Loyola University Chicago

Retreat & Ecology Campus

Summer Courses

This summer, take a course in Loyola's "wilderness classroom" at the Retreat and Ecology Campus and get hands-on experience in ecology, restoration and sustainability. For a list of courses and requirements, visit Summer Sessions.

LUREC Summer Session starts May 11, 2015

Course Descriptions and Details

ANTH 399: Field Archeology

Instructor: Dr. Daniel S. Amick, Associate Professor

An ongoing project continues the excavation of a buried early 19th century pioneer farmstead at LUREC to determine the impacts of Euroamerican settlement on the local environment.  Students will learn archaeological field and lab methods through practice and readings and lectures.  Archival research has identified much about this land owner who was part of a large group from western Virginia.  Dispersed remains of the homestead, household items, and animal bones are present as well as pits and post-holes.  Excavations will focus on determining the spatial pattern of these remains. 

In addition, students will continue study of an experimental plot to evaluate the impact of tillage on archaeological context. This research project began in Fall 2011 and students have done both archival and excavation research in association with it.   It turns out that LUREC is situated within the Virginia Settlement district of nearly 100 settlers who arrived from Greenbrier County, Virginia (today WV) in 1835-40.  Researchers have accumulated decent archival data about this group, who they were, their reasons for migrating, and what happened to them following their settlement in central McHenry County. 

Catalog Description: Application of anthropological concepts and methods to a specific field situation under the supervision of a faculty member. 

Outcome: Students will learn field techniques and data recovery and analysis techniques pertinent to the specific nature of their field experience.

University Core: This class satisfies the Engaged Learning requirement in the Fieldwork category. Prerequisite: Permission of chairperson and faculty member. 

BIOL 111: General Biology Laboratory

Instructor: Bree Sines, M.S., Advanced Lecturer 

Complements General Biology I lecture material through direct observation and field sampling at Loyola's Woodstock campus (LUREC). We will use the organisms around us to explore, and learn about the biodiversity of life; including the systematics and comparative anatomy and physiology of selected organisms. Students will live on site and utilize the natural habitats surrounding LUREC to conduct laboratory work, enabling a greater focus on ecological aspects of diversity than the usual lab provides.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of living organisms, including comparisons in cell structure and function, and comparative organismal evolution and ecology.

Prerequisite: BIOL 101.

BIOL 395/ENVS 398: Special Topics: Early Summer Flora

Instructor: Dr. Roberta Lammers-Campbell, Director of Academic Programs and Ecological Restoration, LUREC

Early Summer Flora will be taught during the second half of the first summer session (June 1 through June 19).  We will meet both morning and afternoon and take local field trips.  Students and faculty will be in residence at LUREC during the session.

The course will be taught through a combination of lecture and laboratory experiences, and will meet one of the Biology majors’ requirements for elective courses with laboratories.

The goal of the course will be to teach students to recognize the vascular plants that will be in their reproductive stages in McHenry County and especially at LUREC during the time the course is taught.  This will be done mainly by teaching students to key out local flora using standard references, especially Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region.  Special attention will be given to grasses and sedges, and floral evolution will be emphasized throughout.  Invasive and potentially invasive species will be included.

Students will be graded daily based on their recognition of plants in the field.  Their keying proficiency will be tested in the lab.  Free-writing and essays will be used to evaluate understanding of floral adaptations and evolution.

Prerequisite:

ENVS 269: Field Ornithology/BIOL 395 Special Topics: Field Ornithology

Instructor: Rev. Stephen Mitten, S.J., Ecology Faculty and Spiritual Director

Catalog Description: Field ornithology is an intensive 3-week engaged-learning course at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus during the peak of the migratory season intended to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of field ornithology.  Emphasis will be on field identification and song recognition, census techniques, and avian behavior. 

Outcome: Students will become skilled in critical reasoning, field techniques, and scientific investigation that demonstrate an understanding of knowledge and techniques used in field ornithology.

University Core: This class satisfies the Engaged Learning requirement in the Fieldwork category.

Prerequisites: ENVS 280/286 or BIOL 265/266.  Recommended: BIOL 215 (not required)

ENVS 330: Restoration Ecology

Instructor: Dr. Brian Ohsowski, Instructor

This course provides a theoretical and practical basis for the increasing global efforts to reverse damage caused by humans to ecosystems and species, emphasizing the many perspectives (e.g., ecological, social, political, engineering) that must be considered to develop, implement, and assess restoration projects across a range of ecosystem types.  

Students will visit restoration sites and discuss strategies and initiatives with land managers and policy makers. Students will develop skills in ecological-site description, and in the analytical methods required to determine success of restoration projects. Students will apply knowledge from ecology and other disciplines to the practice of ecosystem restoration, and learn to integrate information from multiple disciplines, and stakeholder input, to design/manage restoration projects in Chicago and beyond. Students will develop skills in ecological-site description, and in the analytical methods required to determine success of restoration projects.

Catalog Description: Students will apply principles learned in ENVS 320 to restoration sites in Chicago and beyond. They will visit restoration sites and discuss strategies and initiatives with land managers and policy makers. Students will develop skills in ecological-site description, and in the analytical methods required to determine success of restoration projects. 

Outcomes: Students will gain an understanding of how the science of restoration ecology is applied in practical settings and learn methods used in restoration and assessment of actual restoration projects.

Prerequisites: ENVS 280 & 286 or BIOL 265 & 266; Co-requisite: ENVS 331