Research at Nachusa
Scientific investigation occurs all year at Nachusa Grasslands, ranging from informal restoration experiments by stewards in their units to Friends-supported academic studies throughout the preserve. The Nature Conservancy, foundations, colleges, and universities may also provide funding for various projects. All scientists must obtain permission to conduct research at Nachusa Grasslands. (Download Word permit application/liability waiver.)
Nachusa Citizen Science Monitoring Programs
Calling Frogs: Since 2012, citizen scientists at Nachusa Grasslands have been monitoring frogs and toads using the “Calling Frog Survey” protocol that was developed for the Chicago Wilderness Region. To learn more, visit the Calling Frog Monitoring page (currently being developed).
Dragonflies and Damselflies: Several volunteer dragonfly monitors report data to Nachusa Grasslands and the state of Illinois. For more information, go to the Dragonfly and Damselfly Monitoring page.
RiverWatch: Nachusa volunteers participate in the Illinois RiverWatch Network by monitoring the health of several preserve waterways. See the RiverWatch page for details.
Friends of Nachusa Grasslands Scientific Research Grants
To encourage scientific research at Nachusa, Friends of Nachusa Grasslands awards monetary grants to qualified academic scholars, graduate students, and independent researchers who are interested in studying topics relevant to the preserve.
Funded research projects focus primarily on prairie, savanna, wetland, woodland, and stream flora and faunal populations and/or habitat management such as prescribed fire, seed collection, weed control, and natural areas restoration.
See Potential Research Topics for a compilation of research topics and questions pondered by stewards and staff at Nachusa Grasslands.
To ask questions about grant guidelines and application, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us in Supporting Science at Nachusa Grasslands
Thanks to a 1:1 challenge grant and the generous support of individual donors, organizations, and foundations, Friends has budgeted a maximum of $44,000 for 2020-2021, divided in varying amounts among qualified researchers. Donations to Friends of Nachusa Grasslands may be designated for Scientific Research Grants.
Friends 2020 Science Grants
The 2020 grant guidelines and application are posted on the Science Grants 2020 page.
For summaries of previous years’ grant award projects, visit:
Nachusa Science Symposium
The next Nachusa Grasslands Science Symposium, co-sponsored by Friends of Nachusa Grasslands and The Nature Conservancy, will take place on April 24, 2021, at the Northwest Territory Museum in Dixon, Illinois. Contact Elizabeth Bach for information on the event.
2019 Nachusa Science Symposium Poster and Speaker Abstracts
2018 Nachusa Science Symposium Poster and Speaker Abstracts
2017 Nachusa Science Symposium Poster and Speaker Abstracts
2016 Nachusa Science Symposium Poster and Speaker Abstracts