One of our goals at the IRBS is to share the research being conducted here with the public. We also want to get people interested and excited about our freshwater ecosystems! We reach these goals in numerous ways.

Staff showing fish to students
Technician, Liz Dix, showing a shortnose gar to  elementary students (Photo Credit: Olivea Mendenhall).

Staff at the IRBS are consistently in the public eye representing the Illinois Natural History Survey and the partners we collaborate with. We are approached regularly while in the field (from the rivers to the woods) and around town at boat ramps or gas stations by people asking about everything from fish to ducks or deer. In addition, we have granted countless requests to host or assist with other public outreach events. We have worked with grade school groups, high school classes, university classes, other professional agencies, visiting scientists and all types of media groups including magazines, TV shows, documentaries, radio broadcasts, newspapers and public television.

IRBS outreach
IRBS technicians showing Havana elementary students an electrofishing boat and Illinois River fishes (Photo Credit: Olivea Mendenhall).

IRBS current and former staff members have conducted over twenty years of public outreach. Below are lists of different events the station has participated in throughout the years, some events occur annually.

Past Outreach Events

  • Clean Water Celebration in Peoria, IL
  • Emiquon Nature Adventure
  • Earth Week, Port Byron Elementary School
  • Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District Envirothon
  • Fulton Mason County Eagle Day
  • Illinois Bowfishing Festival
  • Mason County Soil and Water Conservation Districts Discovery Days.
  • Mason County Soil and Water Conservation District Envirothon
  • Menard County Ag Discovery Days
  • Natural Resources display for the American Duchass River Boat
  • National Wildlife Refuge Week Extravaganza, Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge
  • Scheels’ Fall Hunting Classic
  • Scheels Outdoor Expo
  • Tazewell County Health Department’s Environmental Education Day
  • TOT Time at Dickson Mounds Museum
  • Wounded Warrior Project

Past Other Constituents

  • Bradly University Lifelong Learning group
  • Chinese Investment group focused on Asian carp processing plant in Havana, IL.
  • Delegation of Chinese Engineers, China Three Gorges Corporation
  • Delegation of Chinese Scientists
  • Emiquon Preserve Visitor Use Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • Great Lakes Fisheries Commission
  • Havana Nature Center Presentations
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Office Illinois River Training Field Trip
  • Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) internship program
  • Mason County 4-H Natural Resources SPIN Club
  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
  • Spoon River Community College restoration ecology class
  • University of Illinois Springfield Biology Class Field Trip.
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Fisheries Techniques
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Ichthyology class
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Wetland class
  • Western Illinois University Restoration Ecology class

Past Media Groups

  • Associated Press
  • BBC and Red Rock Films
  • Businessweek
  • Canadian Discovery Channel
  • CBS Morning News
  • Chicago Tribune
  • CNBC
  • Cristian Dimitrius of GloboTV, Brazil
  • Discover Magazine
  • Eyewitness News KSTP.TV St. Paul Minnesota
  • Jessica Walsh, Great Lakes Media
  • September.  BBC’s “Nature’s Weirdest Events”
  • Summer Nettles, Northwestern University Department of Journalism
  • WhistleStop TV (Canadian Broadcast TV)
  • ZDF German TV