Learning in the Field

Picture of students in class standing in the rain garden

The Department of Environmental Studies at Lake Forest College gets students out of the classroom and into the field. Students are immersed in an interdisciplinary conversation with their local and global environments, and discover their place within them. Whether it’s on-campus initiatives like composting research on behalf of the the campus garden, or interning with community organizations like the Lake Forest Open Lands Association, students develop the knowledge and skills to engage with current environmental opportunities and challenges. 

Field Studies

In our Environmental Studies Department, field courses can range from a week long study in New Orleans or the Smoky Mountains, to a new field trip location for each class! Here at Lake Forest College, we prioritize learning about the environment utilizing hands on and in the field experiences! 

Students touring Sweet Water Foundation's hoop houses for ES323: Black Environmental Culture

ES282: Lake Forestry students canoeing Heron Pond in Southern Illinois to learn about the Bald Cypress trees

ES204: Summer Flora of the Great Lakes students on a botanical expedition overlooking Devils Lake

ES323: Black Environmental Culture students moving soil to raised garden beds at Sweet Water Foundation

ES282: Lake Forestry Students visiting Langham Island to see the endangered Kankakee Mallow in flower

ES282: Lake Forestry class at Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois

ES484: Conserving & Restoring Native Species senior seminar class visiting the International Crane Foundation to see the endangered Whooping Cranes

ES323: Black Environmental Culture students learning about the art installation at the Sweet Water Foundation

Students visiting the retired Waukegan Coal Plants in their ES335: Environmental Justice course

Learn more about our field studies on our Course Description page!

photo of native plant growth in Revery prairie

Restoration Sites on Campus

LFC takes pride in our ecological restoration sites! Using what would have remained lawn and unmaintained woodland, the Environmental Studies department has created intentional native plant and animal spaces rich with biodiversity. From our long established Shooting Star Savannah and Revery Prairie, to our 2017-2018 recent built McClure Rain Garden used as a wetland learning lab, our restoration sites have a lot to offer our learning community!

Learn more about our campus restoration sites on our Sustainability page.

students volunteering in the campus garden

Student Garden

Established in 2008 through the initiative of a few Environmental Studies students, the garden is now a productive space for student Garden Stewards to grow fresh organic produce for both the campus kitchen as well as to sell at a weekly pay-what-you-can food stand on campus. The Student Garden is actively working towards becoming more self-sufficient. One step the garden has taken in this direction is collecting compost from both the campus kitchen and cafe, enriching our soil and promoting eco-friendly practices. As we continue to cultivate both produce and a sense of environmental responsibility, the Student Garden stands as a testament to the passion and dedication of our students in fostering a greener, healthier campus community.

Learn more about our Student Garden on our Sustainability page or on the LFC Garden Instagram!

Contact Information

Brian McCammack
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
Chair of Environmental Studies
Lillard 148

Anna Evans
Environmental Studies Department Assistant
Lillard 125