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.


Study nature in nature during our May Term at LUREC. Take classes in Field Entomology, Agroecosystems or participate in an ongoing archeological excavation.

May Term 2017

Our May Term at LUREC begins May 15 and extends through June 3, 2017.

 Course Descriptions and Details

ENVS 280: Principles of Ecology 3 credits
ENVS 286: Principles of Ecology Lab 1 credit
Dr. Brian Ohsowski

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. Students will receive four credits in three weeks.

ENVS 326: Agroecosystems 3 credits
Dr. Ray Dybzinski

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: Field Entomology: Insects and Ecosystems 3 credits
Brandan Carson

This course will combine lab, field, and lecture components to investigate the role that insects play in our world. We will cover basic insect taxonomy and physiology, but the main focus of the course will center on ecology and the enormous yet often unseen impact that insects have on natural and human systems. We will cover topics such as pollination, food webs, decomposition, medical entomology, forensic entomology, and agroecology. The course will consist of fieldwork at LUREC and other sites in McHenry County, as well as an overnight collecting trip to Southern Illinois.

ANTH 399: Field Archeology 3 credits
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.

MPBH  495/ENVS 398: Special Topics: Mosquitoes and Ticks
Students will learn how to monitor and identify mosquito and tick species that can transmit human diseases. This course is available to any student.