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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Adult courses

Natural History of the Finger Lakes

Week 3: July 21-27, 2019

The registration period for this program has passed.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

Join our e-mail list to be alerted when new course information is available (late December).

In this course, we'll don our walking shoes and head outdoors where 400 million-year-old sea salt beds lie beneath our feet. We'll be surrounded by spectacular landscapes formed by glaciers that receded 15,000 years ago, leaving fossils of organisms that once lived there.

Our days will consist of lectures on geology, plants, microbial fauna, and animals ranging from arthropods to river otter and black bear. We'll closely examine numerous species on field trips and nature walks and collect specimens from various habitats for our lab activities. We'll also visit world-class research facilities around campus—one with a giant collection of spiders—and the Lab of Ornithology, famous for its comprehensive bird studies and acres devoted to native bird habitat. Prepare to get your hands dirty as we dig into the amazing natural history of Central New York with Cole Gilbert, director of undergraduate biology and professor of entomology.

Cole Gilbert

Cole Gilbert is a professor in the Department of Entomology and the Hays and James M. Clark Director of Undergraduate Biology at Cornell. He has been recognized for his teaching with awards from Cornell, the SUNY Chancellor and the Entomology... > more


Once you've registered, we'll send you materials on the academic program and other information to help you prepare for CAU. A $50 per person, per class, non-refundable deposit is required with your registration. All deposits are applied to the full program charges. Register now!

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For adults staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) includes the course, lodging, fifteen all-you-care-to-eat meals, banquet dinner, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, evening lectures, walks and talks, welcome and farewell receptions, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees as noted. Wednesday dinner is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees.

Standard room, on-campus housing, and meals

$1,970 double occupancy, $100 single supplement

Standard room, on-campus housing with exclusive bath, and meals

$2,030 double occupancy, $150 single supplement

Course fee for commuters and those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites

$1,285. This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option

$327. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience. It includes six breakfasts, five lunches, and four dinners.