Soil Fungi Master Class – Chicago, IL – Aug. 23-30



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Fungi began building Earth’s soils over 600 million years ago and today they are found inhabiting nearly all soils, from the ocean floor, to desert and Antarctic crusts, to high alpine meadows. In all these environments, fungi structure, refine, and nourish the soil web in unique ways that profoundly influence the microbial, plant, and animal communities across habitats.

Despite their various roles, soil fungi have been historically difficult to study and largely overlooked in environmental assessment and land management strategies. This Master Class is meant to address this important oversight by providing participants with the language, tools, and experiences needed to integrate the study of soil fungi into any soil-related practice.

Designed for food growers, environmentalists, citizen scientists, permaculturalists, fungal enthusiasts, and homesteaders of all backgrounds, this Master Class will empower participants to dive into the emergent field of soil fungi science, helping them and their community create more ecologically-informed designs, anywhere in the world.


Topics Covered

Soil Fungi Science

  • Taxonomy, biology, and ecological modes of soil fungi:
    • Ectomycorrhizal fungi (mushrooms and truffles)
    • Endomycorrhizal fungi (arbuscular, ericoid, orchidaceous, and arbutoid)
    • Cryptobiotic crusts
    • Soil-dwelling endophytic fungi
    • Soil molds and yeasts
  • Identification of wild mushrooms, mycorrhizal fungi, lichens, and other soil fungi
  • Fungal influences on soil chemistry, structure, composition, and health
  • Field trips, forays, and more

Soil Fungi Cultivation & Application

  • Beneficial fungal-microbial relationships and soil inoculation strategies
  • Cultivating ecto and endomycorrhizae, biocrusts, and other soil fungi
  • Soil bioremediation strategies and associated chemistry
  • Soil fungi exudate analysis

Soil Science

  • Habitat restoration design and in situ implementation
  • Soil fungal pathogen identification and mitigation
  • Soil formation, types, and assessment protocols
  • Landscape reading and health analysis


In addition to the course curriculum, students will also receive a workbook, supplementary resources, and fungal cultures produced during the course. Drinks and snacks will be provided during class sessions as well.

Most class sessions will be held at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Chicago, Illinois, though there will also be several field trips. Each day’s session will conclude with evening reading assignments and resources for further study. And the course concludes with a collaborative habitat restoration design and implementation project in Chicago. Upon successful completion of the entire curriculum and final project, students will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.


This Master Class is ideal for anyone wishing to enrich their knowledge of soil science, fungal ecology, and advanced fungal cultivation practices. Students may go on to incorporate this knowledge into careers in land management, habitat restoration, permaculture, and regenerative design (among various other fields). This class will also provide scientific and practical foundations in soil mycology for those who wish to pursue careers in soil science, mycology, plant pathology, or environmental studies.

This Master Class is adapted to a wide variety of learning styles and is presented through lectures, images, videos, group discussion, hands-on exercises, field trips, and a group design project. While there are no prerequisites for the Class, familiarity with fungal biology, ecology, and cultivation will facilitate quicker learning and absorption of the curricula. Reading Peter’s book, Radical Mycology, is suggested as a supplementary text.


Course Tuition


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About the Instructors

Peter McCoy is a co-founder of Radical Mycology and the author of Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing & Working With Fungi, one of the most comprehensive books on accessible mycology, mushroom cultivation, and mycoremediation written to date. Peter’s unique approach to sharing mycology has brought him to teach at various organizations in North America and Europe and he has taught mycology-related courses to hundreds of people around the world. A dedicated teacher, Peter’s instruction model works to engage all modes of learning by offering a blend of visual presentations, live demonstrations, and hands-on practice sessions. For more information, see Peter’s full bio and interview links here.

Nance Klehm has been an ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, and permacultural grower for more than two decades. A consultant, speaker, and teacher, Nance is internationally respected for her work on land politics and soil heath. Her work has received extensive national and international media coverage and mentioned in many books, including Leila Darwish’s Earth Repair and Sandor Katz’s The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. In 2012, she won the Utne Visionary Prize, and she has been a two-time finalist for the Curry-Stone Design Prize. Her most recent undertaking, The Ground Rules, is a unique community- and earth-building initiative that gathers organic waste from Chicago and processes it in partnership with neighborhood-based Soil Centers.


This Master Class is open to anyone regardless of their past experience or knowledge of fungi or the other topics covered. The instructors believe strongly in creating a learning environment that honors and welcomes a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.

If registration is cancelled 14 days or more prior to the course start date, the full course fee will be refunded minus a $150 non-refundable deposit. Requests for cancellations received less than 14 days prior to the course start date will not receive a refund and registrants will be accountable for the entire course fee of $1,195. For questions about registration and cancellations, please contact peter [at] radicalmycology [dot] com.

By registering for this course, you grant the instructors the right to use photographs, videos, or voice recordings of you or your likeness, with or without your name, for publicity and educational purposes. If you would like to opt-out of the photo policy or have any other questions, please contact peter [at] radicalmycology [dot] com. Neither audio nor video recording of the course by participants will be permitted.