Adult Programs

Woodland Ecology (on demand)

Learn the essentials of woodland ecology and the woodland management techniques necessary to maintain threatened woodland ecosystems

Content Detail

Woodlands and savannas once covered vast stretches of the Great Lakes region. Today, these ecosystems are threatened by encroaching development, invasive species, and pollution.

Discuss the principles of forest ecology and management underlying restoration practice, learn about sites that represent different stages of woodland restoration, and explore the controversies surrounding management of these systems in an engaging online course.

In this online class, the self-guided material can be completed anytime, wherever you have access to a computer, at your own pace.

How Self-Paced Online Classes Work

To access the class, you will log into TreeLearning, the Arboretum’s online learning portal. Instructions for accessing TreeLearning will be sent to registrants by email from following registration. You have access to the course for 60 days and can complete the materials anytime.

Complete the self-paced e-learning modules with reading material, short videos, interactive activities, and quizzes to check your understanding.

The course will take approximately 4 hours to complete. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting.

Course number: W302-OD


Greg Rajsky, ecologist and owner, True Nature Consulting

Greg Rajsky completed the Naturalist Certificate Program through The Morton Arboretum in 1996 and has been teaching courses here ever since. He has been engaged in restoration and management projects across Northern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, and, more recently, on the Ozark Plateau in Arkansas’ White River Hills ecoregion. He served as naturalist and educator at Severson Dells Nature Center in Rockford and as executive director of the Kettle Moraine Land Trust in Wisconsin. In 2013 he established True Nature Consulting to aid landowners in understanding and managing their natural areas. An avid field botanist, he enjoys introducing people to the charms of our native flora.

Christy Rollinson, PhD, forest ecologist, The Morton Arboretum

Dr. Christy Rollinson is a leading expert on tree and forest responses to climate variability and change. She regularly represents The Morton Arboretum at seminars and in the media, to discuss trees, weather, and climate. Christy participates in many large collaborative organizations focused on understanding and predicting forest and ecological responses to environmental variability and change.

At the Arboretum, she and the Forest Ecology lab manage a large active group of volunteers that observe the phenology of hundreds of taxa in the Arboretum’s living collections in collaboration with the USA National Phenology Network.

Prior to joining the Arboretum in 2017, Christy gained practical forest conservation experience working with various conservation and research organizations across the US, most recently as a postdoctoral research associate at Boston University, where she worked with model-data synthesis of forest change over the past millennium with the PalEON Project. Christy’s research has been published in top-tier ecology journals, such as Global Change Biology and Ecology.

What to Know

This class is held entirely online and is available within one hour of registration.

The online materials will take approximately 4 hours to complete. Materials can be completed at your own pace.

Participants will have access to online materials for 60 days after the course start date.


Participants must have access to the internet and know how to use a web browser (ex: Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer)

A unique email address for each participant is required at registration.

Participants must know how to send and receive email.

Continuing Education

This class fulfills the restoration ecology elective of the Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program. Learn more about N-ACT.


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