Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

A Detailed History of the Illinois Natural History Survey

Since 1858 the Illinois Natural History Survey (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 one of the premier natural history surveys in the nation. Over the years, its mission has remained fairly constant: to investigate the diversity, life histories, and ecology of the plants and animals of the state; to publish research results so that those resources can be managed wisely; and to provide information to the public in order to foster an understanding and appreciation of our natural heritage.

Stephen Forbes was the first director of the INHS, and to him the word survey meant more than a censusing of organisms or publishing lists showing their distribution. Forbes felt that any study should define the relationships among living organisms and their environment-an ecological survey. This theory prevailed in his work and underlined the early research done at the Natural History Survey. In 1880 Forbes stated, “The first indispensable requisite is a thorough knowledge of the natural order-an intelligently conducted natural history survey. Without the general knowledge which such a survey would give us, all our measures must be empirical, temporary, uncertain, and often dangerous.” Many components make up the INHS. Its research, collections, publications, long-term studies, field stations, and educational outreach have not only made the Illinois Natural History Survey the largest, but also the most successful state biological survey in the country.First home of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Normal, IL

1858 On June 30, the State Natural History Society of Illinois is organized and housed at Illinois State Normal University.

1860 The earliest insect specimen in the INHS Insect Collection is contributed by Benjamin D. Walsh.

1861 The society is legally chartered by the state legislature on February 22, and a library is provided.

1861 The society’s museum is officially dedicated on Christmas Day. Of the museum, theBloomington Pantagraph writes: “It has been said that he who places a valuable truth or fact within the reach of all, is more worthy than he who discovers it.” The museum contains 60,000 specimens.

Benjamin D. Walsh1867 Office of the State Entomologist is established and Benjamin D. Walsh is appointed the first state entomologist.

1867 John Wesley Powell is appointed curator of the State Natural History Society’s museum collections.

1871 The museum is transferred to the State Board of Education at Normal for the use and benefit of the state and is given the name “Illinois Museum of Natural History.”

Steven A. Forbes1872 Stephen A. Forbes is appointed the fourth curator of the Illinois Museum of Natural History.

1873 The earliest specimen in the INHS Herbarium is a bedstraw (Galium aparine) from Macon County.

1876 The first bulletin is issued—List of Illinois Crustacea by Stephen A. Forbes. The bulletin remains in continuous publication today.

1877 The State Natural History Society of Illinois becomes the State Laboratory of Natural History, and Stephen A. Forbes is named its director.

1879 The state legislature appropriates “the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars” for publishing the results of biological studies.

1883 Stephen A. Forbes and his assistants spend 128 days in the field. Collections and observations are made in 31 different counties with more than 6,000 miles traveled by railroad and steamboat.

1885 Stephen A. Forbes becomes a professor of zoology at the Illinois Industrial University in Urbana. As a result, the State Laboratory of Natural History moves from Normal to the Urbana campus.

1887 Stephen A. Forbes authors The Lake as a Microcosm. It will become a classic in the history of development of the field of ecology.

Charles A. Hart, entomologist1889 Charles A. Hart is hired as a systematic entomologist and curator of the insect collections. Using the train as his main mode of transportation, he collects insects from every part of the state. This insect collection develops into one of the finest of any state.

1890 Stephen A. Forbes is the first scientist to describe an annelid species from Illinois, the American terrestrial leech (Haemopis eonops) from a garden in McLean County.

1891 The State Laboratory distributes 14,000 insects to 39 public schools. They are in the form of named, labeled, and systematically arranged sets.

1893 At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the laboratory displays a collection of state birds and their eggs, a series of entomological collections, a model economic entomologist’s office and insectary, and a nearly complete display of fishes of Illinois. Robert Ridgway, curator of ornithology at the United States National Museum, writes of the exhibit, “…incomparably superior to any other state exhibit at the Fair, and a very close competitor with the Government exhibit….”

1894 The first field station is established at Havana. It becomes the first inland aquatic biological station in the world to study the biology of a river system.

1895 Charles A. Kofoid begins his study of the plankton of the Illinois River. Over the next 5 years, he will publish nearly 1,000 pages on the plankton of the area.

1896 Under Forbes’s direction, a 60-foot houseboat is built in Havana and launched as a floating biological station.

Lydia M Hart illustration of a dace1900 Lydia M. Hart, the artist at the laboratory, begins work on the color plates for The Fishes of Illinois. Spending part of her time at the Havana station, where an aquarium is maintained with “a continuous flow of water to keep fishes alive,” she will use these fishes to render drawings that are “accurate in detail, and true to life in color, form, and attitude.”

1903 Robert E. Richardson becomes the director of the Havana field station. He will remain on staff for the next 30 years.

1905 Science publishes Illinois River Plankton by Stephen A. Forbes.

1906 Alfred O. Gross begins an ornithological survey of the state that will result in the first extensive statistical analyses of bird populations in this country. From 1906–’07, he logs over 3,000 miles, most of this on foot.

1908 The Fishes of Illinois by Stephen A. Forbes and Robert E. Richardson, with color plates by Lydia M. Hart, is published. The authors document 187 native and 1 non-native fish species.

1913 Robert E. Richardson begins his study of the bottom fauna of the Illinois River. This work will continue for 15 years and document the changes brought about by the dumping of Chicago’s sewage and the leveeing and drainage of bottomland lakes.

1917 The State Laboratory of Natural History and the Office of the State Entomologist are merged by the General Assembly and named the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS). Stephen A. Forbes becomes the first chief. The INHS is housed in the Natural History Building on the University of Illinois campus until 1940.

1917 Stephen A. Forbes begins work on the malarial mosquito and other disease-carrying insects.

hopper-catcher1918 Survey entomologists test a hopper-catcher that will catch grasshoppers alive. These grasshoppers can then be dried for hog or chicken feed. The following year there are 15,000 requests for the Entomological Circular 3, Method of Destroying Grasshoppers, that give instructions for making the hopper-catcher.

1921 Leo R. Tehon is appointed the first botanist in the new botany section of the INHS. One of his first tasks is to initiate a plant disease survey.camping shot

1922 Stephen A. Forbes publishes Humanizing of Ecology in Ecology.

1923 Robert B. Miller reports on the first extensive survey of the forests of Illinois in INHS Bulletin Vol. 14.

1924 Stephen Forbes authors Sewage Pollution of the Illinois River in Outdoor America.

1926 The INHS contains four scientific sections—aquatic biology, entomology, forestry, and plant diseases/botany—and has a staff of 15 full-time scientists, 9 of whom are entomologists.

1930 Aquatic ecologists D.H. Thompson and F.D. Hunt write The Fishes of Champaign County: A Study of Distribution and Abundance of Fishes in Small Streams.

1930 Stephen A. Forbes dies.

1931 Theodore H. Frison becomes the second chief of the INHS.

1932 Survey entomologists have 52 research projects during the year, working on the corn earworm moth, corn root aphis, ox warble fly, cabbage maggot, chinch bug, squash bug, pear psylla, and plum curculio.

1933 The first issue of the INHS Biological Notes is published, a study of the migration of Illinois fishes by David H. Thompson.

1934 J.C. Carter joins the INHS staff as a full-time plant pathologist to study diseases of trees.

1934 The Section of Game Research and Management is established in the survey.

The Anax, a cabin boat1935 The Anax, a 48-foot cabin boat, is acquired by the survey and used until the mid-1940s as a floating laboratory for aquatic studies on the Illinois River.

1936 The first INHS Manual is published—Fieldbook of Illinois Wildflowers.

1938 Frank C. Bellrose launches the waterfowl census (ground counts) during the fall migration.

1939 Survey entomologists find the state’s first European corn borer. For the past 15 years, they have been preparing for this corn pest challenge.

1940 The INHS, together with the Illinois State Geological Survey, moves to the Natural Resources Building, located on Peabody Drive in Champaign.

1940 The INHS begins a long-term research program on Canada Geese.

1941 The INHS has a staff of 38. 1941 A field laboratory is established at Ridge Lake located at Fox Ridge State Park, near Charleston, for the purpose of investigating fisheries management alternatives for small impoundments.

1941 Over 100 collecting stations for mosquitoes, blackflies, and other bloodsuckingDiptera are established in various parts of the state. This study should provide information on the seasonal succession of various species in different types of streams and ponds.

prairie chicken displaying1943 The INHS Bulletin 22: The Prairie Chicken in Illinois is published. It is one of the first comprehensive studies of a game species in Illinois.

1943 Plant pathologists at the survey begin a search for penicillin-producing strains of Penicillium notatum as a contribution to the war effort. Twenty-four strains of penicillin-producing Penicillium are submitted to the USDA Northern Regional Laboratory.

1944 During the fall waterfowl migration, a remarkable weekly observation is recorded by biologist Frank C. Bellrose—over 3.6 million Mallards are in parts of the Illinois River valley.

1945 Survey entomologists cooperate with several commercial airplane dusting companies and the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in developing and testing new insecticide-dispersing equipment for use with airplanes.

1946 Robert A. Evers joins the survey. His primary task is botanical survey work. He will collect plant specimens annually in each of the 102 counties of the state. Evers will contribute over 110,000 specimens to the survey’s herbarium.

1946 Frank C. Bellrose replaces the ground waterfowl counts with aerial censuses of waterfowl in the Illinois River valley. This will become one of the best wildlife data sets ever complied in North America.

1947 Following spectacular die-offs of mallards, Frank C. Bellrose and James S. Jordan initiate a series of physiological studies to investigate poisoning from ingested lead shot.

1947 Harlow B. Mills becomes the third chief of the INHS.

1947 Carl J. Weinman, an INHS entomologist, detects DDT in milk from Illinois farms. This is among the first evidence that DDT and allied chemicals could be transmitted from fodder, through an animal, into human food.

1948 Botanist Robert A. Evers begins to survey hill prairies. He will visit 61 in the next 4 years and will publish the Hill Prairies of Illinois (Bulletin 26, Issue 5, pp. 367-446, 1955). He will repeat most of the study 20 years later.

1950 R. Weldon Larimore begins an intensive investigation of the fishes of Jordan Creek in Vermilion County. Using the newly developed electric seine, this marks the beginning of upland stream investigations that continues to the present.

1951 After the first case of Dutch elm disease is discovered in Illinois in the fall of 1950, Ralph Ames, a pathologist, is hired to conduct research on elm diseases. In addition to research, INHS plant pathologists are called upon to carry out field and laboratory diagnoses, conduct instructional classes for city officials and workers, and offer suggestions for extensive control programs.

Frank C. Bellrose with plane1952 Aerial inventories by survey waterfowl biologists report 105,160 canvasback ducks north of Peoria. By 1971, only 120 canvasbacks are observed there.

1956 Aquatic ecologists begin a comprehensive study of sunfish genetics that continues to the present.

1956 Over the next 2 years, ornithologists Richard R. and Jean W. Graber repeat Alfred O. Gross’s bird surveys of 1906–’07.

1957 Aquatic ecologists from the survey begin an annual monitoring program of the fish populations of the entire Illinois River.

1958 Under the direction of the INHS, the first ring-necked pheasant census is conducted by rural mail carriers. They record the pheasants observed over 5 consecutive days. The census will be conducted every 5 years.

1959 Frank C. Bellrose publishes Lead Poisoning as a Mortality Factor in Waterfowl Populations. In it, he estimates that annually, 2% to 3% of the entire North American waterfowl populations succumb to lead poisoning.

1959 William C. Starrett, director of the Havana station, initiates an electrofishing survey of the Illinois River that continues to the present.

1961 The popular INHS Circulars, Pleasure with Plants and How to Collect and Preserve Insects, are made into technical movies, which are available for school use. The demand is so great that there is a 6-month waiting list.

1962 The first issue of INHS Reports is published after survey officials recognize that their research and service activities are far better known nationally and internationally than in Illinois.

1962 An INHS wildlife specialist, G. Blair Joselyn, begins seeding and managing roadside vegetation for nesting pheasants in Ford County. This program is the beginnings of the Roadsides for Wildlife program.

1963 The Fishes of Champaign County, Illinois as Affected by 60 Years of Stream Changes is coauthored by aquatic ecologists R.Weldon Larimore and Phillip W. Smith.

1963 Sam Parr Biological Station is established near Kinmundy. The station has 27 experimental ponds for fisheries research.

1964 Survey entomologists capture the first Illinois specimen of the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera) near Rock Island.

William Cochran designs songbird radio transmitter1965 William W. Cochran, a wildlife biologist with the survey, designs a radio transmitter small enough for songbirds. For the next 39 years, he will track an assortment of birds, mainly thrushes, over 30,000 miles, gathering information on songbird migration.

1965 The 100,000th plant specimen is added to the survey’s herbarium.

1966 Survey wildlife specialist G.G. Montgomery finds the state’s first specimen of the lone star tick on a deer in Pope County.

1966 Wildlife specialist Harold Hanson reports that minerals in the environment of breeding geese are mirrored in the mineral content of the bird’s feathers. This finding makes it possible to identify the breeding area of a bird by clipping off some bits of feathers and analyzing them.

1966 Chief Harlow B. Mills, William C. Starrett, and Frank C. Bellrose coauthor Man’s Effect on the Fish and Wildlife of the Illinois River, a bellwether for the problems society faces with the Illinois and other major rivers of the Midwest.

1966 George Sprugel, Jr. becomes the fourth chief of the INHS.

aquatic ecologist William Childers1966 William C. Starrett completes a survey of the mussel fauna of the Illinois River and discovers 24 species have been lost between 1900 and 1966. This data will be useful for studying the effects of siltation and pollution.

1967 Aquatic ecologist, William F. Childers produces a hybrid bass (largemouth x smallmouth) and wonders if a hybrid bass will be the future of Illinois fisheries.

1968 Wildlife biologist Ron L. Westemeier estimates that no more than 300 Prairie Chickens remain in Illinois.

1969 The survey’s Economic Entomology Section establishes a Soybean Insect Research and Information Center (SIRIC). Its purpose is to provide researchers with access to published information on insects that feed on soybeans.

1970 William W. Cochran, wildlife and engineer specialist, designs a radio that can be surgically implanted in the body cavity of a fish. The device will be used to track the day-to-day movements of largemouth bass.

1970 Richard R. Graber, Jean W. Graber, and E.L. Kirk coauthor the first in a series of INHS Biological Notes on Illinois birds, Illinois Birds: Mimidae, Biological Notes No. 68.

1971 The 100th issue of INHS Reports is published in February. Distribution has reached almost 10,000 copies per month.

1972 Kaskaskia Biological Station is established on Lake Shelbyville. The station will serve as a base for fisheries research on the lake.

1975 Survey entomologist Lewis J. Stannard, Jr. writes The Distribution of Periodical Cicadas in Illinois, Biological Notes No. 91. The publication is the result of a 10-year study determining the ranges and occurrences of the broods of periodical cicadas in Illinois.

1975 The Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America is published. Written by survey biologists Frank C. Bellrose and Glen C. Sanderson, this complete revision of Francis Kortright’s book will become the standard reference for waterfowl biology.

1975 Aquatic biologist Homer Buck begins a small-scale aquaculture system using swine manure as a food source for fish.

1977 Murray O. Glen donates his collection of almost 20,000 insect specimens—including 1,325 microlepidoptera—to the INHS. The collection is a virtually complete record of all the small moths for a defined area of the state. This is one of the most important acquisitions that the survey has made during the past 25 years.

1977 Survey entomologists identify Baris lepidii as the exotic weevil damaging the Illinois horseradish crop. They form a team of horseradish growers and university horticulturists to determine the biology and management of this introduced pest. Illinois is the nation’s leader in horseradish production.

1978 Max R. Matteson, professor emeritus of the University of Illinois, donates his collection of mussels to the survey. This collection has been described as the finest state collection of mussels in existence.

1979 Survey ichthyologist Philip W. Smith authors The Fishes of Illinois. The book covers 199 species that occur or did occur in the state, documenting the species’ status since Forbes and Richardson’s The Fishes of Illinois in 1908.

1980 Survey wildlife biologists begin a study of white-tailed deer habitat, asking about the types of habitat required, what their characteristics are, and how much is left in Illinois.

1980 The survey opens a field station at Grafton, IL (near the Illinois River’s confluence with the Mississippi River). The station’s first project is to determine the feasibility of building a second lock at Alton Lock and Dam.

1981 Survey entomologists working with University of Illinois plant pathologists document the leaf-hooper-transmitted spiroplasma (Spiroplasma citri) as the primary cause of brittle root in horseradish. This is the first documented report of S. citri east of Arizona.

First home of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Normal, IL1981 Paul G. Risser becomes the fifth chief of the INHS.

1982 The INHS assembles a team to cope with the state’s newest exotic—the gypsy moth. Public education and biological control are two goals of the gypsy moth team.

1982 A long-term study of the biological processes in large rivers (Mississippi and Illinois) begins. This long-term ecological research will result in a better understanding of these systems in large rivers.

1982 Survey botanist Robin Moran discovers an undescribed fern from northern Illinois—the Illinois fragile fern (Cystopteris x illinoensis).

1983 The INHS celebrates 125 years with a scientific symposium and an open house.

1983 The Illinois Land Report: Rice Lake Conservation Area is the first report from the Illinois Lands Unsuitable for Mining Program (LUMP). To facilitate the natural resource information system and data base, a computerized “geographic information system” (GIS) is installed at the INHS.

1983 Wildlife specialist William W. Cochran designs a tiny solar transmitter to be used to tag and track California condors.

1983 Ornithologists Richard R. and Jean W. Graber document the decline of grassland birds. Populations have fallen 80% to 90% below those of 1957–’58.

1984 The Society for the Illinois Scientific Surveys (SISS), a not-for-profit corporation, is initiated. The purpose of SISS is to offer a means for Illinois citizens to recognize, understand, and appreciate the state’s natural resources.

1985 Waterfowl biologists conclude a 4-year study on the effects of lead shot on Illinois waterfowl. The results indicate that 20% to 30% of Illinois’ waterfowl populations are contaminated with lead each year.

1985 The Lake Michigan Biological Station is established to conduct research on the lake.

1985 Creel surveys begin for the Illinois portion of Lake Michigan; by 1987, these surveys expand to the state’s inland lakes. These ongoing surveys help managers formulate plans and conduct research.

1986 The Directory of Illinois Systematists and Ecologists, a database of scientists who live and work in Illinois, is published.

1986 Survey biologists find the first colonies of federally endangered Indiana bats in Illinois.

1987 Lorin I. Nevling becomes the sixth chief of the INHS.

1987 The INHS, in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health, begins to assemble a team and develops a program to study the distribution and biology of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopicutus), a vector of several viruses that cause human diseases. Their findings will result in new legislation for the disposal of old tires.

1987 The INHS Reports is 25 years old and has 5,000 subscribers.

1987 Survey scientists construct a statewide fisheries data warehouse, the Fisheries Analysis System (FAS). The system includes samples beginning as early as the 1960s and is used to manage and analyze data from fish population assessments in Illinois waters. The FAS will serve as a model for similar data warehousing systems in other states.

1988 Satellite imagery is used to estimate the productivity of forests. The survey, along with colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are among the first to use multiple layers of satellite data with varying resolution, along with other landscape variables in a GIS.

1988 Survey entomologists produce the World Bibliography of Soybean Entomology. These references represent the literature from 87 countries in 24 languages.

1988 The state’s first recorded deer tick (Ixodes dammini) is identified in Jo Daviess County by survey entomologist John K. Bouseman. The deer tick is the vector of Lyme disease.

1989 The Forest Resources of Illinois is published by INHS scientists. This special publication brings together current and historical information about the state’s forests and depicts forest trends over the past 170 years.

1989 A traveling exhibit, Biodiversity in Illinois, is launched. Developed by the INHS with its two sister surveys and the support of the Nature of Illinois Foundation, the exhibit illustrates the diversity of organisms found in Illinois and explains why they are here.

1989 The Havana field station celebrates its 95th anniversary with an official naming. The station will be known as the Forbes Biological Station.

badger1989 Survey wildlife biologists are part of a team beginning a two-year study on the status and ecology of badgers in the Midwest. This study will map badger distribution in Illinois and determine how this species has survived in a much-altered environment.

1990 Scientist David Swofford develops PAUP (Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony), a widely used computer program for arriving at probable evolutionary pathways of trees.

1990 The survey hosts the Symposium “Our Living Heritage: Biological Resources of Illinois.” The symposium brings together a knowledgeable group of persons to summarize the state of the state’s biological resources.

1990 Compactors are installed for the INHS Insect Collection—6,000,000 million specimens and still growing.

1990 The INHS forms an interdisciplinary task force to prepare for the invasion of the zebra mussel and its consequences.

1990 Preliminary studies on the effects of forest fragmentation on nesting songbirds raise concern that most forest birds are not producing enough young to maintain their populations. Cowbirds and other nest predators are a major problem.

1991 Biologist Susan L. Post compiles Appendix One; Native Illinois Species Diversity and Related Bibliography in INHS Bulletin 34. Illinois contains more than 53,754 species. Of these, more than 17,000 are insects; 104 are mussels; 39 are amphibians; 59 are reptiles; 297 are birds; and 67 are mammals.

1991 The Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) is initiated. This program will assess the current conditions, future trends, and extent of Illinois ecosystems.

1991 Wildlife biologists conduct studies to determine whether bismuth shot is nontoxic when ingested by waterfowl.

1992 The Illinois Wetland Inventory (IWI) is developed. This computerized database stores spatial map data on the location, size, and shape of wetlands and deep-water areas, as well as descriptive information about each feature. The IWI is unprecedented in its comprehensiveness and accessibility.

1992 Survey ornithologists begin studies to evaluate long-term changes in the abundances of forest birds. These studies will examine how forest fragmentation affects nesting success and population sustainability.

1992 The Field Guide to Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest is published. This reactivates a long-dormant INHS publication series, the field manual.

1992 Survey scientists, at what is now known as the Great Rivers Field Station, begin long-term studies on the red-eared slider. They study turtle demographics, reproductive ecology, and life history strategies. In less than 10 years, these studies will generate more than 50 publications.

1993 Survey scientists take advantage of the Flood of 1993. The flood gives them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the dynamics of a large-river ecosystem.

1993 Jeffrey P. Hoover begins his studies of prothonotary warblers in the fragmented bottomland forests of the Cache River to determine whether these birds respond to nest predation and brood parasitism in ways that reduce the negative effects of each.

1993 Survey scientists help prepare the first report on the critical trends affecting the environment of Illinois.

1993 The Corridors for Tomorrow Project begins; survey scientists are investigating ways to use rights-of-way along Interstate highways in Illinois to provide much needed habitat for native species.

1994 The Illinois Naturalist airs on public radio station WILL-AM. The majority of the “spots” are written and voiced by survey biologists—Charles G. Helm and Susan L. Post. The program will run for five years.

1995 The survey debuts Insect Theatre to help audiences discover the fascinating world of insects—a world that until now they have just stepped on!

1995 Survey entomologists begin rearing Galerucella species, a biological control agent for purple loosestrife. During the next 10 years, they will rear and release over 2.5 million insects into wetlands infested with purple loosestrife. This project will be one of the nation’s most active biological control efforts against purple loosestrife.

1996 The Fishes of Champaign County, Illinois, During a Century of Alterations of a Prairie Ecosystem is coauthor-ed by aquatic ecologists R.W. Larimore and P.B. Bayley.

1997 David L. Thomas becomes the seventh chief of the INHS.

1997 The popular “The Good Guys! Natural Enemies of Insects” laminated card set is published. Several thousand sets will be distributed throughout the state.

1998 Survey scientists begin to study the effects of burning prairies on insects, asking the question, “ Insects and fire: too much of a good thing?”

1998 The INHS establishes field stations at the Savanna Army Depot in northwestern Illinois (Lost Mound) and at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Will County.

1999 The Waterfowl of Illinois: Status and Management, INHS Special Publication No. 21, is published. This comprehensive book by Stephen P. Havera, covering the history and status of waterfowl in Illinois from the 1800s to the present, wins several awards from wildlife societies.

1999 Survey botanists, led by Rick Phillippe, participate in the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Not only is this ongoing project the largest all taxa inventory to be undertaken, it helps strengthen the INHS herbarium as well.

2000 The Great Rivers Field Station is established to gather environmental and biological data on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers as part of the Long-Term Resource Monitoring Program.

2000 Survey entomologist David J. Voegtlin positively identifies the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) in northern Illinois.

2000 Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature (IWIN) begins to offer two-day field experiences led by INHS scientists.

Allterton Park BioBlitz2001 Survey scientists organize and participate in the state’s first Biodiversity Blitz at Robert Allerton Park in Piatt County. The blitz is a 24-hour, rapid assessment of what is living in a particular area. During the 24 hours, 2,047 species are found.

2002 Members of the INHS Medical Entomology team find 12 Illinois mosquito species carrying the West Nile virus. During 2002, Illinois has 877 clinical cases with 62 deaths.

2002 The state’s second Biodiversity Blitz is held in the Lake Calumet region. Survey scientists are again major participants where 2,257 species are found within 24 hours.

2002 INHS creates the Landcover Map of Illinois in the Early 1800s based on the original land surveyors plat maps. This digitized data will provide information in reconstructing a picture of Illinois’ natural history and lead to discussions concerning habitat restorations.

2002 Survey scientists move into the east half of the I-building located at 1816 South Oak Street in Champaign. By 2005, the majority of the INHS (with the exception of the collections) is housed in this building.

armadillo2003 Survey mammalogists begin a compilation of armadillo sightings in Illinois since 1990. From 1999 to 2003, there are at least 76 different armadillo records from 22 counties.

2004 Survey leafhopper taxonomists develop Internet-accessible tools for identifying insects and summarizing information on their geographic distribution and ecological associations.

2005 The INHS Corps of Discovery is born. Survey scientists train citizens in descriptive writing, drawing, and photography to document the ongoing changes in an area undergoing restoration. Units are located near Lost Mound, Emiquon, Allerton Park, and the Cache River.

2006 The third statewide bird survey begins. Michael P. Ward, Jeffrey W. Walk, Steven D. Bailey, and Jeffrey D. Brawn begin surveying the state, visiting some of the same sites studied in the two earlier surveys by Alfred O. Gross and the Grabers.

2007 Survey scientists continue to use transmitters developed by INHS scientist William W. Cochran. Using updated transmitters, INHS ornithologists are able gather up to 3 weeks of audio and spatial data to study the vocal performances of birds in their spatial and social contexts.

2007 Survey insect pathologist Lee F. Solter begins work on the current status and potential causes of population declines of native bumblebee pollinators.

2008 Brian D. Anderson becomes the eighth chief of the INHS.

2008 The Illinois Natural History Survey celebrated its 150th anniversary with a scientific symposium and an all-day natural history expo on September 26 and 27, 2008.

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