A Message from Executive Director Bill Shilts
The Prairie Research Institute continues to thrive as we carry out Illinois-focused natural and cultural resource research and service in support of the state. Our work encompasses a broad range of resource sciences, which we apply to address societal challenges faced both by our citizens and by other societies around the world. Among a myriad of other research and service projects, we provide data and expertise for drought and flood response efforts, monitor mosquito populations for West Nile virus, evaluate water supplies for growing communities, discover and catalogue archaeological sites in the path of construction, and lead one of the world’s most advanced demonstrations of geologic carbon sequestration.
Last year, our $15.8 million core state funding leveraged nearly $65 million in other funding, about half of which came from federal sources (U.S. Department of Energy [DOE], U.S. Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, etc.) A significant amount of our funding originates in State of Illinois agencies, for which we are an increasingly important source of the research they require to fulfill their mandates, especially as their funding shrinks in response to shortfalls in state revenues.
The state legislature has provided core funding to the State Scientific Surveys since they were founded in the mid-1800s, including each year since 2008 when the Institute was established and we moved administratively from state government to the University. The Institute receives those funds as a separate line in the University’s budget. The Institute receives essentially no direct funding from the University and, like other campus units, we deliver a significant percentage of the overhead we generate from external funding to the University each year. read more of Executive Director Shilts' message
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Prairie Research Insitute Science Camp
Geology, archaeology, biological sciences, water science, and sustainable technology are the focus of a new weeklong UI day camp (non-residential) for rising high school juniors, seniors and new graduates. Students will work with Institute scientists and engage in research activities in the lab and field. The camp will be held from July 15-19 (8am – 5pm). Applications due by May 10.
Learn more about the camp »
2012 Institute Annual
Report now available online.
Prairie Research Institute News
Prairie Research Institute News
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