Summer 2020: Coastal and Marine Mycology at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Coastal and Marine Mycology is back for a second year!  This is a summer field course for undergraduate students at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station. This summer it will run from July 19th – August 7th. You can register here.


The FAQ sheet below will provide more details about the course! 

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

What is Coastal and Marine Mycology all about? 

This course will explore the diversity, ecology and evolution of coastal and marine fungal species. Marine fungi are an understudied and under-appreciated group of organisms. Like many microorganisms, marine fungi play integral roles in ecology and biogeochemistry in coastal and ocean ecosystems. These fungi can be found anywhere from beach sand to marine sponges. Through this course, students will gain an understanding and appreciation for the diversity of fungi thriving in the maritime forests, estuaries, salt marshes, eelgrass beds and the coastal waters of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The focus of this class is to survey the fungal diversity of near-pristine coastal and marine ecosystems in coastal Virginia. There is very little known about fungal diversity in these areas. As a class, we will work to create and publish species lists with real-world implications in the discovery, documentation and conservation of fungi.

And the best part? You don’t need a background in mycology to succeed in this class!

You can find more information about the course here: 

Why should I take Coastal and Marine Mycology? 

You will have access to a variety of incredible locations, including the Assateague Island National Seashore, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and the Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge, just to name a few!

You will build skills in: microscopy, identification of microscopic fungi, mushroom identification, mycological sampling and culturing techniques (on land and in the water!), preparation and execution of field work, etc.

You will learn all about the barrier island ecosystems of the eastern shore of Virginia and the role fungi have played in helping shape them.

Start the registration process here:


How do I know if I’m eligible to take this course?

This course is open to ALL undergraduate college students. While this course is being offered by Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania at the field station, you DO NOT need to be a Lock Haven student to take it. The ONLY prerequisites are a C or better in an introductory college biology course. You do not need to be a microbiologist or mycologist-in-the-making to take (and enjoy) this course!


What (and where) is the Chincoteague Bay Field Station?

The Chincoteague Bay Field Station (CBFS) ( has been creating educational and research opportunities in marine science for students of all ages for 50 years! It is located in Wallops Island, VA, just down the road from Chincoteague Island. A consortium of Pennsylvania universities run 3-week courses each summer at the field station in a variety of marine science disciplines.

The CBFS is fully equipped with up-to-date classrooms and technology, student housing, and a cafeteria. Housing and most meals are built into the cost of room and board for a 3-week session (see below). Courses also have access to various boats and kayaks for exploring the estuarine and oceanic ecosystems around Chincoteague.

Courses at the CBFS are built around undergraduate education and research. This means you will not be competing for resources with graduate students or faculty researchers. The resources available at the CBFS are for YOUR use!

Summer courses at the CBFS provide hands-on, incredible field experiences at a competitive price (see below).


So, what’s the cost?

The standard field course fees through the CBFS are listed here:

These fees include use of facilities (dorms), as well as most meals (Sunday dinner – Friday Lunch) during your three weeks at the field station. You may opt to live in the newer dorms (with air conditioning) for $1179 or the traditional dorms for $1079.

Because summer courses at CBFS are run through a consortium of Pennsylvania state universities, the tuition and fees you pay for these courses is based on whether you are considered in-state or out-of-state for a Pennsylvania university:

In-state tuition and fees for Coastal and Marine Mycology: $1263.15

Out-of-state tuition and fees for Coastal and Marine Mycology: $1389.75

So, when you add it all together… 

To total cost for in-state (Pennsylvania resident) students should range from $2342.15 – $2442.15**

The total cost for out-of-state (non-PA resident) students should range from $2468.75 – $2568.75** 

**These prices are estimates and vary based on room and board selections or other factors. 

Are you hooked? You can start the registration process here: 


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Smyth at

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