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.

We will be offering two sessions at LUREC this summer. Session 1 starts May 16, 2016 and Session 2 starts August 3, 2016.

Session 1: May 16-June 3, 2016

ENVS 286: Principles of Ecology Lab
ENVS 330/ENVS331: Restoration Ecology with Lab
ENVS 369E: Field Ornithology/BIOL 395 Special Topics: Field Ornithology
ANTH 399: Field Archeology

Session 2: August 3-August 23, 2016

BIOL 395/ENVS 398: Special Topics:Late Summer Flora
MPBH 495 Special Topics: Mosquitoes and Ticks

All Sessions: Course Descriptions and Details

ENVS 286: Principles of Ecology Lab
Instructor: Dr. Roberta Lammers-Campbell, Restoration Director at LUREC.
Session 1


This course will allow students to develop experience and skills employed in ecological studies, with an emphasis on field work, laboratory analysis, and hypothesis testing.  Topics for lab exercises will correspond closely with material from Ecology (ENVS 280) lecture. Course does not satisfy requirements for BIOL major.

Prerequisites: ENVS 237, ENVS 238 and ENVS 280

ENVS 330/331: Restoration Ecology with Lab
Instructor: Dr. Brian Ohsowski
Session 1

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.

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

ENVS 369 E: Field Ornithology/BIOL 395 Special Topics: Field Ornithology
Instructor: Rev. Stephen Mitten, S.J.
Session 1

Field Ornithology is an intensive three-week hands-on field immersion course at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus during the peak of the migratory season from May 16-June 3, 2016.  This course is intended to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of field ornithology. Students learn to apply various field techniques used for bird censuses and methods for studying bird behavior. Emphasis will be on field identification and song recognition, census techniques, and avian breeding behavior.  The course includes participation in a community service project that gathers critical data necessary for avian conservation and management and satisfies the University Engaged Learning requirement in the Service-Learning category.

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

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

ANTH 399: Field Archeology
Instructor: Dr. Daniel S. Amick, Associate Professor
Session 1

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.

ENVS 398/BIOL 395: Special Topics: Late Summer Flora
Instructor: Dr. Roberta Lammers-Campbell, LUREC Restoration Director
Session 2

Late Summer Flora will be taught at the end of summer (August 3 through August 24) at LUREC.  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.   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.

Prerequisites: None

MPBH  495 - 003: Special Topics: Mosquitoes and Ticks
Instructor: Dr. Justin Harbison
Session 2 (Saturdays only)

Students will learn how to monitor and identify mosquito and tick species that can transmit human diseases. This course is available to any student.

Prerequisites: None