Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature (IWIN)

Registration Information ↓

Update: The October IWIN Class is now full. If you would like to be placed on a wait-list please contact us.

Field Classes on the Biodiversity and Natural History of Illinois

Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature workshops (IWIN) allow everyday citizens with an interest in nature to have enjoyable and educational field experiences with professional scientists. The Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature (IWIN) is conducted by Michael Jeffords and Susan Post throughout Illinois. Together with a selection of guest experts, they form a corp of knowledge for each class. These education teams are passionate about their science and engaging in their instruction. The most common comment from IWIN participants is “I feel like a kid again, as I can explore nature.”   Course participants will be exposed to a great variety of organisms, study their life cycles, explore various behaviors and even learn ways to monitor the status of these unique creatures.

A typical IWIN experience covers two days and two overnights.  Immersed in learning, new discoveries and adventure, each class builds a camaraderie that unfolds when a group of like-minded individuals are enjoying nature for the pure joy of its existence.  Members of Illinois Audubon Society are given priority sign-up and may register two weeks before the general public.  Tuition covers meals, snacks, water and classroom materials.

Who's Attending

29 people are attending Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature (IWIN)

  • Linda Kellough
  • Sara Hostetter
  • Jan Freeman
  • Jerry Prater
  • Deborah Bacigalupo
  • Tom Williams
  • James Hampson
  • John Carroll
  • Betsy Kuchinke
  • Gerald Ginsburg
  • John McKee
  • Rick Ladenburger
  • Sharon Geil
  • shelly knuppel
  • David Bork
  • David Hultgren
  • Naomi Maas
  • Nicholas Primm
  • bruce semans
  • Karen Frailey
  • Tracy Evans
  • Load all attendees

Piny Creek RavineTrail of TearsIWIN Classroom2017 Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature

Hiking the Illinois Ozarks:

Exploring the Archaeology and Biodiversity of an Unusual Natural Division

October 18-20, 2017, Murphysboro, Illinois



If you would like to be placed on a wait-list, please contact us.


Of all the Natural Divisions in Illinois, the Ozark is truly unique. Using Susan Post’s Hiking Illinois as our blueprint, we will discover some of the little known areas of southwestern Illinois that feature everything from ancient petroglyphs to many species of fall butterflies to exploring the ecosystem of a fantastic ravine forest.

Featured sites for the workshop will be Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve, Pine Hills/Larue Swamp Ecological Area, and Trail of Tears State Forest. Trip leaders will be Dr. Michael Wiant, Archaeologist and Acting Director of the Illinois State Museum, botanist and edible plant expert Bill Handel of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI), University of Illinois and Dr. Michael Jeffords and Susan Post, entomologists with PRI.

This IWIN field course will be moderately strenuous, traversing the relatively rugged landscape of the Illinois Ozarks. Class will begin at Noon on October 18 and wrap up late afternoon of October 20. Cost for the workshop will be $200 and will include meals, snacks and course materials. Attendees will be responsible for overnight accommodations.  Registration for members will open on August 1 followed by non-member registration starting on August 15.  Class will be limited to 30.  2017 IWIN Tentative Itinerary (pdf)

REGISTRATION:  Registration for Hiking the Illinois Ozarks will begin on August 1 for members of Illinois Audubon Society.  Non-member registration will begin on August 15.

IWIN SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EDUCATORS:  Two scholarships are available for this session and will cover the cost of registration ($200) only. Lodging and transportation are not included. Download 2017 Ozark IWIN Scholarship Form (pdf). Applications must be received by September 18, 2017.

REFUND and CANCELLATION POLICY:  A 50% tuition refund will be returned on or before September 15, 2017, or a 100% refund will be granted on or before September 1, 2017.  No refund after September 15, 2017, unless the cancellation can be filled from the wait list.  A course with insufficient enrollment 14 days prior to the starting date will be canceled and a full refund issued within 30 working days.  Organizers reserve the right to cancel a course within 2 days prior to the course due to a catastrophic weather event. Participants will receive a full refund within 30 working days.