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Undergraduate Programs

Trip Courses and Off-Campus Programs

North Park’s Biology Department believes that scientific learning happens as much in the real world as in the lab. Faculty have developed these courses that take students all over the world. Not all are offered each year, but you’ll have the opportunity to participate in several throughout your major. Your major advisor will help you pick the trip course experience that is right for you and your goals.

Trip Courses

Tropical Ecology of Costa Rica

Travel with Professor Al Bjorkman to Costa Rica over spring break to study ecosystems ranging from Lowland Pacific Rainforest to Cloud Forest, and volcanoes to Mangrove wetlands. You’ll travel by bus, foot, and boat, learning about its land and culture with a world-class commitment to conservation and eco-tourism.

Marine Biology of Bahamas

Professors Linda Vick and Drew Rholl lead this exploration of the clear, warm oceanic waters of The Bahamas. You’ll live at a marine biological station for a more than a week of study, snorkeling amidst the intense life of the coral reef to study its rich life. We will also examine the terrestrial ecology of tropical islands and the rich local culture and history.

Trail of Tears

Join Professor Linda Vick on a journey from Chicago to the the southern Appalachians, to northern Georgia and along the northern route of the Trail of Tears. You’ll meet with representatives of the Cherokee Nation, learning about culture, history, and social context while making connections to contemporary themes of social justice and your environmental surroundings.

Culture and Ecology of Asia: Taiwan

Explore the interaction of ecology and culture through experiential learning in Taiwan. The fast development of this nation has impacted their fragile ecosystem and society. Join professors Linda Vick and Tim Lin to visit important cultural areas as well as natural sites, from coastal plains to mountain highland.

 

Other Off-Campus Experiences

Au Sable Institute

The Au Sable institutes three major campuses around the world that serve as ideal places for biology and environmental science experiences. Students will travel to northern Michigan, Puget Sound (Pacific NW), or Costa Rica  for three or four week sessions in May, June and July.  Students will live in dorms, learning in nature and earning up to 8 credits each term.  Scholarships are available.

Morton Arboretum

Located in the SW suburbs of Chicago, Morton Arboretum’s nearly 100 year-old campus features 1,000’s of carefully cultivated plants. Students can participate in night and weekend courses during Fall and Spring semesters, learning from arboretum staff and professors.  Topics include Soil Ecology, Ecological Restoration, Plant-Animal Interactions and others.  These are excellent resources for Biology or Environmental Science majors, or any lover of nature.

Shedd Aquarium

One of the world’s premier aquariums, the Shedd allows students to go behind the scenes and learn about aquatic environments from aquarium professionals.  Course work happens on weekends or evenings.  The Marine and Island Ecology of The Bahamas course culminates in a week-long excursion in May on the Coral Reef II research vessel, where you live onboard as you visit remote islands.  The Freshwater Ecology course focuses on local water environments.  Courses meet in the Fall and Spring semesters.