This week marks the first major field expedition under the recent NSF award entitled "Lichen biodiversity in the threatened Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain of North America: Improving classification, conservation, and communication" [DEB-1145511]. I am collecting lichens in Virginia and North Carolina with James Lendemer, Jessi Allen, and Dick Harris, all of the New York Botanical Garden. Today we went to the Great Dismal Swamp. We had two separate bear encounters, which were very exciting! We are also finding a lot of great lichens, and despite being almost all wetlands, the Great Dismal Swamp has proven to be an extremely diverse and heterogeneous area!