Home of the Illinois State Scientific Surveys

Prominent Biologist Named New Leader of the
Prairie Research Institute


Ryan named Executive Director of nation’s premier natural and
cultural research and service organization


August 14, 2015

Dr. Mark Ryan

Mark R. Ryan, a leading wildlife biologist and an expert in conservation and natural resources, has been named the Executive Director of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ryan, who currently serves as Director of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri, will join Illinois on October 1, 2015, pending the approval of the Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Ryan is a highly regarded researcher with a proven track record working in a large, complex organization,” said Peter Schiffer, the vice chancellor for research at the U of I. “I am confident that he will be a strong leader who will develop a strategic vision that builds on the Institute’s past work and fosters new, collaborative research and relationships.”
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Scientific Surveys

Illinois Natural History Survey Building

Illinois Natural History Survey

Since 1858, the INHS has been the guardian and recorder of the biological resources of Illinois — the State's biological memory. With a staff of over 200 scientists and technicians, it is recognized as the premier natural history survey in the nation.

Illinois  State Archaeological Survey Building

Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Formed February 1, 2010 as a new Division in the Prairie Research Institute, ISAS investigates, protects, preserves and interprets the rich archaeological heritage of Illinois through ITARP, the ATAM program, education, and outreach to meet long-term public needs. Drawing on more than eighty years of research at the University of Illinois, ISAS documents and preserves cultural resources within the context of sustainable economic development.

Illinois State Geological Survey Building

Illinois State Geological Survey

The ISGS is a premier State Geological Survey serving the needs of Illinois with earth science information relevant to the State's environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. Some 200 scientists and technical support staff conduct basic and applied research in geology, compile geologic maps, and gather and manage the state's geological data.

Illinois State Water Survey Campus

Illinois State Water Survey

The ISWS has flourished for more than a century by anticipating and responding to new challenges and opportunities to serve the citizens of Illinois. Today, the ISWS continues to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability by developing new programs, while continuing to provide long-standing services upon which Illinoisans have come to rely.

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Building

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

ISTC is a change agency that performs research, spreads awareness, and facilitates implementation regarding practices, technology and systems that improve sustainability. The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (formerly the Waste Management and Research Center) has been providing assistance to Illinois businesses and the public since 1985.

History of the Scientific Surveys and ISTC


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Chicago skyline and Prairie Research Institute logo


A video overview of the applied research of the Prairie Research Institute premiered during the National Council for Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Conference on Energy and Climate Change, January 27-29 in Washington, D.C. View the seven minute video


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cover from the FY13 annual report Institute Strategic Plan 2013-2018 now available online.






cover from the FY13 annual report 2013 Institute Annual Report now available online.


For a printed copy please contact Angie Wisehart.

2012 Annual Report



Events, Lectures, Seminars

Prairie Research Institute Event Calendar

Other Institute Events:
      Naturally Illinois Expo
      Prairie Lightning Symposium
      Prairie Research Institute Lecture Series
      Prairie Research Institute Science Camp


Prairie Research Institute News

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