Dianna 4064-2


Dianna is currently the Chairperson of the North American Mycological Association’s Committee on Medicinal Fungi. Four of her articles have been published in NAMA’s peer-reviewed publication, MCILVAINEA, with one more in on the way. They include an article about her mentor mycologist Gary Lincoff; another entitled 'Medicinal Fungi: Hype and Hope’ (Vol. 27, 2018); and 'Ling-zhi, The Chinese Elixir of Immortality’ Vol. 28, 2019).  She is past editor (2012-2017) of the North American Mycological Association's bimonthly publication, THE MYCOPHILE, for which she won the NAMA 2012 President's Award. She was also recipient of the Harry and Elsie Knighton Service Award for the contributions she made as four term president of the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association (COMA).  (See http://namyco.org/awards/index.html)


In 2013 after moving from Westchester, NY to Northampton (Leeds) MA, Dianna founded with South Hadley resident Michael Ostrowski the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association. Michael served as the first club president and has since become the club treasurer. In 2014 Dianna initiated an educational series of workshops and talks on a variety of topics related to fungi. These take place in spring at her home for PVMA members interested in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the fungikingdom. Experts and knowledgeable mycologists are invited to lead courses in their areas of interest.  The club has established a Facebook presence at https://www.facebook.com/groups/209812692499260/. She continues to write and give programs on various topics in mycology for the PVMA and other mycology clubs, for universities, public schools, state parks, preserves and environmental centers, as well as garden clubs and leads several guided walks during the week and on weekends each year for the club. If you are interested in having her or another club member give a program on mushrooming or any other mycology topic, contact her at diannasmith@fungikingdom.net.


Dianna documented and photographed the fungi finds collected by members the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association (COMA) on scheduled club walks from 2003 to 2012. They have been viewed well over a million and a half times! (See http://www.pbase.com/comafungi).The best of these can be found here at her websites www.FUNGIKINGDOM.net, and www.fungikingdom.org. Hundreds of her photos can be also seen in several recently published field guides of Britain and North America, including Michael Kuo’s 100 Edible Mushrooms,  Gary Lincoff’s, The Complete Mushroom HunterAscomycete Fungi of North America, Michael Beug, Alan and Arleen Bessette’s, Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide, and the Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America digital application for smart devices. Several of her photos can also be found on Michael Kuo’s informative site, www.mushroomexpert.com.  


Dianna served as President of the Northeast Mycological Federation (NEMF) for three years (2015-2018) and assisted associated mycology clubs from eastern Canada to Washington, DC in organizing the annual Sam Ristich Foray on a rotating basis. She also served as webmaster for the organization. (See http://www.nemf.org)


Dianna served as President of COMA for four years, two-term Vice President and two-term Membership Chairperson. She continues to serve as a guest mycologist and speaker at COMAs annual Clark Rogerson Forays. (www.comafungi.org)


Before moving to the Northampton area of western Massachusetts at the end of 2012, Dianna was producer and editor of her own community cable show called SCAPES. For 22 years it featured hundreds of half-hour shows on master gardening, botany and mycology in NY and Connecticut. After doing her first show on mycology with COMA members in 2002-2003, she became hooked on mycology and began reading every field guide she could find!


In addition to studying on her own and learning from other professionals and amateurs, Dianna studied mycology with Gary Lincoff, author of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America and several other books, during late winter workshops at COMA's Mushroom University, an educational program she created with Gary and managed for the club over the course of several years. It is still going strong! Some of the mycology lessons included on this website are based on or were inspired by these studies. In 2014, she studied with Alan and Arleen Bessette, authors of numerous field guides, at Eagle Hill Research Center in Stuben, Maine. She also taught two mushroom identification workshops at Eagle Hill with ascomycete expert, Dr. Roz Lowen at Eagle Hill Research Center in Maine. She leads several multi-day mushroom identification workshops for the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association (PVMA) annually, participates in area university Bio-blitz activities; presents talks on mycology to various colleges, universities, environmental organizations and clubs.


Dianna Smith's educational background includes an advanced degree from Tufts University in the history of science and technology with particular emphasis on developments in premodern Western Europe and China. She studied Chinese at Harvard University and worked as an assistant to her mentor Dr. Nathan Sivin at M.I.T., professor and author of numerous scholarly publications on pre-modern Chinese scienctific theory, astronomy, technology and medicine. She also taught college history classes in European Civilization.