Wonders of a dryland moss
Myself and several collaborators on the 3D Moss project got together to host a virtual workshop in collaboration with the Jepson Herbarium. Funded by the NSF, participants were mailed workshop materials ahead of time, including a hand lens, Gathering Moss by Robin Wall-Kimmerer, and an individual specimen of Syntrichia princeps for a rehydration activity. The workshop was geared to participants from all backgrounds as Dr. Wall-Kimmerer’s book served as an excellent introduction to mosses. Presentations were kept short and accessible, and covered a range of 3DMoss research topics including bryophyte biology, genomics, physiology, reproduction, and ecology of biological soil crusts. This broad perspective gave participants a tour of the genus Syntrichia from all the fascinating angles our team studies. The virtual format, necessary for safety reasons, actually allowed for much greater accessibility, as was demonstrated by participants from all across North America. We are happy to say that we’ve received positive feedback from participants and we can deem the workshop a success. All the presentations were recorded and are now available as a self-paced, virtual workshop. It was a ton of fun to hear from the collaborators and even more so to chat with the participants. People from all backgrounds attended and it made for very interesting discussions in the break-out sessions. I’m really looking forward to doing something like this again!