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Leadership changes at U of I’s Prairie Research Institute
Founding Executive Director steps down; interim named


September 29, 2014

The Prairie Research Institute will have a new leader this fall, as Founding Executive Director Bill Shilts returns to his research roots and Brian Anderson, currently Director of the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), becomes Interim Executive Director of the Institute.

Home to more than 1,000 researchers and staff and $80+ million in external research funding, the Institute provides objective research, expertise, and data on the state’s natural and cultural resources.

“The Prairie Research Institute plays a major role in the university’s research enterprise,” said Peter Schiffer, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“We are grateful for Bill’s commitment to founding the Institute and to his service to the university and the state, and I am confident that Brian will be an excellent interim leader,” Schiffer said. “Finding a visionary leader to permanently fill the Executive Director position is one of my top priorities.”

"The Prairie Research Institute has thrived over the past 6 years since joining the university including more than doubling grant funding,” said Shilts. “We continue to address Illinois' most pressing economic, cultural, and natural resource issues. I am proud of my role leading this tremendous organization and pleased to leave it in the hands of a strong leadership team." read more...


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.

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