New Field Station

The Future Home of the Illinois River Biological Station

The Illinois Natural History Survey has had a presence in Havana, IL since 1894, and the Illinois River Biological Station has operated at 704 N. Schrader Ave. since 1989. We have a long history of conducting world class research with Havana as our home base and look forward to continuing this tradition. To increase our capability to interact with the local community, meet growing space needs, and escape a continuing threat of flooding at our current facility, we are diligently working to make a new field station in Havana a reality.

Station staff and building
The Illinois River Biological Station staff and the facility and staff building a flood wall during the spring 2019 flood.

The new field station will provide office space for 16 permanent scientists and staff, office space for students and seasonal technicians (~15), wet and dry laboratories, indoor boat and vehicle storage, potential aquatic raceways / mesocosms for scientific experiments, workshop area, visitor center with aquaria and outreach displays, conference room, walk-in freezer, and parking for up to 30 staff and additional parking to support visitors. In order to support our environmentally conscious mission and as stewards of our natural resources, the facility would be built from recycled materials that also incorporate renewable and sustainable energy technology and practices (photovoltaic, geothermal, double/triple insulation, rain-water capture, etc.) to work towards net zero energy consumption. This facility will serve as a flagship for cutting-edge, environmentally conscious construction, as well as, serve as a beacon to bring additional visitors to the area and an inspiration to our younger generations. We envision this facility will benefit the City of Havana and provide opportunities for community and visitor engagement through educational displays, aquaria, and an outlet to showcase the local businesses and activities in and around Havana, IL.

To donate to the Illinois River Biological Station Gift and Enhancement Fund at the University of Illinois Foundation click here.

New station plan
Architectural renderings and photos of what the new home of the Illinois River Biological Station could resemble, provided by Studio K Architecture.
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