• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/95/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/42360_HOMECOMING_darker.rev.1523377981.jpg)"/>

Communications and Marketing

Taking it outside

Using the outdoors as their lab and lecture hall, students in Spring Flora of the Great Lakes learn to identify at least 150 species of wildflowers, grasses, trees, shrubs, and other plants.

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Glenn Adelson and his students journeyed to prairies, forests, swamps, and bogs during his summer course. Adelson believes experience-based field study is a critical component to any student’s education.

“Every class is outside, rain or shine,” he said. “The only time we go inside is for project presentations and the final exam.”

The in-your-face field study is what draws students to the popular classes.

“I prefer being outside looking at flowers than being in a lab all day,” said William Brewer ’17, a business major and music minor enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program class.

For some, the opportunity to study outdoors is a completely new experience.

“I took this class, more than anything, to get out of my comfort zone,” said Darling Kittoe ’17, an international relations major. Kittoe values the outdoor learning experience. 

“I appreciate nature a lot more now,” she said. “ I actually stop to look at flowers—and know what they are.” 

Students in Spring Flora of the Great Lakes offered in May and the Summer Flora of the Great Lake in June learn outdoors in the greater Chicago area, eastern Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Click here to view a video of Adelson talking about the unique outdoor learning environment at Lake Forest College.