riparian ecosystems provide a unique opportunity to better our scientific understanding about the intersection of plant ecology, hydrology, and ecological restoration. This interplay has become increasingly relevant to Rocky Mountain National Park due to management interests in restoring tall, dense willow-dominated plant communities following intense elk and moose browsing and beaver decline. This course will focus on teaching students about the identification of common…

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NEW! Grasses of RMNP

Jul 25 - Jul 26, 2020
$160

Grass identification is difficult even for the professional botanist! Why even bother?! The grass family is the third largest family in the world, species occupy every continent, and grasses are one of the most important aspects in all of human civilization! The class will focus on the characteristics for each grass tribe (The grass family is so big that it is divided into tribes.) common in Rocky Mountain National Park. There will be a classroom component, but majority of the…

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August 2020

NEW! Wetland Plants of RMNP

Aug 1, 2020
$80

If terms like catkins or perigynia intimidate yet intrigue you—come join us to explore the common wetland plants of Rocky Mountain National Park. The class will focus on the characteristics for common wetland plant families in Rocky Mountain National Park. There will be a classroom component, but majority of the class will be outside. CSM credit available Meets at the Field Institute Instructor: Denise Culver

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Wild Mushrooms & Fungi of RMNP

Aug 8, 2020
$80

Often thought of as something to be avoided, fungi (including mushrooms) represent a vast and diverse group of organisms that play a critical role in virtually every terrestrial environment on the planet. Formerly thought of as plants, it is now know that fungi represent their own kingdom, along with plants and animals. Exemplified by prevalent and often colorful mushrooms, Rocky Mountain National Park has a bountiful and diverse fungal flora. Come learn the basics of mushroom identification, their important role…

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NEW! Edible & Medicinal Plants of RMNP

Aug 15, 2020
$80

Spend the day exploring the flora of the park with a retired RMNP interpretive ranger. Not only are the plants diverse and beautiful, many have served as the grocery store and pharmacy for earlier people and are still used today. We will focus on these edible and medicinal species with discussions on plant identification, current and historic usage as food and medicine, preparation techniques, using plants safely, and ethical harvesting and conservation, plus some toxic species to avoid. CSM credit…

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