Home of the Illinois State Scientific Surveys

Message from the Founding Executive Director


William W. Shilts, Executive Director

The 2013 edition of the Prairie Research Institute’s Annual Report marks our fifth anniversary (July 1, 2013) as an integral part of the University of Illinois. In that short time we have grown to be the largest Institute on the Urbana campus, with over 1,000 employees. From 2008 through Fiscal Year 2013, our annual external research funding has more than doubled, from $28 million to more than $60 million, evenly split between state and federal contracts and grants.

Our core state funding has remained steady at $15.8 million, and with that stable core, we generate one in every 10 research dollars that the university receives from external sources. Raw numbers do not adequately capture the value of the Institute to the state and university, however. As our various component Surveys have done throughout their 160+ year history, we provide a vitally important, focused source of objective natural and cultural resource data and expertise to our clients in Illinois and beyond.

As I approach my 50th anniversary of working with Scientific Surveys in Canada and the United States, I am reminded of how natural and cultural resource science serves society while providing a rewarding career for research scientists and individuals who deliver scientific and technical services. In my own case, the research that I conducted to address societal needs in the areas of mineral development and environmental security allowed me the tools and resources for amazing research opportunities while fulfilling my primary role of serving the public with objective data on which to base important decisions. In my experience, most of the employees of the 70 or more Scientific Surveys in North America are inspired by the same goals that have made my career so rewarding. 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.

History of the Scientific Surveys and ISTC


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cover from the FY13 annual report 2013 Institute Annual
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2012 Annual Report



FY2013 Institute Publications now available online.



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

From the University of Illinois' News Bureau
      Decades-old amber collection offers...
      Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal...
      U. of I. to receive Energy Frontier Center...
      Home Away From Home with Laura Barnes...
      Six academic professionals honored for excellence...
      Success of new bug fighting approach...
      Native American City on the Mississippi...
      Water Survey: So far it's the fourth coldest...
      Plastic shopping bags make a fine...
      Of lice and men (and chimps):...
      Targeted culling of deer controls disease...
      Illinois river otters still exposed to chemicals...
      Team uses forest waste to develop...
      Researchers move endangered mussels...

More Institute News

INHS News       ISAS News       ISGS News
ISWS News       ISTC News


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  Updated 09/12/14 aw

PRAIRIE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
William W. Shilts, Executive Director
615 E. Peabody Drive, MC-650
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-333-5111
Fax: 217-265-4678
prairie@illinois.edu

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