Loyola University Chicago

Retreat & Ecology Campus

2020 Summer Course Descriptions

LUREC and Summer Session 2020 courses move online

Due to COVID-19, all of SES's LUREC and Summer Session courses will take place online. 

The following classes are being offered during various summer sessions online.

This course introduces the properties, functions, and conservation of soil. Topics include belowground ecosystem services, soil biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, and conservation, human impacts to soils, and the socioeconomic implications of soil degradation. Lectures, laboratory/field soil testing, field trips, and presentations by experts in sustainable soil management are employed.

Prerequisite: ENVS 137 or UCSF 137 or BIOL 101

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.

Prerequisite: ENVS 137 or UCSF 137 or BIOL 101


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. 

Outcome: Students will understand key concepts and principles concerning ecological processes in nature at the gene, individual, population, community, ecosystem and landscape scales and apply knowledge of ecological concepts to current environmental challenges.

Prerequisite: ENVS 237 or CHEM 101

Restricted to majors within IES.

Learn about Environmental Sustainability during your visit to Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. You will visit the capital city of Quito to learn about urban sustainability, take a day trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest to visit beautiful waterfalls, a butterfly garden, and a chocolate processing plant.  Then you spend over a week island-hopping in the Galapagos Islands where you will learn about the environmental history of the islands, coffee plantations, the problem of microplastics, and ecotourism and the cruise ship industry.  There will also be opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, visiting the beach and seeing wildlife, and engaging in community service at various locations.

Online instruction:June 22-July 3
Study abroad: July 5-18

Prerequisite: ENVS 137 or UCSF 137

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.

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

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. 

Prerequisite: IES advisor approval 

This course fulfills the capstone requirement for IES majors. Through independent research experience, examine how scientific, sociological, economic and political knowledge and perspectives interact and define environmental problems and solutions/mitigation efforts. Research projects must use a multi-disciplinary perspective in analysis and interpretation.

Prerequisite: IES advisor approval and senior standing.

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. 

Prerequisite: IES advisor approval. 

Fulfills capstone requirement for IES majors. Through internship experience, students reflect upon academic and extra-curricular activities in their degree program and learn how scientific, sociological, economic and political knowledge and perspectives interact and define environmental problems and solutions/mitigation efforts.


Prerequisite: IES advisor approval and senior standing.

From predictions of sea level rise for coastal cities to communicating with NGO’s and policymakers, students assess the different and convergent roles that print, photography, radio, film, television and new media play in helping to address the most pressing areas of global climate change. How much does depicting catastrophe and fear help to gain an audience to address climate change issues? How can we visualize data to better persuade, inform and include general audiences? What is the role of communication for NGOs, non-profit and corporate entities?

Students will produce (both individually and in small groups) their own multimedia projects for potential and actual clients or NGOs, for conferences, events, for broadcast or the web. Students will visualize data and create narrative and informational contexts around climate change issues. Strategies for the implementation of media campaigns and plans will be researched and developed during a month of class.
Students will go on field trips to several NGOs and attend one climate change event or conference. Visits and discussions will include interviewing, strategies for reporting and crafting stories, promoting events, advocacy, broadcast media, and case studies of guerilla media, lobbying, and non-violent actions.

The circular economy strives to keep resources circulating in the economy as long as possible to maximize their value, reduce the need for resources, and decrease the accumulation of waste.  This course introduces circular economy principles and concepts, business models, metrics, and applications.  This course includes a week-long excursion to explore biodiesel’s supply chain and to visit other companies with circular business practices.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the circular economy, its opportunities and challenges, and its critiques.
  2. Identify business models and value creation for the circular economy.
  3. Identify system (industry and government), company, and product-level applications of the circular economy.
  4. Learn metrics and indicators for a circular economy.

Students will read, analyze, and discuss 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. 

Prerequisite: IES advisor approval. 

This is a foundational Tier I class; it is prerequisite to all Tier II science core classes. It is meant to be taken by non-IES majors.

Understanding environmental issues and their underlying scientific principles will occupy a central role in students' lives and will be critical in 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.

Outcomes: Exhibit knowledge of the nature of the four Earth systems 2) Draw inferences from evidence, constructing testable and falsifiable hypotheses and analyzing data.3) Understand the role of energy and thermodynamics in ecosystems; 4) Understand  and describe important cycles in nature