Gabis and PNW Students, Faculty and Staff

A PNW student is pictured.Explore more about how Purdue Northwest students, faculty and staff can engage with Gabis Arboretum for research opportunities, class projects and more.

Gabis Arboretum is a living laboratory for PNW faculty, students and staff. The arboretum supports PNW’s focus on research and applied learning by providing opportunities for students to interact with the natural world.

Recharge and find your inspiration! Whether it’s providing a serene study area or a rejuvenating hike, the Gabis Arboretum relaxes the mind and inspires new ideas. Admission is always free for PNW students with a valid ID.

Clubs, fraternities, sororities or individual students are welcome to volunteer at the arboretum. We’ll make sure your work is interesting and fun. All types of skills and experience levels are welcome.

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Bring your class for a visit to the arboretum and use it as a living laboratory. Or, hold your next department meeting there. Reservations are not required for class visits unless a facility or tour is needed.

If you would like to reserve a facility, please contact us ahead of time. Room rentals are free of charge to PNW faculty, students and staff but must be reserved at least one week in advance. There is no on-site catering. Groups may choose their own catering options and arboretum staff can provide a list of local vendors. Explore the arboretum’s venues.

If you would like to arrange for a tour, please contact us ahead of time and we will work with our staff and volunteers to determine availability.

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Research has been part of the arboretum landscape since its founding in the early 1990s. The 300-acre preserve has been used by faculty and students in many fields, from botany, insect conservation, soil science to wildlife ecology.

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Research Completed at Gabis Arboretum:

  • Role of plant diversity on arthropod communities in a restored tallgrass prairie of the U.S. Midwest- Eric M. Kelleher, Young D. Choi
  • Insect Survey of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens Prairie- Dr. Spencer Cortwright
  • Observational Study of Plant Allocation Patterns Across Variation in Rainfall Regime- Caroline E. Farrior
  • Taxonomy of Hill’s Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis: Fagaceae): Evidence from AFLP Data- Andrew L. Hipp & Jaime A. Weber
  • Upland Game Birds: Management Techniques & Case Studies- Roger Hanus

We welcome projects and can offer a variety of opportunities:


  • Create marketing and social media plans
  • Analyze attendance and visitation patterns


  • Develop curriculum for education programs
  • Interact with various age groups by leading informal educational programming

Information Technology

  • Input plant collection data into electronic database
  • Assemble a geo-database of the arboretum for mapping and facilities management


  • Conduct water quality testing to investigate, for example, fertilizer impacts
  • Plant bulbs and study soil


  • Create wildlife management plans (Did you know that we have a beaver “problem”? We need some help researching various ways to live with the beavers or re-home them humanely, if possible.)
  • Study native wildlife


  • Development of a virtual tour of the arboretum
  • Work with the electrical control systems in the Railway Garden
  • Use drones to document the arboretum during various seasons

Tourism and Event Planning

  • Assist with planning the summer concert series and working with vendors

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