Loyola University Chicago

Summer Sessions

IES/Retreat & Ecology Campus Course Descriptions

Listed below are the course descriptions for the Institute of Environmental Sustainability summer Courses. Register for courses in LOCUS

ENVS 224 Climate & Climate Change
This course introduces students to basic principles and knowledge to explain climate change. Students will learn about natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change, the interactions between earth-atmosphere-ocean systems, climate feedback mechanisms, and impacts of climate change on the natural physical environment.

ENVS 286 Principles of Ecology Lab
Prerequisites: ENVS 237, ENVS 238 and ENVS 280

Course Description: 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.

ENVS 330/331 Restoration Ecology/Lab
Prerequisites: ENVS 280 & 286 or BIOL 265 & 266; Co-requisite: ENVS 331

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. to restoration sites in Chicago and beyond. Students will develop skills in ecological-site description, and in the analytical methods required to determine success of restoration projects.

ENVS 363 Sustainable Business Management
Prerequisites: ENVS 283 & MGMT 201

Course Description: Course introduces students to the emerging field of sustainability in business and the growing focus on the social, environmental, and economic performance of businesses. The course presents the scientific, ethical, and business cases for adopting sustainability. 

ENVS 269/BIOL 395 Field Ornithology
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. 

ENVS 391 Environmental Research
Students may register for independent research on a topic mutually acceptable to the student and any professor in the department. Usually this research is directed to a particular course or to the research of the professor.

ENVS 395 Environmental Internship
Students seek out and engage in a semester- or summer-long internship with a civic, business, governmental, or academic group providing hands-on experience in work on environmental issues.

ENVS 398/BIOL 395  Special Topics: Summer Flora
A combination of lecture and laboratory experiences. 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.

ENVS 399 Directed Readings
Students will read, analyze, and discuss a publications focusing on different aspects of a specific environmental issue or theme, and will demonstrate comprehension of, and the ability to apply information from, scientific literature and be able to synthesize information to produce a cogent, synthetic analysis of their topic based on these readings.

ANTH 399 Archaeology Field School: Excavation of an Early 19th Century Pioneer Farmstead
Our project continues the excavation of a buried early 19th century pioneer farmstead at LUREC to determine the impacts of Euro-american 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.  Our excavations will focus on determining the spatial pattern of these remains.  In addition, we will continue study of an experimental plot to evaluate the impact of tillage on archaeological context.

UCSF 137 The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues
Pre-requisite: This is a foundational Tier I class; it is pre-requisite to all Tier II science core classes.

The foundational course in science is predicated on the view that understanding environmental issues and their underlying scientific principles will occupy a central role in our students' lives and will be critical in their development as informed and participating members of society. The overarching  strategy of the course will be to frame environmental science in terms of a series of interacting systems to allow students to analyze a variety of environmental issues.

MPBH 495 Special Topics: Environmental Health: Mosquitoes and Ticks
Student will learn how to monitor and identify mosquito and tick species that can transmit human diseases.


ENVS 280 Principles of Ecology

The purpose of this course is to foster an in-depth understanding of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and the environment at organizational scales ranging from genes, individuals, and populations to communities, ecosystems, and landscapes. Topics include population dynamics, species interactions, community dynamics, food webs, ecosystem functions, and landscape ecology with a strong emphasis on scientific inquiry and data interpretation. Restricted to majors within IES.


In this hands-on course, students will build knowledge and skills in agriculture and ecology through work in greenhouse, laboratory, classroom, and field settings. Students will build on foundations of Environmental Science and Biology by examining challenges of food production, management decisions, and environmental change facing agroecosystems both locally and abroad.

ENVS 398 Sustainability Management in the Global Context

Students will visit Iceland to learn about business and sustainability management in the global context. Students will meet local experts, visit local businesses, and visit local cultural sites, all with an emphasis on sustainability in the host country. Students will learn about sustainability perspectives and operations outside the United States, see practical examples of circular business operations and strong sustainability in action, learn about global, regional, and local sustainability concerns, and gain an understanding of multiple cultural perspectives on sustainability.