Prairie Research Institute

Illinois Natural History Survey

Natural History Information

Since 1858, the Illinois Natural History Survey has been the guardian and recorder of the biological resources of Illinois—the state’s biological memory. Significant knowledge about the animals, plants, environment, and natural history of Illinois can be found in the INHS collections, data, and publications.

Illinois species lists and other resources

Natural Areas

The University of Illinois Committee on Natural Areas oversees more than 1,000 acres of land that has been acquired to support research and education in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences. INHS scientist James Ellis is the coordinator of these natural areas, overseeing the protection and use of these woods, prairies, and ponds for teaching and research. Learn more about the University of Illinois’ natural areas.

Traveling Science Center

The INHS Traveling Science Center is a 320-square-foot mobile classroom featuring exhibits on biodiversity and natural resources that visits schools and communities across Illinois.

To schedule a visit from the Traveling Science Center, contact

From the Field