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Field Seminar: "Prairies of the Chicago Region" Class of 2017

2019 Field Seminar/Lecture Series:

Natural Areas of the Southern Lake Michigan Region

Classroom dates: March 09, March 30, April 27, from 1 PM to 6 PM

Field dates: May 18, June 15, and July 13, from 9 AM to 5 PM


Conservation Research Institute (CRI) is offering an immersive two-part field-seminar and lecture series: three days for field seminars and three classroom lectures hosted at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson in Lake County, Illinois. Leading the seminar will be Laura Rericha and Gerould Wilhelm, authors of the Flora of the Chicago Region, a Floristic and Ecological Synthesis. The authors will lead the attendees in a concentrated examination of the relationships between and among elements of the surface geology, soils, plants, lichens, bees, and ants of the region. The field seminar will consist of presentations on 6 natural areas in two natural divisions: The Northeastern Morainal (the Winnebago Drift Section) and Grand Prairie (the Grand Prairie and Kankakee Sand Area sections) divisions.


Dr. Gerould Wilhelm is an internationally renowned botanist and ecologist who has been studying the regional flora for more than 40 years and has spoken and written passionately on native plants and plant communities. Laura Rericha is a wildlife biologist and botanist with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and a research associate with CRI. She has been studying the region for more than 25 years and is working on producing monographs on the bees and ants of the region and a book on flower ecology.


Registration is now closed.

The field seminar will support a maximum of 20 people and the classroom lecture series will support a maximum of 50 people. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and meals. This is a field experience and so attendees should dress accordingly and be prepared for all weather conditions. A hand lens is required, as are other standard record-keeping devices with which you are comfortable. Also required will be reading assignments from the Flora of the Chicago Region.


  • Registration is on a first come/first serve basis, with the first 20 applicants guaranteed a place in the combined field-seminar/classroom lecture series.
  • A deposit of $500 is required at the time of registration, with the remaining balance due prior to the first field day.
  • No one other than registered attendees may participate in the seminar.
  • The classroom lectures, presented at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson, consists of three, five-hour discussions taught by the instructors on material relevant to the field series.
  • If one would like to participate in the classroom lecture series only, then the cost is $500 and is open for a total of 50 students.
  • Participants will receive a certificate of attendance. Lake County SMC awards 6 CECs per day of attendance.


Cancellation Policy: Due to illness or another unanticipated personal matter, registered attendees can transfer their spot to another person at any time with no financial penalty. Cancellation prior to March 9 is eligible for a 100% refund. If the field seminar is canceled, all payments received will be fully refunded.


Please contact Margot Mazur regarding seminar status, attendance availability, or if you need any further information, at 262-909-0552 or

Speaking Engagements


Gerould Wilhelm, PhD, is available for speaking engagements through Conservation Research Institute (CRI). Jerry is an internationally renowned botanist and ecologist who has been studying the Chicago region flora for over 40-years. He is coauthor, with Laura Rericha, of Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis, published by the Indiana Academy of Science in 2017.

Dr. Wilhelm has been requested to speak to many groups over the past several decades, from professional botanical societies, to workshops and seminars, conservation groups, and local garden clubs. Topics close to his heart are listed below, but presentation topics can be tailored to a specific request. The base fee-stipend for a speaking engagement is $1000, necessary to compensate Jerry for preparation, presentation, and travel (for locations within a 25-mile radius from Glen Ellyn, Illinois). Speaking engagements are approximately 2 to 3 hours in length.*


• Floristic Quality Assessment and Species Conservatism

• The Ecology and Culture of Water

• Biblical Environmental Wisdom

School of Athens Painting by Raphael

• Consilience

• Other topics have included: The Dune Flora; History of Botany in Chicago Region


Book Signings: Jerry and Laura are available for book signings for the Flora, which can include a brief 35 minute presentation.*



* Please note that all initial inquiries and scheduling are handled by Ken Johnson, at: Phone: (630) 640-2169 / Email:

Educational Products


The Conservation Research Institute (CRI) is proud to offer the following special educational resources that are available for purchase:

*NEW* The Hidden Beauty of the Grasses of the Great Lakes Poster Watercolors by Mary Marguerite Lowther from A Call to Beauty. The poster is 18" x 28" in size. Gift included with donations over $300 to Conservation Research Institute.

Questions? Contact Margot Mazur,


Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis by Gerould Wilhelm and Laura Rericha (2017)

Completely updated and rewritten, the Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis is rich with new and expanded features in comparison with the 4th edition of the Plants of the Chicago Region by Floyd Swink and Gerould Wilhelm (1994). Also, it has added newly-described species and range updates; morphological descriptions; taxonomic etymology; re-evaluations of many problematic genera; an entirely new section of associate flora and fauna such as bryophytes, lichens, insects, birds, and mammals; in-depth descriptions of our region’s habitats, geology, and soils; a re-evaluation of our region's coefficients of conservatism, and original illustrations for every genus. For more information, click here.

The Flora is available for purchase from the Indiana Academy of Science and the Morton Arboretum bookstore in Lisle, Illinois.

Root Systems of Prairie Plants Poster This much loved illustration by Heidi Natura displays the deep root systems of our natural grasslands and all that implies about the importance of rainwater infiltration and soil organic production. CRI owns the copyright for this image.


If you have any questions about this poster, contact Margot Mazur.


To pay by check, download this pdf form and mail to:

CRI, W59 N412 Hilgen Ave, Cedarburg, WI 53012


Ongoing Research



Research at Conservation Research Institute is ongoing. Currently, our researchers are in need of support to pursue the completion of floristic and faunistic works on the lichens, bees, ants, and ongoing work with the vascular plants. Donors will be acknowledged in
upcoming publications.