Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences, University of Illinois-Chicago

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, Lake Forest College

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Barbara Zorn-Arnold
Barbara Zorn-Arnold, PhD
College of Liberal Arts


"I find it rewarding when students exceed their own expectations."

Dr. Barbara Zorn-Arnold is an Assistant Professor and Program Chair in Environmental Studies for the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University. She earned her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois-Chicago and her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Lake Forest College. Dr. Zorn-Arnold has been teaching and conducting ecological research since 2000. She has held teaching and research positions with Northwestern University, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dr. Zorn-Arnold owned and operated BioResearch Services Inc., a consulting firm aimed at providing practical environmental solutions. She draws upon her professional and research background to promote inquiry-based learning that can be applied to address complex environmental issues. Dr. Zorn-Arnold has been a faculty member with Ashford since 2011 and says, “I enjoy teaching because it gives me the opportunity to be a part of someone’s journey. I find it rewarding when students exceed their own expectations.” In her free time, she enjoys exploring nature and learning karate with her three-year old twins.


Dr. Zorn-Arnold is co-authoring a book with Dr. Wendy Conaway on distance education. She has also published numerous papers in journals such as: Bioscience, American Journal of Botany, International Journal of Plant Sciences, and Ecology.

Recent Publications and presentations

Kramer, A.T., Zorn-Arnold, B. & Havens, K. (2013). Applying lessons from the U.S. Botanical Capacity Assessment Project to achieving the 2020 GSPC targets. Proceedings in Annals of the Missouri Botanic Garden. 99, 172-179.

Sundberg,M., DeAngelis, P., Havens, K., Holsinger, K., Kennedy,K., Kramer, A.T., Muir, R., Olwell, P., Schierenbeck, K.,Stritch,L., & Zorn-Arnold, B. (2011). University students perceive strengths where employers find deficiencies. BioScience 61,133-138.

Kramer, A.T., Zorn-Arnold, B., & Havens, K. (2010). Assessing botanical capacity to address grand challenges in the United States. 64 pp. plus appendices. Available at United Distance Learning Association, 2014 National Conference. Student engagement and the role of eTextbooks.

National Seed Conference, 2011. Assessing Botanical Capacity to Address Grand Challenges in the United States.

Botany Conference, 2010. Botany Graduate Students Perceive Strengths Where Employers Find Deficiencies.

Botany Conference, 2010. Assessing Botanical Capacity to Address 21st Century Grand Challenges in the United States.

Botanical Capacity Conference, Chicago Botanic Garden, 2009. U.S. Plant Science Capacity in Education, Research, and Land Management.