Skip Navigation

Faculty & Student Connections

Form & Function Class Spring 2016 

The Arboretum is an outdoor classroom for students at Kalamazoo College. In the past, it has been used by biology courses, chemistry courses, environmental studies courses, service learning courses, philosophy classes, and physical education classes. In addition to class work, it has also been the subject of scientific research for students and faculty. This fall, the Arboretum plans to extend its outdoor classroom to art courses.

If you would like to take a class to the Arboretum, please complete the appropriate Land Use Protocol Form.


Biology students from the Intro-level to the 400-level use the Arb as a site for research and learning.  Activities and projects include scavenger hunts for different plants and insect species to developing individualized insect or plant research. Professor of Biology, Dr. Binney Girdler, especially uses the Arb for her ecology classes.


Chemistry students also use the Arb as a site for research and learning. For example, professor of Chemistry Jennifer Furchak uses the wetland for water chemistry analysis for her instrumental analysis classes.


Students and faculty have conducted independent projects in the Arboretum. One particular research project, the carbon sequestration project, measured the amount of carbon that the trees in the Arboretum sequester annually. To learn more about other research projects, click here. If you would like to conduct research, investigation or an experiment, please fill out the appropriate Land Use Protocol form.


Apart from investigation and research, students and faculty have used the Arboretum as a space for various projects. The Keeping Doors Open (KDO) trip to the Arboretum was a service learning project from Eric Lambert's Ecological Philosophy (Winter 2011). Students from the KDO program visited the Arb in order to learn about tree coring, and to do a "Big Sit", which was a structured reflection.


Field Biology class out at the arb