ACCA Forest Ecology in a Changing World

Learn about forests, what they are, how they function, and why they are so important for our future. Trees and forests in urban areas and in the wild provide essential benefits to society and the environment but face increasing challenges that put them at risk. We will explore forest ecology through three units:

  1. Ecological principles at four major scales of biological organization (individual, populations, communities, ecosystems) with an emphasis on forests
  2. Applications of these principles to a number of current environmental problems impacting forests (biodiversity crisis, global environmental change, and others)
  3. Current methods in forest ecology

The class will include lectures, case studies, and a strong field component consisting of field trips, field and laboratory activities, and your own research experiment. Work with real field sites, datasets, and scientists involved in Arboretum research as you explore the world of tree science.

Instructors: Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Ph.D., The Morton Arboretum
Notes: Students are expected to provide their own transportation to sites and to cover their own expenses on field trips.
Administrator: Megan Dunning, Manager of Adult Learning Programs,
Prerequisite: General Biology and either introductory Botany or Ecology, or consent of instructor.
Credit: 4 semester hours (or equivalent), upper-level undergraduate


Three Saturdays: April 21, May 12, and May 19, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Mondays and Wednesdays, May 7 through 30, 2018, 3:30 to 8:00 p.m.
No class May 28 (Memorial Day).

The Thornhill Education Center
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532


Nonmembers: Fees include admission to the Arboretum. 


Please contact the Biology Department faculty at the participating A.C.C.A. institution from which you wish to receive credit. You must register through the Registrar’s Office at your home institution AND through the Registrar’s Office at The Morton Arboretum.  For more information or to register through the Arboretum, please contact.

The Morton Arboretum Registrar's Office
630-719-2468 or
(Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)