Illinois Featured Content

blog navigation

Behind the Scenes

blog posts

  • view inside the virtual reality cave. Photo by Cameron Merrill

    Excavating a cave without leaving campus

    Students learn to map a cave, lay out an excavation grid and use ground-penetrating radar to locate potential underground features - all in virtual reality

  • Members of the Geoscientists Without Borders team pose with Jimu villagers after the successful completion of a new village borehole.

    Finding water closer to home in Jimu Village

    Many of these happy faces wore skeptical frowns last April when we first approached the villagers with our crazy idea to find a new water source for them using high-tech instruments

  • KAM curator Maureen Warren takes a close look at the vase. image by Natalie Fiol

    Deciphering the history of a Chinese vase

    Scientists are helping determine the age of an antique Chinese porcelain vase in Krannert Art Museum’s collection through an X-ray fluorescence analysis of its paint

  • 1.	Postdoctoral researcher Mikus Abolins-Abols peers into the nest of an American robin. Photo by L. B. Stauffer

    Playing a parasite for science

    I act the part of the cowbird: I spy on robins to find their nests and slip a foreign egg into each one. 

  • 1.	U. of I. graduate student Jeannie Larmon surveys the landscape before the trek. Photo by Thomas Franklin

    Finding an ancient Maya city in the jungles of Belize

    'The site is impressive, with monumental buildings and a temple that rises 30 meters above our heads. ...the west side of the temple platform is a sheer 10-meter drop'

  • In 2009, a fast-moving windstorm known as a derecho swept through this site, near Fountain Bluff in Illinois. Photo by Melissa Daniels

    Tracking a forest’s recovery one year after storm

    In February, 2017, a tornado swept through this part of the Shawnee National Forest. There are few canopy trees left standing and invasive understory plants have taken over

  • 3.	Wildflowers bloom in the recently burned understory of the pine flatwoods of Floridas Apalachicola National Forest.

    In search of ‘white birds in a nest’

    Our willingness to tromp through swamps and brambles is fueled by the hope of catching a glimpse of “white birds in a nest” (Macbridea alba) in bloom

  • In a July ceremony, Elizabeth Woodburn receives her white coat, signifying that she is a physician-in-training, from dean King Li and executive associate dean Rashid Bashir. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    Journey to becoming a physician-innovator

    A a member of the inaugural class of the world’s first engineering-based medical school talks about how she got to Illinois

  • The weavers gather in a community center in Tambo Perccaro. Photo by Francisco Seuffenheld

    Illinois outreach: The weavers of Tambo Perccaro

    'About 70 people are waiting for us in the courtyard of the community center when we arrive. They are llama herders, farmers and weavers. Many have walked for miles to be here...'

  • A lush pool lies below a difficult-to-reach sinkhole. PHOTO BY J. LARMON

    Exploring the unknown: The Motmot sinkhole

    'The ancient Maya viewed openings in the earth, such as this sinkhole and a nearby pool, as portals to the underworld – a realm within which deities and ancestors reside'

  • Ornate Turtle. Photo by Devin Edmonds

    Searching for turtles in a sea of grass

    To survey local Ornate Turtles, one has to find them. Turtle tracking dogs help a lot.

  • basketball hoop. Photo courtesy Daniel Santos

    Aiming for hoops and practicing English

    I can see that their trust is growing. They are looking to their female trainer as a role model, an outlier in a society that doesn’t always encourage young girls to pursue athletics

  • Lori Fuller's hand creating colored pencil art. Photo courtesy of Lori Fuller

    Rocks, moss and muddy tree roots

    Campus staff member tells of finding inspiration for her art on a trip to the Great Smokey Mountains. 'I have one goal in mind,' she writews. 'I want to see something extraordinary.'

  • A flock of hens enjoys a cracked-corn dinner. Photo by Christine Parker

    Double the traps, double the turkeys

    Since 2015, I've spent each winter capturing and tagging wild turkeys with GPS transmitters to study their habitat use and nesting behavior in forests managed with prescribed fire