Thursday, November 08, 2012

U of I leaders tour UIS Emiquon Field Station and preserve



Leaders from the University of Illinois recently toured the UIS Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and the Emiquon Preserve learning about the research and collaboration taking place.

U of I Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy, Trustee Edward McMillan, President Robert Easter, UIS Chancellor Susan Koch and other leaders took part in the tour.

“If I was a student, I’d be really excited about the opportunity to be a part of all of this. I think any school that you can mix biology, computer science, history and the great love for the state in one place is incredible,” said Kennedy.

The UIS Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon opened its doors in 2008 after years of planning and development. It now plays hosts to researchers from around the world and hundreds of elementary, high school, and college students each year.

“I think for us as a university, it helps us continue to reinforce our mission,” said McMillan.

The 14,000 acre Emiquon complex was recently designated as a “Wetlands of International Importance” by the Ramsar Convention. It is one of only 34 Ramsar sites in the United States.

“I’m delighted to see this campus, UIS, involved here,” said Easter. “It indicates a maturity evolving with the campus where it takes on these projects. It’s more than just a small campus.”

Chancellor Koch credits great faculty members, such as Field Station Director and Biology Professor Mike Lemke, for coming up with the idea for an Emiquon research station.

“What we saw today was a wonderful example of what happens when wonderful professors really get engaged with the environment,” said Koch.

Lemke, who researches microbes at Emiquon, says it is unique for a right-sized university, such as UIS, to have a field station in the middle of an internationally significant wetland.

“This is a world-class wetland event and we happen to have a front row seat here,” said Lemke.

Learn more about Emiquon and the UIS Therkildsen Field Station at www.uis.edu/emiquon.

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