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I find it rewarding when students exceed their own expectations.

Barbara Zorn-Arnold, PhD



Dr. Barbara Zorn-Arnold has almost 20 years of teaching, research, and leadership experience in higher education. Prior to joining Ashford University in 2012, she served as a faculty lecturer and thesis advisor for the MS Degree in Plant Conservation and Biology at Northwestern University. She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards including a teaching fellowship from The National Science Foundation. From 2007 - 2012, Dr. Zorn-Arnold served on the Faculty Advisory Council for the University of Phoenix where she helped direct and develop multiple online degree programs in math and science. Dr. Zorn-Arnold is active in ecological and educational research, with a specific focus on student achievement. Publications are available on Google Scholar. She earned her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois- Chicago and her BA in Environmental Studies from Lake Forest College. Dr. Zorn-Arnold draws upon her professional and research background to promote inquiry-based learning that can be applied to address complex environmental issues, 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 expectations.”


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.

View CV


Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
University of Illinois-Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies
Lake Forest College

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