Green Oaks Curriculum
Green Oaks Biological Field Station is a unique resource for learning across the curriculum. And, as evidenced by the sculptures, nature writing, and conservation and restoration projects conceived there, it is indeed a fitting environment for learning in the arts and humanities as well as the sciences.
With a bit of creativity, courses in nearly every discipline can lend themselves to learning at Green Oaks: environmental ethics, regional history, painting and photography, to name a few.
Green Oaks often serves as a site for community-building gatherings of students and faculty. Every spring, students and faculty from various disciplines take part in one of Knox's most valued traditions, the annual Prairie Burn, which plays a significant role in the protection of prairie grasses.
The Green Oaks Term, held in the spring, brings together as many as 12 students and three faculty members from different disciplines for a 10-week interdisciplinary and residential term.
Green Oaks provides a site for field study ranging from day trips to months-long research projects, allowing unique hands-on learning experiences that often lead to Honors projects and excellent preparation for graduate study.
Some recent examples of independent student research conducted at Green Oaks include:
- A study of nesting and foraging behavior of the Redheaded Woodpecker, a declining species. Ashley Nehrt, biology major.
- A study of courtship in vireos, funded by the Burney Dunn Summer Fellowship. Julian MacDonald, biology and French major.
- An examination of the coyote population at Green Oaks, local residents’ attitudes about coyotes and their possible effect on coyote conservation. Lindsay Roland, biology major.
- An examination of differences in tree age and species composition in wooded areas at Green Oaks and how they affect nutrients in rain that falls through the canopy of the trees there. Portia Richardson, biology major.