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Agriculture and Life Sciences | 2007

“Mushrooming on the Internet”

Kathie Hodge

URL

http://blog.mycology.cornell.edu/

About

Because the study of mushrooms is a science that requires great attention to tiny visual details, Kathie Hodge determined that a blog with an emphasis on visual browsing was critical to the blog's success. The blog re-design emphasizes the visual aspects of mycology. She wanted her students to contribute to the blog to motivate them to improve their writing, and to encourage them to continue in the field of mycology. Regarding the photographs, she found that specialized lenses allowed her photographer, Kent Loeffler, to capture exceptional photographs from unusual angles.

Hodge's writing style is accessible and engaging. Her mycology blog is world renowned, amongst other mycologists, but also amongst mushroom-hunters, and gourmets who prefer eating to collecting mushrooms.. Hodge successfully encouraged her mycology students to write about the amazing diversity of the mycological world by having them contribute to her mycology blog with their stories of fieldtrip discoveries and their own photographs. Many of her students' works appear in the blog and have provided a professional outlet for student work. The re-design of the blog, with its emphasis on images, and the specialized lenses that allowed Loeffler to create unexpected mycological imagery, in turn inspired two exhibitions at Mann Library that included the boroscope photographs and time-lapse movies, as well as a photographic book "Beneath Notice: Adventures with a Borescope."

Technologies

  • custom blog design
  • images
  • boroscope lens for digital SLR
  • time-lapse photography
  • self-publishing using Lulu on-demand printing

Publications

Cornell Chronicle: Tiny fungi exhibit in Mann Library

Aloi, Daniel. 2008. Cornell Chronicle: Kent Loeffler's photographs of tiny fungi tower in exhibit 'Miniature Landscapes.' The Cornell Chronicle, February 6.

Beneath Notice: Adventures with a Borescope

Kent Loeffler's photographs and Kathie Hodge's "fungal outbursts" were published in this unique photographic book, designed by Noni Korf Vidal.

Loeffler, Kent and Kathie Hodge. Beneath Notice: Adventures with a Borescope. Self-published, 2009.

Presentations

Beneath Notice: Little Fungi for Good and Evil

Hodge presented a talk as part of the 2009 Light in Winter Festival of Sciences and the Arts in Ithaca, NY.

Beneath Notice: Borescopic photographs

An exhibition was held in Mann Library of photographs by Kent Loeffler and fungal outbursts by Kathie Hodge, in January 2009.

Grants|External Funding

NSF Grant: Biological Research Collections, Proposal Number: 0954682

Atkinson's Fungi: Curation and databasing at the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium. A 3 yr grant starting Summer 2010.

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