LUREC Uses Nature as Classroom: Summer Academics
Loyola Neighborhood News: Retreat and Ecology Campus - V3, I3
The retreat and ecology campus will be abuzz this summer with more than just the usual insect suspects.
Students from a variety of disciplines will be spending a portion of their summer vacation studying and learning at Bull Valley / McHenry County campus. Academic programming for these supplemental summer school courses will include everything from humanities to the hard sciences.
For biology courses, the entire campus will serve as the campus, allowing interested students to interact with the local ecological system native to the area. For example, the “Wetland Ecology” course will utilize the expertise of local professionals to identify the flora and fauna that are characteristic of Illinois wetlands. Students will also be directly engaged with the restoration of Wetland areas on-site at the LUREC campus.
Burgeoning bird-watchers can take “Field Ornithology,” which will survey native birds in their natural aviary. With the goal to census the different species, students will learn to examine and identify, as well as collect data on the different species.
Courses offered will also include “Environmental Chemistry,” focusing on the sampling of soil and water quality of the area. Students participating in this class will not only learn the basic chemistry behind the measurements but will also work to set baseline measurements for Loyola’s field station.
The anthropology department will also put students to work in an “Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology” course to look at the ways in which humans interact with plants and natural ecosystems. The course will culminate with a research opportunity that gives students first-hand fieldwork experience.
Communication students can take a field trip from their usual downtown classrooms to take a class on “Environmental Advocacy.” This course will explore the intersection of rhetoric, policy, and our environment, giving students the chance to create an advocacy-based proposal for regional environmental issues.
The sustainable movement has also served as inspiration for “Sustainable Agriculture,” a course in which students can examine their role in the production of food. Using environmentally sound agricultural practices to meet USDA Organic Food Production standards, students will grow vegetables and herbs, learn food processing and preservation, and study season extension.
Finally, artistically oriented students will have the opportunity to express themselves with a “Drawing I” course. The curriculum will emphasize traditional drawing elements and techniques, especially utilizing the natural environment as inspiration.
LUREC is continually looking forward to giving students the opportunity interact with life outside of the city. For more information on academic programming at LUREC this summer, please visit: LUC.edu/summer