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Navigating with a Map and Compass

Schedule and Location

Sunday, July 14, 2019, noon to 4:00 p.m.
Herbarium Conference Room, Research Building


Fees and Registration

$39.00 member
$46.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course Description

Be prepared for your next wilderness outing; learn to find your way using a map and compass. In this class, you will

  • learn how to read a topo map
  • understand the parts of a compass and their purpose
  • set your declination to keep you on track
  • use the compass to orient your map
  • take bearings from a map to find your way to a destination
  • use the landscape to find out where you are on the map
  • learn the basics of GPS
  • Learn what to look for when purchasing a compass, map, or GPS device

After some time in the classroom learning the basics, head out onto the grounds to practice.

Course number



Dave Dolak, geologist

David Dolak is Professor of Instruction at the Department of Science and Math at Columbia College Chicago.  His environmental science graduate work covered the geology, water resources, and ecosystems at the Indiana Dunes National Park. He also has  geologic expertise in the bedrock geology and the glacial history of the Chicago area and the Mazon Creek fossils of  Northern Illinois. 

Prior to his career as an educator, Mr. Dolak was an Environmental Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory  and in a long ago, prehistoric time he was a mill-rat at US Steel in Gary Indiana.  He is an active outdoors adventurer, bicycling across the United States and around the Great Lakes and backpacking in many national parks.  His graduate degree is from Indiana University."

Course Details

  • Notes: Held indoors and outdoors; please dress for the weather. Bring water and a snack. Limit 18
    Supplies: Bring your own compass if you have one; you may also borrow a compass from the Arboretum. This class will not cover the use of GPS devices. 

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies

Navigating with a Map and Compass