Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois



The Great Rivers Field Station


The state of Illinois’ investment in the GRFS pays substantial dividends beyond our research and educational achievements by:

Creating Jobs

The state of Illinois provides support for 1 full-time position at the GRFS. This investment yields research funds, which support an additional 5.5 full-time positions, several seasonal positions, and graduate students.

Bringing in Research Funds

GRFS brings in $785,000 in outside grant funding each year. The majority of these funds are spent within Illinois and the local communities near the GRFS.


Obtaining scientific knowledge is only useful if the information is successfully disseminated to other scientists, resource managers, decision makers, and the general public. At GRFS, we share our findings by:

Publishing Critical Research

Peer-Reviewed Journals:
Freshwater Biology
River Research and Applications
Biological Invasions
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Engaging Decision Makers

Through our long-term monitoring and research programs, we are in constant communication with management agencies, including the USACE, USGS, USFWS, USEPA, and IDNR. Our UMRR monitoring and research efforts are reported directly to the U.S. Congress.




Participating in Outreach

GRFS staff are committed to public outreach. We take part in educational programs spanning K–12, and outreach programs with private institutions and NGOs.

Mentoring Students

GRFS staff give lectures at universities and colleges throughout the U.S., and provide training and mentorship for University of Illinois graduate students.

GRFS scientists have recently expanded their long-term research activities to include investigations of human-river interactions across deep time with a new interdisciplinary NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates project. Working with archeologists at the Center for American Archeology and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, this project focuses on teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills to undergraduate students from non-research universities by immersing them in zooarcheological and ecological research projects. The students form interdisciplinary teams to formulate and test hypotheses using zooarcheological fish data and modern data from the long-term river monitoring programs.

Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

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