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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 

  • 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.

  • $16.3 million given for new field station

    Governor Pat Quinn visited thee National Great Rivers Research and Education Center's new Confluence Field Station, the future home of the Illinois Natural History Survey's Great Rivers Field Staff, and presented a check for $16.3 million dollars towards its completion. Dr. John Chick, Director of the INHS' Great Rivers Field Station, is briefly quoted in an article written about the visit in the September 19, 2009 article posted at

  • 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 (, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • 2007 Governor's Conference on Management of the Illinois River System Scheduled

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is one of 60 groups cosponsoring the 11th Biennial Governor's Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System. "The Illinois River-Continuing Our Commitment" will be October 2-4 at Peoria's Holiday Inn City Centre Hotel.

  • 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.

  • 2010 Naturally Illinois Expo gets television coverage

    The 2010 Naturally Illinois Expo, sponsored by the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, of which Illinois Natural History Survey is a part, has been receiving local television coverage. Clips of the shows can be seen on the WICD and WCIA (Anne Dill's segment is called "Turtles" and Rob Collins' is called "Mud to Parks") websites. Other media coverage includes the following:

  • 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.

  • 2018 Celebration of Excellence

    On April 11, the Prairie Research Institute honored employees for their outstanding achievements and excellent work. Selection committees composed of staff from across the organization reviewed multiple strong nominations before selecting the 2018 honorees.

  • 2019 Celebration of Excellence

    The Prairie Research Institute recently honored employees for their outstanding achievements and presented the Friend of PRI Award to longtime advisory board member P. Kay Whitlock. 

  • 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.

  • Adaptability of deer ticks back in the limelight

    INHS Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiologist Nohra Mateus-Pinilla and her research on lyme disease vectors were featured in an article in the Danville Commercial News and also discussed in a segment on Chicago Tonight about Science in Illinois. Deer ticks have been spreading and are now found in 26 Illinois counties. Mateus-Pinilla's study at Allerton park showed high numbers of infected individuals in prairie habitats, rather than the typical forest habitat. Based on the study, it appears that Lyme disease and deer ticks may be more adaptable than previously known. With regards to the lack of studies on ticks and lyme disease, Mateus-Pinilla said, "There are a lot of unknowns. It seems like we have very little work on the ground being done."

  • 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

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

  • Alexandra Cousteau visits Great Rivers Field Station

    Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and founder of Blue Legacy International, visited the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) in Brighton, IL from April 20 - 22. Cousteau, was gathering film footage for her upcoming documentary, "Expedition: Blue Planet." Ms. Cousteau worked with John Chick, Field Station Director for the INHS and NGRREC, to investigate nutrient-pollution in the Mississippi River due to current farming practices and other sources. To facilitate the learning process for the documentary crew, Dr. Chick also organized a round table discussion for the "Expedition: Blue Planet" group. The round table included representatives from the USDA-NRCS, USEPA, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Chick and his INHS/NGRREC crew took the Blue Planet Expedition to film on the Mississippi River in various locations, focusing on both healthy sections of this floodplain ecosystem and areas challenged by industrial and agricultural pollution. Expedition members also learned first hand about the risk posed to boaters from the leaping behavior of invasive Asian Carp. Dr. Chick was mentioned in three of the "Expedition: Blue Planet" daily blogs, and was interviewed for the documentary film. Videos from this visit should be posted on the Blue Legacy website in a few weeks.

  • Alligator Snapping Turtle featured in Environmental Almanac

    The Alligator Snapping Turtle reintroduction project was featured in this week's Environmental Almanac. Not seen in Illinois in 30 years, INHS researchers are working to re-establish populations of these massive turtles.

  • 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.

  • "A Minute With" Ed Heske about White Nose Syndrome in bats

    INHS Mammal Ecologist was interviewed about White Nose Syndrome, a fungus spreading west across the United States, which affects bats. Bats are important predators of pest insects and many ecological questions related to how this typically fatal infection will impact predation rates, pesticide use, etc remain to be answered. Read the complete interview in "A Minute With..."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Applications Accepted for a Student Research in Applied Entomology Award

    Applications will be accepted for the 2017 William H. Luckmann Award for Student Research in Applied Entomology until 5 p.m. on Friday, March 31.

  • Applications for Luckmann Award sought

    Dr. William H. Luckmann served as a researcher and administrator for applied entomological programs at the Illinois Natural History Survey from 1949 through 1984. Applications for the William H. Luckmann award are now being accepted. Additional information about the award, including deadlines and requirements, can be found on the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois website.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.


  • Archaeological predictive modeling app offers clues for future 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.

  • Article by INHS researchers featured in Outdoor Illinois

    An article on Illinois Turtles appears in the May issue of Outdoor Illinois The article is written by Jim Lamer, Chad Dolan and John Tucker. Lamer and Dolan are former INHS employees. John Tucker is a herpetologist at the INHS' Great Rivers Field Station.

  • 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 and the INHS Illinois River Biological Station in Bloomberg Businessweek

    Blake Ruebush, Levi Solomon and Chase Holtman took Bloomberg reporter Ben Paynter out on the river to survey for Asian Carp as part of a story summarizing the Asian Carp battle. Using a boat protected by "carp-proof" windshield and mesh netting, the ecologists electroshocked the river to survey the abundance and diversity of fishes present. Read more about the legal battles, the eDNA findings, and marketing Asian Carp to the public. Learn more about the Illinois River Biological Station.

  • 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 image on cover of Alternatives Journal

    The carp image, taken by Thad Cook, graces the cover of the Canada's Environmental Voice - Alternatives Journal's - "Water Issue." It accompanies an article on Asian Carp and work being done by the US Army Corps of Engineers to curb their impact and keep them out of the Great Lakes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.