Since 1858, the Illinois Natural History Survey 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 the premier natural history survey in the nation. Over the years, its mission has remained 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.
INHS is led by Illinois State Biologist and animal ecologist Eric Schauber.
INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI), which applies expertise in archaeology, ecology and biodiversity, geology, water, weather and climate, pollution prevention, and sustainable energy to benefit the people, economy, and environment of Illinois. PRI also includes the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.