Black and white image of Dr. Henry Cowles seated on a log in woodland; surrounded by six of his students.

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, aep-ilp243, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

The diverse ecosystems of the Indiana Dunes have long attracted scientists, educators, and students to study relationships between living and non-living things. An early, prominent researcher and educator of the region was Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles, who published his doctoral dissertation on Lake Michigan dunes ecology in 1899. Introducing the scientific community to the dunes built critical support to protect this irreplaceable landscape. Cowles inspired countless scientists and naturalists, and his legacy of learning in “the field” continues today; Indiana Dunes National Park and park partners host a variety of learning opportunities that continue to celebrate this heritage.

National Park Service ranger on a boardwalk over water surrounded by students.
Virtual Learning and Activities

Videos, Story Maps, Design Challenge and More

Educators cross a metal boardwalk over a marsh in Miller Woods' black oak savanna habitat.
Professional Development

Teacher Workshops, Teacher-Ranger-Teacher

Students meandering a swale between two beach ridges along Lake Michigan
Plan A Field Trip

Want to bring your students here on a ranger-led program, or show them around yourself? Here are the tips and what you need to know.

National Park Service ranger in a jack pine forest with a group of students
Curriculum Materials and Lesson Plans

Programs available from our education team, state standards included

Interior of Bailly log storehouse; rough wooden log walls, animal furs, shelves with cups and bowls
Travelling Trunks

Educational bundles for local loaning that cover environmental, cultural, and historical topics

Female scientist explains a water quality concept to educators
Partners in Education

Here are some regional educators working towards similar goals

Male and female NPS rangers under a tent with a table of educational props and brochures
Other Resources for In-Depth Learning

Dive into the richness of the Indiana Dunes Region

Last updated: September 24, 2020

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

Contact Us