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Goals and activities

The Center for Tree Science REU Program is designed to develop the next generation of tree scientists and ecologists, while contributing to the body of ecological research on trees and on-going research at The Morton Arboretum. Watch the past participants describe their research experiences here



The five broad goals of the CTS REU Program are:

  1. Help develop a much-needed cohort of young tree scientists and ecologists.
  2. Teach undergraduate students tree ecological research through a rigorous and unique 10-week summer program.
  3. Foster intellectual development, critical thinking, independence, self-confidence, perseverance, and group skills in these students.
  4. Contribute to the body of tree ecological research while enhancing on-going research at The Morton Arboretum.
  5. Facilitate collaboration among students, teachers, professionals, and scientists in tree science.



During the ten weeks, students will work with their mentors to identify a research question, develop a proposal, conduct their research, and prepare a scientific report. Students participate in weekly activities, such as seminars and social events, and attend field trips with peers from local institutions hosting similar programs. Past field trips and participants have included the Chicago Botanic Garden, Field Museum, and Lincoln Park Zoo.

At the end of the summer program, students will give presentations of their work in a research symposium at The Morton Arboretum. Mentors may work with students to publish their results in scientific journals and present at conferences. Opportunities may be available for students to continue their research through a Research Experience Extension Fellowship, as part of the Arboretum's Integrated Mentorship Program