I led a workshop today at the Connecticut Outdoor & Environmental Education Association's (COEEA) annual conference. This year it was held at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. The weather was good for the mosses but not so much for us humans. It was a cloudy day with a cold drizzling rain. But we braved the weather to hang out with our little photosynthetic pals. The workshop was an hour long so I talked fast, but we only went over how to recognize five moss species. I did have time to expound on other cool aspects of moss biology, such as dessication tolerance and how mosses both breathe and drink through their "skin" (aka. epidermis).
An unexpected note is that hand lenses that I brought were quite the hit. They are 10X plastic hand lenses that I ordered from the online supply store Science Stuff. (Click here for a link to their webpage.) Each plastic lens has a magnification of 5X and they sell 1, 2, and 3 lens versions with total magnifications of 5X, 10X and 15X respectively. I chose the 10X lenses because I was worried that there would only be a small area in focus with the higher magnification ones and that looking through 3 layers of plastic might cause a distorted view at the edges. (Check out my earlier post on glass hand lenses.)
Overall I think that the workshop was a success. I had a lot of fun and I think that the workshop participants had a good time too. If any of the participants have any comments or critiques for the workshop, feel free to add a note using the comments section on this blog or drop me an email.