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What we did this summer (part 1)

First time offering of BIOL4/6093   Lichen Biology

This summer, the department offered a course on lichen biology during the second summer session.  Lichens are a symbiotic organism comprised of an algae (photobiont) and a fungus and commonly grow on trees, rocks and the soil.  Lichens are also indicators of environmental health; areas which have a greater amount of air pollution have a greater number of pollution-tolerant lichen species.  Pollution- sensitive lichens are found in areas that are less impacted by automobiles and other sources of pollution. Taught by Lynda Miller (College of the Ozarks), the students collected from the Edward J. Meeman Biological Station (Millington, TN), Shelby Farms Park (Memphis, TN), Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge (Turrell, AR 72384), and Ghost River State Natural Area (Moscow, TN).    Over the course of the two week course, 31 lichen species were identified! When asked if the course had been a good experience, one student replied "We were talking about that last night at the dorm – we think every student should have a course like this during their undergraduate years.” Visit the Meeman website and check out the lichens found at Meeman
Pictured:  On the left, the Lichen Biology class with instructor Lynda Miller (far left).  In the middle (top) a sample from the collection and in the middle (bottom), a ) student with his lichen collection. On the right, students collecting at the Ghost River section of the Wolf River. 



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