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Get hands-on experience at GSU's Summer Field School


Use your summer to get hands-on experience studying wildlife, ecology and environmental science at the Summer Field School hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences at Governors State University (GSU).

Many classes will take place  on GSU’s main campus and will make use of our Biological Field station located in the wooded part of campus with access to ponds and streams. Additionally, other courses will take place at the Noblet Field Station in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan. 

Summer Field School, which consists of a number of different courses, is geared toward graduate and undergraduate students with a strong interest in the study of science, fieldwork and more.

Dr. John Yunger, Professor of Biology, said the program is special due to the unique experiences it offers to the Greater Chicago Area. In a time where nearly 80% of Americans now live in an urban setting, the GSU campus is located in a transition area between metropolitan Chicago and rural agriculture, he said. 

The biology program manages a 144 acre preserve as part of the campus, which is part of a contiguous macrosite that is under multi agency management, he said. To the south of the campus is the Will County Thorn Creek Headwaters Preserve, to the east is Pine Lake Park and to the northeast is Thorn Creek Nature Preserve. To Yunger, the preserves not only represent “a diversity of habitats” but they further outline the unique conditions where the program will take place. 

“There is no other such facility in the Greater Chicago Area,” he added. “It is access to these facilities that make the program so special, a unique opportunity for the millions of individuals residing in the Chicago urban setting. We also have access to wilderness areas and a Field Station in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

Some of the courses include:

  • Plant Systematics & Laboratory: 3 credits
  • Natural History of Raptors: 2 credits
  • Aquatic & Wetland Ecology: 2 credits
  • Bird Banding: 1 credit
  • Drone Ground & Flight School: 1 credit
  • Ornithology: 3 credits
  • Sketchbook drawing: 3 credits

To learn more about the courses, please contact the College of Arts and Sciences or reach out to Dr. John Yunger at 708-534-4524 or via email at