Prairie Research Institute

Illinois State Geological Survey

Environmental Geology

Environmental geologic studies are an essential part of natural resources assessment, land management, and environmental protection throughout Illinois and the nation. Through these studies we can better understand environmental dynamics and anthropogenic effects on the natural environment, which include stress from changes in land uses, resource extraction, societal transportation needs, and other factors. 

Natural environments have been recognized at all levels of government as areas in need of proactive management and protection to minimize and mitigate negative impacts. ISGS collaborates with many people and agencies to support an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to environmental geology. Within PRI, ISGS engages in multidisciplinary projects with other surveys, especially the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Environmental site assessments

The ISGS Environmental Site Assessment program staff apply geologic and environmental expertise to identify problems and hazards to assist in land management planning and transportation infrastructure.

Like other states throughout the nation, Illinois is working toward solutions that reduce negative impacts from surface impoundments of coal combustion residuals (CCR, often called coal ash). PRI established an interdisciplinary Coal Ash Response Team to assess coal ash related information.