Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Public Services


 Michael Jeffords


If the education/outreach effort were to be categorized for FY2001, the overall theme would be big events and ongoing educational programs. The major events include

* Insect Expo in southern Illinois that drew an estimated 3,000 children from three states. The event was held in conjunction with the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Cache River State Natural Area.

* a symposium on Biodiversity in Illinois and Beyond featured at the Environmental Horizons Conference, sponsored by the UI Environmental Council. Six Survey speakers covered a variety of topics.

* a Biodiversity Blitz at Robert Allerton Park, Monticello, where 160+ scientists found and named as many species as possible within a 24-hour period. Some 2,000 species were identified. In addition, a series of programs and excursions was offered at the event.

* several Illinois Wilds Institute for Nature (IWIN) classes were offered, including two drawing classes and a class on the butterflies of Illinois. All were well received.


In addition, the Survey produced several new educational posters, highlighted by two new full-color Illinois habitat posters on the Bog and the Sand Prairie. A new coloring poster showing the organisms that inhabit the soil was also produced.

In conjunction with the exotic species program, the Survey produced a 2001 calendar of exotic species. This featured photos of 12 exotic, invasive species and information about them. The calendar also has significant events for each month related to the topic. The calendar was very popular and distributed statewide and regionally.

Exotic species was also the focus of a full-color poster on the gypsy moth as well as educational displays centered around the Asian longhorned beetle. In this same vein, the purple loosestrife education program continued with three workshops conducted during the year that trained 75 teachers in the concepts of biodiversity, wetlands, and the management of purple loosestrife with Gallerucellabeetles.

New opportunities continue to arise and the education/outreach program is constantly looking for new avenues to acquaint Illinois citizens with the rich diversity of life that inhabits Illinois.



1. Numbers of the following types of publications

Technical Reports --2

Miscellaneous --8 popular

2. Numbers of the following outreach activities

Queries answered --110

Species identified --50

Boards and committees served--11

Public presentations

- schools, K-12--17

- colleges --7

- conferences and symposia, etc.--16

- clubs and private organizations --6

- state and federal agencies --2



1. Numbers of the following types of publications


Technical Reports--155


2. Numbers of the following outreach activities

Queries answered--2,976

Species identified--8,541

Boards and committees served--119

Public presentations

- schools, K-12--153

- colleges--129

- conferences and symposia, etc.--248

- clubs and private organizations --92

- state and federal agencies --86

- international meetings --40


Lawrence M. Page


Several scientific disciplines rely on collections of biological organisms. Systematics, the study 
of the diversity of life--in particular, the study of evolutionary relationships and determination of appropriate names to be applied to populations--traditionally has been the primary interest of scientists working with collections. At the Survey, data extracted from collections, especially data on spatial variation in populations, have been used by systematists to determine which species are found in Illinois. This information is used directly or indirectly by every resident of Illinois, whether it be someone interested in controlling pests, or protecting rare species, or using wildlife for recreational purposes such as nature photography, hunting, and fishing.

Scientists other than systematists, particularly ecologists and conservation biologists, increasingly are turning to collections to understand the temporal changes taking place in the state's biological communities. Changes in species distribution and abundance, including the loss of native species and invasions of exotic species, are of general concern to most people and often are best documented and most easily explained by databases built from collection-oriented research. Data associated with the biological collections of the Illinois Natural History Survey effectively provide the public with information about changes that are taking place in the Illinois environment.

With continued modification of natural habitats, the value of collections to society will increase. For many areas, the only records of a species' presence will be the specimens in institutional collections. Fortunately, the Survey has collections that are among the largest and most valuable of any state-supported institution. These collections provide valuable information to decision makers and other citizens of Illinois concerned with protecting the environment. Much of the information used by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to recognize endangered and threatened species, to identify outstanding natural areas, and to develop management programs comes from data associated with the Survey's collections.


The Survey's collections are heavily used by Survey scientists, scientists at other institutions, educators, and members of the general public. They are used in studies leading to reports on the Illinois environment, in scientific publications, and in exhibits. Visitors to the collections in the past year included students from several elementary schools, students and faculty from colleges and universities, scientists from museums, and staff of environmental organizations and governmental agencies. Loans of specimens and collection-associated data went to about 50 colleges, universities, and museums, to several other public and private institutions in Illinois, and to scientists in several foreign countries.

> The Natural History Survey Library serves a wide range of library users. As a state agency library it strives to meet the diverse research needs of the Survey scientists and staff members; as a departmental library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, students, faculty, and staff are frequent users of the library. The public is also welcome.


Elizabeth Wohlgemuth


The library has approximately 650 current journal subscriptions and more than 40,000 books and bound journals. Many of these journal subscriptions are received through our exchange program, which includes 405 exchange partners throughout the world sharing their publications with the Survey. Our full text journal database presently offers access to almost 300 full text, on-line journals. The majority of the library's $65,424 budget is applied to journal subscriptions and electronic article databases. Zoological RecordFisheries WorldwideWildlife WorldwideCurrent Contents, and Biosis are just a few of the many electronic article databases available. The INHS library holdings are part of the UIUC's on-line catalog and can be accessed on the library's home page at

This year the INHS library added 26 new serial titles and 714 new books to the collection. Some of these books and journals were purchased while others were received through the exchange program or as donations from generous staff members and library supporters. This year the INHS library received two grants that helped strengthen the collection in the areas of watershed management, ecological restoration, catalogs, flora, and field guides. One grant was received through the Illinois State Library for $2,500 and the other was received through the Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Program for $3,200. In addition to maintaining the INHS on-line serials database and the binding of the serials, the backlog of uncataloged retrospective library materials is being reviewed and cataloged. These retrospective materials consist of older books and journals that contain very important information about the flora and fauna from the early 1900s.

The INHS Library services included three library instruction workshops for on-line catalog searching, interlibrary loan services, and journal article searching. Another important service is photocopying articles for the staff. This year we received 974 requests for articles, an increase from last year's 638 requests. Personalized Current Contents searches are also available to all staff members.


Charles Warwick


The Illinois Natural History Survey Publications Office provides printing and publishing assistance to Survey support staff, researchers, and the Education Outreach Office. In addition, we will occasionally help other natural sciences organizations closely allied with our mission with publishing efforts such as conference proceedings, informational brochures, and images for displays, posters, Web sites, and so on. We maintain an archives of 22,000+ images for the use of Survey staff and the public, and our images are used by organizations throughout the world. The Publications Office maintains a computer-graphics workstation with scanner and image-editing software. We provide consultation and training for INHS staff who wish to use the workstation.

During FY2001, our office published the Field Guide to Butterflies of Illinois, which received many favorable reviews from the news media including the Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Post Dispatch. The Barnes and Noble booksellling chain approached us about distributing this book in their Midwest outlets. We subsequently signed an agreement and distribution through Barnes and Noble will begin in fall of 2001.




* Bulletin: published continuously since 1876, this peer-reviewed journal reports on significant research findings by Survey scientists and other researchers in natural history.


* Biological Notes: published since 1933, this peer-reviewed publication presents research findings at INHS in a shorter, more concise, and less technical manner than the Bulletin. Each issue of the Bulletin and Biological Notes is mailed to various scientific and educational institutions throughout the world; additional copies are requested by ecologists, conservationists, and others throughout the nation.


* Manuals: published at irregular intervals since 1936, these field guides provide detailed descriptions and illustrations of a particular group of species, such as freshwater mussels, longhorned beetles, and amphibians and reptiles.


* Special Publications: the content of this series varies widely, from a collection of classroom activities for teaching biodiversity to school children to a compendium of the history and research of waterfowl in Illinois.


Illinois Natural History Survey Reports: provide up-to-date information and announcements on many of the research activities of Survey scientists. This quarterly newsletter has been in continuous publication since 1962 and is free of charge to the public. Call the Survey Distribution Office at 333-6880 to be added to the mailing list, or viewINHS Reports on the Web at:


* Educational Materials: for both students and teachers in the natural sciences. These materials include posters, slide sets, classroom activities, laminated fact sheets and species identification cards for the yard and garden, and publications devoted to specific topics in natural sciences written for school children.


* On-line Publications: some of our publications are now accessible on the World Wide Web (Web). These include Illinois Natural History Survey ReportsINHS Annual Reports, INHS Manual 5 (Field Guide to Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest), INHS Manual 8 (Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois), and the INHS Publications Catalog. Prices and ordering information for our publications and educational materials can be obtained at the Publications Catalog Web site at or by contacting our distribution office at 333-6880 for a free copy of the INHS Publications Catalog.




 * Manual 9, Field Guide to Butterflies of Illinois


* Manual 10, Field Guide of Illinois Bumblebees


* Bulletin 36(3), A Revison of the Bees of the Genus Tetraloniella


* INHS Special Publication 23, Illinois Landowners Guide to Amphibian Conservation


Illinois Natural History Survey Reports(numbers 366-369) 



 In addition to publications produced by INHS, our researchers contribute a significant number of articles to prominent scientific journals throughout the world as well as technical and research reports to government agencies on the state and federal levels. The table below illustrates the types and numbers of publications produced by INHS researchers during FY2001.


Type of PublicationNumber


 Scientific Journals / 114

Technical Reports/ 155

Miscellaneous (news articles, book chapters, Web pages, book reports, etc.) / 80

Illinois Natural History Survey

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