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Continuing Education

Green moss

Continuing Education

The World of Mosses: An Introduction

The World of Mosses: An Introduction

Saturdays, March 24th to May 12th, 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Location: Traill College, Wallis Hall 128, 315 Dublin Street.

Cost: $30 per class (+ HST).

Register online at https://www.regonline.com/worldofmosses or in person with cash or cheque at Scott House Room 102.4, 300 London Street, Traill College.

Mosses are a major component of most ecosystems and are commonly found on every continent on the planet, but oftentimes these tiny plants are overlooked in favour of larger flora. This course brings these small plants into the spotlight and encourages a whole new appreciation of the world of mosses.

This introductory course will provide the student with a basic knowledge of moss biology and species identification through class instruction, hands-on activities and field trips. The students can expect to complete this course with an understanding of the role mosses play in the environment and a collection of common local mosses to call their own.

This course is open to anyone with an interest in mosses.

Saturday March 24 - General Introduction to the World of Mosses

This class will introduce the students to the world of mosses through a short presentation interspersed with hands-on activities. The tools of moss identification will also be introduced. This class also includes a campus moss tour.

Saturday March 31st - There is no class today due to the Easter weekend.

Saturday April 7 - Moss Identification 101

This class will focus on developing the skills to recognize the common mosses in the field. We will be using samples provided by the instructor to hone these skills and become familiar with certain traits which used in moss identification. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn to use low-powered microscopes. This class consists of in-class activities.

Saturday April 14 - Mosses: More than meets the eye!

This class will introduce the role of mosses as an important component in a healthy ecosystem. Students will learn how moss can be used as a tool in environmental science, including habitat restoration and environmental monitoring. We will also discuss some fun and historical uses of moss!  This class consists of in-class activities.

Saturday April 21 - Field Trip: Mark S. Burnham Park - CANCELLED

A WAIVER IS REQUIRED FROM THE STUDENT IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CLASS

This class will consist of a moss walk at the Mark S. Burnham park. During this time, students will aim to identify and sample the common mosses of the Peterborough area. Nature photographers and artists are encouraged to bring their cameras or sketch pads. This class is entirely in the field. Wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather.

Saturday April 28 - Moss Gardening

The goal of this class is to learn techniques to incorporate moss into landscaping and gardening applications. This class will also include a brief presentation on moss physiology and reproduction, important knowledge for a successful moss garden! Students will also have the opportunity to make their own mini moss terrariums (supplies will be provided). This class includes in-class activities.

Saturday May 5 - Field Trip: Warsaw Caves Hiking Trails

A WAIVER IS REQUIRED FROM THE STUDENT IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CLASS

This class will explore the abundant moss communities found along the Warsaw Caves hiking trails. The students will build on their field identification skills and continue to collect samples for their collections. Nature photographers and artists are encouraged to bring their cameras or sketch pads. This class is entirely in the field. Wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather.

Saturday May 12 - Build your moss collection

For the culmination of this course, students will use this class time to finalize identifying and preparing samples for their collections. Low powered microscopes and identification tools will be provided. This class will include in-class activities.

Saturday May 19 - Field Trip: Mark S. Burnham Park - CANCELLED

A WAIVER IS REQUIRED FROM THE STUDENT IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CLASS

This class will consist of a moss walk at the Mark S. Burnham park. During this time, students will aim to identify and sample the common mosses of the Peterborough area. Nature photographers and artists are encouraged to bring their cameras or sketch pads. This class is entirely in the field. Wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather.

About the Instructors: 

Phaedra Cowden is an enthusiastic bryologist in training who loves anything and everything moss related. She has her BSc. in Restoration Ecology (a joint degree program between Sir Sandford Fleming College and Trent University), where she discovered her love of both field work and mosses. Her undergraduate thesis studied the efficacy of mosses in the remediation of mine tailings. Since starting graduate work in 2015, she’s been lucky enough to be involved in a country wide moss sampling program in Ireland, where she spent her days travelling the countryside in search of moss. The focus of her thesis research is biomonitoring of atmospheric pollutants using mosses, which has sent her across the country and north of 60, all in the name of moss.

Kayla Wilkins discovered the beauty and wonder of the moss world by chance. She set out to Ireland to collect early spring leaf foliage for her master’s thesis, only to discover that spring had arrived late and there were no tree leaves to sample; however, there was an abundance of moss! With a little research, she learned that mosses absorb their nutrients directly from the air, absorbing pollutants along with those nutrients, and so have been widely used as atmospheric biomonitors. Thus, her thesis project was saved, albeit with a slight change in direction, and so began her fascination with the easily overlooked and mysterious world of bryophytes. She holds an MSc. in Environmental Science (2015) and currently works as a research assistant at Trent University, primarily studying the impacts of elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition on natural habitats.

Online registration is provided through RegOnline, a third-party registration service. An additional charge will be applied by RegOnline in addition to the course fee.

Avoid online fees by registering in person at the College Office during business hours with cash or a cheque. Traill College Office is in Scott House and is open Monday to Friday, 9 am - 3:30 pm.