William W. Shilts, Executive Director

Institute Name Change

A Message from Executive Director Bill Shilts

We are pleased to announce that the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability is now officially the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This name change is an important milestone for the Institute as we complete our third successful year as one of the largest Institutes in the University. We remain the home of the Illinois Scientific Surveys, but the new Prairie Research Institute name gives the Surveys' diverse, collective research activities an appropriate geographical context. The name is unique within the University but with a strong connection to the State of Illinois which we serve. The Prairie Research Institute name is distinctive, appropriate, and timeless.

The rationale for changing the Institute's name is to assure the long-term visibility and support of the State Scientific Surveys at the University of Illinois and among our public stakeholders. We are collectively addressed on campus and by the state by the Institute name, but our previous name proved to be cumbersome and was often confused with other campus units. In addition, our previous name was no longer accurate since the addition of the Illinois State Archeological Survey added cultural resources to our area of responsibility for natural resources.

The Illinois State Scientific Survey names are well established nationally and internationally and have long been associated with objectivity, innovation, and excellence as embodied by our staff, our science, and our mission. The accomplishments of individuals and individual Surveys lend value and recognition to the accomplishments of all the Surveys, now that they are associated with the Prairie Research Institute name.

Our new logo represents the Surveys and the Institute as diverse elements united to form a whole. The shapes evoke the stability, strength, and energy inherent in the 150 year history of the Scientific Surveys in Illinois. The incorporation of our new logo and identity will continue over the next several months, so please visit us often for updates at www.prairie.illinois.edu.

I want to congratulate and thank all who have worked so hard to make the Prairie Research Institute and our new logo a reality. I firmly believe that our distinctive new identity will make a difference in the long-term strength of the Surveys and in new opportunities to perform the important work we do for the people of Illinois.

Read the press release on the new name.

Updated 04/19/12 AW

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