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Prairie Research Institute’s Large-Scale Watershed Initiative Recognized at White House Water Summit


March 22, 2016

The White House Water Summit highlighted the Resilient Watersheds Initiative of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois in its announcement of new measurable steps being taken across the country to address key water issues.

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The interdisciplinary approach of the Initiative includes expertise from the Prairie Research Institute (PRI), Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, other departments across the University, as well as researchers at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Alton, IL.

Held in conjunction with World Water Day, the White House hosted the Water Summit to “raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions in the United States, and to catalyze ideas and actions to help build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative science and technology.” The text of the White House announcement about the PRI Resilient Watersheds Initiative follows:

"The Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in cooperation with the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Alton, IL, is launching the Resilient Watersheds Initiative, an interdisciplinary research project focused on developing coupled models to inform decision making related to water in the Illinois River Drainage Basin. The initiative will also deliver science-based education and extension services to the people living in the floodplains of the Illinois River and its major tributaries who are managing these issues. The Prairie Research Institute is planning to provide $300,000 annually to support this Initiative."

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Scientific Surveys

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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