Volunteering

I spend a substantial amount of my free time volunteering with the Pacific Science Center (PacSci). I love PacSci because I love science, but also because I deeply respect their mission to "ignite curiosity in every child and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in all of us."

An Owl Butterfly

An Owl Butterfly

Horticulture Exhibits

I volunteer most Thursdays with the Horticulture Exhibits team headed by Jillian Weed, which means that I am responsible for the care and keeping of the tropical butterfly house!

Fruiting Grey Oyster Mushrooms

Fruiting Grey Oyster Mushrooms

Exhibit Design

Shortly after joining the Horticulture Team, I also began working with the Exhibit Design Team to create exhibits for PacSci’s guests — see below for more information about the first exhibit I helped with!

Death is not the End Exhibit

The Death is not the End Exhibit was on display at the Pacific Science Center from October 2018 through January 2019. I helped design the exhibit, and I contributed bags of mushrooms growing on recycled newspaper to illustrate nutrient recycling.

I was also featured on the Pacific Science Center’s weekly podcast (created and produced by the wonderful Stan Orchard!) to discuss my mushrooms. A link to that episode, in which I am “The Mushroom Lady,” can be found here.

When I was first figuring out how to grow oyster mushrooms at home, I tried to grow them in a Sterlite box, using a glowing humidifier. The overall design turned out not to be the best — but it looked cool!

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An early attempt to grow shiitake and oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds. If you look carefully, you can see shiitake mycelium on top, and oyster mushroom mycelium in the middle layer.  

Check out a quick time lapse showing oyster mushrooms emerging from a recycled newspaper substrate!

A couple different kinds of oyster mushrooms at different stages of growth. I discovered that light levels and temperature can dramatically change the color of the mushrooms’ caps.

A couple different kinds of oyster mushrooms at different stages of growth. I discovered that light levels and temperature can dramatically change the color of the mushrooms’ caps.

Chatting with guests about mushrooms and the Death is not the End Exhibit. Mushrooms unite us all.

Chatting with guests about mushrooms and the Death is not the End Exhibit. Mushrooms unite us all.

A close up showing two different kinds of oyster mushrooms —  Pleurotus djamor , which are a beautiful pink-ish color, and  Pleurotus ostreatus , which are creamy white.

A close up showing two different kinds of oyster mushrooms — Pleurotus djamor, which are a beautiful pink-ish color, and Pleurotus ostreatus, which are creamy white.

My parents were great sports and spent an afternoon exploring the Pacific Science Center during a recent visit to Seattle

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