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  • 1000 more endangered mussels released in Illinois rivers

    Over the course of a week, 1000 endangered mussels were collected from under a bridge construction site in Pennsylvania, packed for safe transport, quarantined, marked, measured, and released into new sites in Vermilion County, Illinois. This is the third relocation from Pennsylvania to Illinois as part of the Species Survival Plan for two endangered mussels, the northern riffleshell and the clubshell. Read the entire story from the U of I News Bureau, INHS, and the News Gazette.

  • 12th Biennial Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System

    The Illinois State Water Survey is Co-Sponsoring:The Twelfth Biennial Conference on the . Management of the Illinois River SystemOctober 20-22, 2009Hotel Pere Marquette, Peoria, IL 

  • Reagan Lee

    12-year-old pursues love of paleontology by volunteering in INHS lab

    It's not unusual to find 12-year-old Reagan Lee in the INHS paleontology lab on a Saturday, scanning for fossils embedded in chunks of amber from the Dominican Republic.

  • 14th Illinois River Conference – Working Locally-Reaching Globally

    “Working Locally-Reaching Globally”, the theme for the 14th Biennial Governor's Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System, offers a look at the river system, the local work being done to protect it, and its place on a global scale. The conference will be held on October 1-3, 2013 at Peoria's Four Points by Sheraton.

  • 2006 Ranks as 9th Warmest Year for Illinois

    "Based on preliminary data, temperatures of 54.0°F statewide (1.8°F above 30-year normals) made 2006 the 9th warmest year in Illinoissince 1895. This was largely the result of a record-setting January last year with an average temperature of 37.9°F, 13.3°F above normal," said State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (http://www.sws.uiuc.edu), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • 2009 William H. Luckmann winner announced

    Nicholas A. Tinsley has won the 2009 William H. Luckmann Award for Research in Applied Entomology. His research project, "Effects of Current and Future Soybean Aphid Management Tactics on Soybean Aphids and Their Natural Enemies in Illinois," will help scientists and growers improve methods of Soybean Aphid integrated pest management. The William H. Luckmann Award is given for research that focuses on aspects of applied entomology such as arthropod pest management, use of insects in biological control programs, pollinators, or natural areas health. The research may be carried out for agricultural, horticultural, urban, medical or natural areas systems. Visit the Illinois Natural History Survey webpage to learn more about the William H. Luckmann award.

  • 2011 Midwest Summer

    Summer (June through August) in the Midwest was marked by above average temperatures, especially in July and early August, and extreme precipitation conditions.  Drought conditions occurred for half of the Midwest, while at the same time, several severe precipitation events resulted in flash flooding, breaking 17 all-time precipitation records, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS).

  • 2014 Illinois First Detector Workshops for invasive species announced

    The schedule is up for the First Detector workshops for 2014. This program, a cooperative effort between University of Illinois Plant Clinic, University of Illinois Extension, and the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program (Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute), is a great way to learn about new pests, diseases, and plants heading into Illinois. Last year, the trainings focused on forested ecosystems; this year the focus is on Landscape and Nursery pests.

  • 2014 Marks the 4th Coldest Year on Record for Illinois

    The statewide average temperature for 2014 was 49.4 degrees F, which is 2.9 degrees below average.  The year was tied with 1912 and 1979 for fourth place, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • 2022 begins with a dry and cold January

    The preliminary statewide average January temperature was 21.1 degrees, 5.6 degrees below the 1991–2020 average. The preliminary statewide average total January precipitation was 1.17 inches, 1.14 inches below normal.

  • A spotted turtle in water

    30 years of data show spotted turtle communities are still vulnerable

    Populations of the endangered spotted turtle in Illinois are holding up better than those in other states, based on 30 years of data at the University of Illinois. Still, only two populations remain, and the predictions are poor.

  • assassin bug fossil

    50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia

    The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug’s physical characteristics – from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia – are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs.

  • Aaron Yetter elected Secretary of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society for 2009

    Aaron Yetter has been elected Secretary of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society for 2009. The states represented in the North Central Section, one of eight sections in the country, are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. More information about the mission of The Wildlife Society, and the purpose of its sections, can be found on the organization's homepage.

  • Above-Average Temperatures for April in Illinois

    Although April had a few cold stretches, the statewide average temperature for the month was 54.1 degrees, 1.7 degrees above average, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Paleontologist Sam Heads in the lab

    A donation for the ages

    A recent gift of thousands of fossils provides insights about a dynamic stage in the climatic evolution of North America.

  • A Dry October in Illinois

  • Drilling for the geothermal exchange system at the U of I campus

    A geothermal exchange system on the U of I campus proves its benefits

    Last year, a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers helped build a geothermal exchange system to heat and cool a new building at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I), saving electrical usage and marking another step in the quest for a carbon-neutral campus. This type of heating and cooling system is also used successfully in homes, businesses, and industry, according to Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) scientist Andrew Stumpf.

  • non-native cattail

    Aggressive, non-native wetland plants squelch species richness more than dominant natives do

  • A lack of rain prompts drier soils across Illinois in mid-June

    Drier weather has led to declining soil moisture across Illinois, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • A mild January in Illinois

    The statewide average temperature in January was 31.4 degrees, 5.0 degrees above normal, and the 14th warmest January on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • snow-covered trees hanging over a path

    A mostly mild January ends with winter storms in Illinois

    January was quite a bit warmer and slightly wetter than average across the state, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • An active February finishes climatological winter

    The preliminary statewide average February temperature was 27.2 degrees, 3.0 degrees below the 1991–2020 average and tied for 42nd coldest on record going back to 1895. The preliminary statewide average total February precipitation was 3.41 inches, 1.48 inches above the 1991–2020 average and the 9th wettest on record statewide.  

  • A new species of Drypetes described

    In a recent paper in Phytokeys, INHS Botanist Dr. Geoffrey Levin described a new species of Drypetes from Costa Rica. This new species of flowering tree produces asymmetrical drupes (fleshy fruits), leading to its name Drypetes asymmetricarpa.

  • Jim Angel

    Angel talks climate, career with Illinois News Bureau

    News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with State Climatologist Jim Angel about his career, climate change and the recently released National Climate Assessment.

  • Anniversary of First Hook Echo Tornado Captured on Radar

    Today is the 62nd anniversary of the first documented case of a tornado detected by radar. Illinois State Water Survey staff captured the historic event on film on April 9, 1953. This discovery helped lead to the first national weather radar network in the United States, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Annual precipitation records were broken across the Midwest

    More than 120 stations across the Midwest had their wettest year on record in 2018, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). 

  • Annual Spring Bird Count - May 10th

    For the last 40 years, one day each spring, birders across Illinois go out and identify as many species of birds as they can. This data is compiled into a database managed by the Illinois Natural History Survey. Visit our website for more information on the Spring Bird Count.

  • April 2018 was second-coldest on record for Illinois

    Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel reports that the statewide average temperature for Illinois in april was 44.7 degrees, 7.9 degrees below normal. The only colder April on records was in 1907, with an average temperature of 43.1.

  • snow on pine branches

    April 2019: An active weather pattern and late-season snow

    April 2019 will be a month remembered for a continuation of an active and stormy weather pattern across Illinois, with two short-lived, yet notable and uncommon late-season snow events which impacted many in the northern portions of the state.

  • April brought a mix of winter, spring, and summer weather

    Illinois temperatures varied considerably in April from way above to significantly below normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • April conditions in Illinois featured colder weather and frequent rainfall

    April was colder than normal in Illinois, with freezing temperatures occurring into mid-month and as far south as St. Louis Metro East, according to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey. Rainfall in April was frequent but averaged near normal statewide for the month.

  • April in Illinois was Much Wetter than Last Year

    April was the 4th wettest on record for Illinois with 6.90 inches of rain, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois. That total was 3.13 inches above the long-term average of 3.77 inches for the month.

  • April in Illinois was Warm and Wet

    The statewide average temperature for April was 51.9 degrees, only 0.7 degrees below average. While it continues the string of below-average months that stretched all the way back to November, this month had the smallest departure from average, according to Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • frost on flower bud

    April's temperature roller coaster ends colder, wetter than average

    According to Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford, April ended colder and wetter than average across the state. The preliminary statewide average April temperature was 49.2 degrees, 3.4 degrees below the 30-year normal and tied for the 27th coldest on record going back to 1895. The preliminary statewide average total April precipitation was 4.36 inches, 0.58 inches above than the 30-year normal and the 43rd wettest on record.

  • A Rainy June Set a New Record for Illinois

    The statewide average precipitation for June 2015 in Illinois was 9.53 inches, or 5.33 inches above the average June precipitation. This was the wettest June on record for Illinois, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

     

  • Illinois Archaeological Predictive Model screenshot

    Archaeological predictive model helps Illinoisans balance growth with preservation

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey offers a GIS-based tool that draws on more than a century of data to predict the probability of encountering an archaeological site in any 2-acre section of Illinois. Land owners, developers, preservationists, and other Illinoisans can use this tool to proactively assess and protect archaeological resources while enabling sustainable development. 

  • map of Illinois featuring locations of archaeological sites

    Archaeological predictive modeling app offers clues for future development

    Drawing on data from more than 53,000 pre-Columbian, Native American archaeological site locations, John Lambert and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey are using GIS-based tools, statistical analysis, and over a century of archaeological work in Illinois to build the Illinois Archaeological Predictive Model (IAPM). The free IAPM is a resource for the public, landowners, state agencies and legislators, and archaeologiststo help protect and preserve Illinois' archaeological resources and promote sustainable development.

  • Archaeology returns to Allerton

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) will again partner with Parkland College to bring archaeology to Allerton Park for the second year in a row. This year the Parkland College field school will be led by ISAS research archaeologist and Parkland College instructor Dr. B. Jacob Skousen.

  • Are all your ducks in a row? Surveyors take to a plane to know!

  • Arsenic in Private Wells is Hot Topic at ISWS Water Testing Lab

    September 18 is World Water Monitoring Day

    Since the national drinking water standard for arsenic became more stringent in 2006, arsenic in Illinois groundwater has become a health concern, especially for private well owners. Community water supplies are government-regulated, but private well owners must monitor their own water for safety, according to Brian Kaiser, associate chemist at the Illinois State Water Survey Public Service Laboratory at the University of Illinois Institute for Resource Sustainability.

  • Arsenic, mercury and selenium in Asian carp not a health concern to most

    A recent study by INHS researchers Jeffrey M. Levengood, David J. Soucek, Gregory G. Sass, Amy Dickinson, and John M. Epifanio showed that overall, concentrations of arsenic, selenium, and mercury in bighead and silver carp from the lower Illinois River do not appear to be a health concern for a majority of human consumers. The full results of the study have been published in the journal Chemosphere.

  • Artificial Intelligence Scores High in Accuracy to Predict Water Contamination

    New, effective solutions are revealed when scientists use computer programs that simulate human intelligence to forecast drinking water contamination in agricultural areas, according to Momcilo Markus, hydrologist at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

  • Asian Carp barrier catches turtle

    A barrier designed to prevent Asian Carp from reaching Lake Michigan had the unintended consequence of catching a snapping turtle. This was the first known instance of an animal trapped in the mesh and the turtle was released unharmed. When first installed, migrating turtles were completely blocked by the carp barrier. Subsequent gates installed along the length of the barrier allow turtles to migrate through. The location of the gates was based on the multi-year radio telemetry study conducted by INHS herpetologists on the endangered Blandings' Turtle and other turtles in the area.

  • Asian carp still doing well

    Thad Cook, of the Illinois River Biological Station, took an impressive photo of carp that appeared in a web log of the Peoria Journal Star.

  • Asian tiger mosquito

    Asian tiger mosquito gains ground in Illinois

    Researchers report that the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has become more abundant across Illinois in the past three decades. Its spread is problematic, as the mosquito can transmit diseases–like chikungunya or dengue fever–to humans.

  • Ask me anything: WARM team

    Environmental chemist Jennie Atkins manages the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program, which monitors and measures Illinois' waters, soils, and climate. WARM works with municipalities, industries, state agencies, and environmental groups to develop monitoring plans to address major watershed issues. 

  • A Snowy Christmas in Illinois is Rare

    Every year in December, weather forecasters are asked the age-old question:  Will we have a white Christmas this year? An analysis of Illinois' history shows the chances are slim, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • A Snowy, Rainy March in Illinois

    Statewide precipitation averaged 3.62 inches, 0.66 inches above normal. The highest monthly total precipitation was in Lockport with 7.22 inches, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

  • jumping silver carp

    Assessment of Asian carp in Illinois waterways

    Scientists and policymakers have long struggled with managing Asian carp numbers in Illinois waterways. PRI's Joe Parkos and Steve Butler explain what's working to scale back these intruders as they inch toward the Great Lakes.

  • Attack of the Flying Fish

    The Illinois Times talks to Kevin Irons, INHS LTRMP Fish Specialist, about sampling for Asian carp. Irons catalogs some of the things that he does to make sampling on the Illinois River safe.