Lincoln Park Zoo - Amélie Davis - © 2016
Beach Grass - Dan Milz - © 2016
Bike Path - Forest Preserves of Cook County - © 2016
Beach - Amélie Davis - © 2016
Ice Fishing - Forest Preserves of Cook County - © 2016
Chicago Skyline - Wikimedia Commons - © 2016
Easter Bunny - Amélie Davis - © 2016

Greetings from Chicago!

The US-IALE 2018 Annual Meeting will be held April 8 - 12 in Chicago, Illinois at the historic Palmer Hilton House in the Loop. Easily accessible to public transportation and a block from Grant Park and its attractions, the Palmer House was built out of love, burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire, rebuilt, and now newly renovated.

Chicago straddles the massive ecological transition zone from the deciduous forests to the east and the oak woodland/tallgrass prairies to the west. The city also straddles the boundary between the two largest watersheds on the continent: the Mississippi River watershed and the Great Lakes watershed. As William Cronon described it, Chicago is "Nature's Metropolis", with its urban core tightly linked to the agricultural and natural ecosystems that expand beyond it. The scale of Chicago's ecological connections to water, food, and biodiversity will generate a truly unique, interdisciplinary conference.

While its namesake wild garlic (shikaakwa in Miami-Illinois language) might be hard to find downtown, food and fun will not be. Grab a bite at one of the hundreds of restaurants within walking distance, or take some food to-go and explore the landscape architecture of Grant Park (please note that ketchup on hot dogs is a misdemeanor within the city limits). In the evening, tag some colleagues and share a cab to visit one of the many comedy clubs or blues bars within the Loop or north in Wrigleyville. If you need a morning run or lunchtime walk, head due east from the hotel through Grant Park and pick up the Lakefront Trail. It offers 18 miles of stunning views of the lake and the city. Bringing kids? Want to bring back your inner child? Go visit the Museum Complex at the south end of Grant Park (Field Natural History Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry), or have some fun at the Children's Museum at Navy Pier just north of Grant Park. If you love heights, you can't get any higher than The Skydeck at the top of Willis Tower, but please call it the "Sears Tower" when asking for directions or the locals will get confused.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

The Host Committee

--Emily, Amélie, Brian, and Audrey