Keller Science Action Center at The Field Museum

Keller Science Action Center at The Field Museum Environment, Culture, and Conservation puts museum science in action for conservation ECCo—Environment, Culture, and Conservation—began as a small experiment during the Museum’s centennial celebration in 1995.

It has blossomed into a team of scientist-explorers expert in translating museum knowledge into lasting results for conservation and cultural understanding, both in the midst of a great urban center and in the wildest, most remote places on Earth. The experiment—to bring the Museum’s tradition of rigorous science to bear on practical challenges—worked beyond all expectations. In twelve years of work in South America, the efforts of ECCo’s small core team led to the protection of 30 million acres of wilderness in the Amazon headwaters. The return on investment has been enormous: to date, ECCo’s track record is five acres protected per $1 invested in rapid inventories. In the Chicago region ECCo leads pioneering collaborations to bring people and nature together, in all their diversity, in the midst of a huge metropolis. Two of these collaborations—Chicago Wilderness and the Chicago Cultural Alliance—have captured the imagination of cities across the country and beyond.

Operating as usual

Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit
07/20/2015

Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit

Updates from the Burnham Wildlife Corridor (at 47th and S Cornell)- the pollinators are out and about! Come by and visit the restored prairie of the BWC, its a-buzz!

Who doesn’t love stories about cannibalistic snakes?Here’s a great article that documents the very large last meal of th...
06/20/2013

Who doesn’t love stories about cannibalistic snakes?

Here’s a great article that documents the very large last meal of the cannibalistic Polemon fulvicollis, a central African snake species. While this species is known to eat smaller snakes, this specimen feeds on various typhlopid snakes and is able to ingest very large prey.

Click the link below to read the article about the Polemon fulvicollis.

http://www.herpetologynotes.seh-herpetology.org/Volume6_PDFs/Kusamba_Herpetology_Notes_Volume6_page235-237.pdf

© 2013 The Field Museum, FMNH AZ 69661 HD, Photographer Sean O. Bober

Walmart managers “tear it up!” – invasive garlic mustard, that is.15 Walmart store managers joined the Science Action Ce...
06/20/2013

Walmart managers “tear it up!” – invasive garlic mustard, that is.

15 Walmart store managers joined the Science Action Center for a volunteer day at Eggers Grove Forest Preserve, as part of a Walmart-funded project to restore 40 acres of wetland habitat in the Calumet Region. The volunteers helped to remove the highly invasive garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) plant from the site’s oak woodlands. Garlic mustard, a native of Eurasia, poses a major threat to our native spring flora as it outcompetes them for light, resources, and space.

The project is a partnership between the Science Action Center and Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

© The Field Museum, Photographer June Hou, 2013

We’re proud of the accomplishments from our friends in Calumet!On May 24, more than 200 students from the Calumet Is My ...
06/11/2013

We’re proud of the accomplishments from our friends in Calumet!

On May 24, more than 200 students from the Calumet Is My Backyard (CIMBY) program showcased their conservation efforts at The Field Museum, completing over 2,350 stewardship hours and restoring one acre of land in the Calumet region. As part of the CIMBY Science Summit, students shared their accomplishments and discussed with the general public about what their environmental conservation work meant to them.

CIMBY is a joint project of The Field Museum and Chicago Public Schools, and integrates service learning and conservation action in order to get students excited about nature and science.

To learn more about the CIMBY program and how you can get involved, visit:

http://fieldmuseum.org/explore/department/ecco/CalumetIsMyBackyard

Don't miss the frog gallery of our latest Rapid Inventory in the Eré, Campuya and Algodón watersheds. http://bit.ly/Yhd7...
05/02/2013
Frogs of Northeastern Amazonia: species of the 25th Rapid Inventory | Rapid Inventory 25

Don't miss the frog gallery of our latest Rapid Inventory in the Eré, Campuya and Algodón watersheds.

http://bit.ly/Yhd7wW

Frogs of Northeastern Amazonia: species of the 25th Rapid InventoryDuring the Rapid Inventory expedition, Pablo Venegas and Giuseppe Gagliardi tirelessly searched the forest for amphibians and reptiles. Of the 68 frog species registered, here are a few studio-like portraits.Enjoy!Allobates femoralis...

Member's Night is coming, we hope you take a part of the tradition!
04/17/2013
Field Museum Photo Archives • Members’ Night is coming! In honor of Members’...

Member's Night is coming, we hope you take a part of the tradition!

Members’ Night is coming! In honor of Members’ Night (the best two nights of the year), where our members get to walk around behind the scenes, I will be posting extra photos for the next three days of Members’ Night 1964! © The Field Museum, GN79893. Members’ Night Anthropology, crowd of peop...

Field Museum putting science into the hands of local Awajún and Wampis leaders in northern Peru. These rapid inventory b...
04/12/2013

Field Museum putting science into the hands of local Awajún and Wampis leaders in northern Peru. These rapid inventory books describe the incredible geology and biodiversity of the Kampankis mountains, as well as the culture of the Awajun and Wampis people that live in and around this isolated mountain range.

03/14/2013
Monarch butterflies drop ominously in Mexico

"Monarchs cluster so densely on tree boughs in the reserve that researchers don't count their individual numbers but rather measure the amount of forest they cover:
This winter, the butterflies covered just 2.93 acres (1.19 hectares), down from 7.14 acres (2.89 hectares) last year."

MEXICO CITY (AP) â The amount of Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped 59 percent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday. Illegal logging in the reserve established in the Monarch wintering grounds wa...

Put our city’s environmental efforts on the international scene – with one click, vote for Chicago in the Earth Hour Cit...
03/11/2013
A sustainable Chicago

Put our city’s environmental efforts on the international scene – with one click, vote for Chicago in the Earth Hour City Challenge People's Choice award! #peopleschoiceChi

Which is your favorite sustainable city? Cast your vote and see what cities are doing to create a brighter, greener tomorrow!

Make sure to take advantage of The Field Museum's February free days before we March on to Spring!
02/20/2013
Field Museum Discount Days | The Field Museum

Make sure to take advantage of The Field Museum's February free days before we March on to Spring!

Illinois residents can enjoy complimentary basic admission during The Field Museum Discount Days. See how we put science into action in Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth, journey through 4 billion years of life on earth in Evolving Planet, see SUE the T. rex, climb down an ancient egyptia...

01/21/2013
Qualea sp - Discovering new plant species in the Amazon

A new plant species in the Amazon???

Yes! During ECCo's latest Rapid Inventory our botanist found 7 new plant species.

Check out how they do it...

Durante el Inventario Rápido 25 de ECCo, del Field Museum de Chicago, el grupo de botánicos encontro 7 nuevas especies de plantas para la ciencia. Esta Qualea es…

What are your resolutions for the new year? See what some of our partners are doing with their fresh start to 2013!
01/07/2013

What are your resolutions for the new year? See what some of our partners are doing with their fresh start to 2013!

Thanks to the Beaubien volunteers who got the new year started off right in the prairie!

Our very own Abigail Derby-Lewis lends her Chicago Wilderness expertise to Insight Magazine! Follow the link for the ful...
01/03/2013
IN FOCUS – Green business – Workshop puts the focus on protecting Brown County water from climate ch

Our very own Abigail Derby-Lewis lends her Chicago Wilderness expertise to Insight Magazine! Follow the link for the full article.

A major environmental improvement effort being proposed and coordinated by the NEW Wilderness Alliance could clean up the Fox River and Bay of Green Bay Watershed, possibly even reopening Bay Beach to swimming – thus building on the region’s environmental and economic health. “Often our discussion i...

One of the vine snakes (Xenoxybelis argenteus) that our team of herpetologists found during our last rapid inventory in ...
12/14/2012

One of the vine snakes (Xenoxybelis argenteus) that our team of herpetologists found during our last rapid inventory in the Peruvian Amazon. To see how they work visit:

http://bit.ly/12dPFSa

Una de las serpientes (Xenoxybelis argenteus) encontradas durante el último Inventario Rápido 25 del Field Museum.
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One one the vine sankes (Xenoxybelis argenteus) found during the last Field Museum Rapid Inventory.

For more:

http://ecco25.fieldmuseum.org/

12/13/2012
Ah, Wilderness! Nature Hike Could Unlock Your Imagination : NPR

Having trouble with a creative block? Get off the computer, turn off the iPhone, and try taking a hike.

Communing with nature has long helped artists get their creative juices flowing. A neuroscientist wondered how backpacking trips without any electronic devices might change the way people solved problems.

Congratulations to our very own Abigail Derby Lewis for being recognized by the Chicago Wilderness Congress as a conserv...
12/11/2012
Leaders recognized at 2012 Congress | Chicago Wilderness

Congratulations to our very own Abigail Derby Lewis for being recognized by the Chicago Wilderness Congress as a conservation leader!

Leaders recognized at 2012 CongressPosted on December 7, 2012 by Chicago WildernessOver 650 members and partners attended the 2012 Chicago Wilderness Congress, held on November 15, 2012, at the UIC Forum. Throughout the full-day conference participants enjoyed great networking and thoughtful present...

"Wild Things will feature more than 90 large and small-group sessions drawn from real-life experiences with everything f...
12/04/2012
Wild Things Overview

"Wild Things will feature more than 90 large and small-group sessions drawn from real-life experiences with everything from the nitty gritty of habitat management, botany, and zoology to advocacy, culture, history and backyard and neighborhood ecology. It’s a great opportunity to listen, ask questions, and contribute to the effort to conserve our natural ecosystems and habitats."

Registration is now open for the Wild Things conference on February 2, 2013. Early bird registration ends on December 24, 2012 and is $28 and $16 for students.

Wild Things will feature more than 90 large and small-group sessions drawn from real-life experiences with everything from the nitty gritty of habitat management, botany, and zoology to advocacy, culture, history and backyard and neighborhood ecology. It’s a great opportunity to listen, ask question...

11/29/2012
Why We Need Cities in Tune with Nature

We believe that bringing people closer to nature is very important and Chicago's access to the green spaces, such as the ones found in the Calumet Region, give it a unique advantage over other urban areas. Because of our natural areas, we are able to get in touch with nature and experience its benefits without having to travel too far.

In a session on a new planning and design theory called “biophilic urbanism” at the 2012 Greenbuild conference in San Francisco, Judith Heerwagen, a professor at the University of Washi...

11/28/2012
Buying Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees - Earth911.com

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, people are beginning to put up decorations for the next holiday season. One of the major decorations going up in households is the Christmas tree, but have you ever worried that your choice in tree type was harming the environment?

Here are some insights to consider in the real vs. artificial tree debate.

Guide to local resources including recycling centers, how to recycle, pollution prevention and how help protect the environment.

11/21/2012
Video: A Special Thank You | The Field Museum

During this season of thanksgiving, thank you!

With your generous support we have provided resources and programs for over 575,000 students, impassioned and trained the next generation of scientists, trained and provided critical resources to Chicago Public School teachers, discovered new species and new truths about our human ancestors, present...

With Thanksgiving approaching we spend time reflecting on the things that we are thankful for. One of the things we are ...
11/20/2012

With Thanksgiving approaching we spend time reflecting on the things that we are thankful for. One of the things we are thankful for at ECCo is the amazing biodiversity found right here in the Calumet Region's natural areas, and the volunteers who help care for them.

Join the Calumet Stewardship Initiative at Kickapoo Prairie on Saturday, November 24 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. for a stewardship day and brushpile fire.

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this Saturday by burning a brushpile fire and some calories too! Join volunteers for a stewardship day at beautiful Kickapoo Prairie in Riverdale, IL November 24 from 10 am to 1 pm. Park in the Thorton Township Municipal Building (Halsted and 144th St.)

11/16/2012
Chicago’s urban farm district could be the biggest in the nation

“We are living in a food desert,” Washington Park resident Erana Jackson says. “With fresh produce we could finally promote healthy eating. People could have their own farm stands. This is how you turn a neighborhood around.”

Chicago's South Side is planning to create the largest urban agriculture district in the nation. City officials and community organizers hope the farm district will help stabilize the South Side by putting vacant land to use and creating entrepreneurial and job opportunities.

If these planners have their way, Chicago's South Side will soon remake itself as a greenbelt studded with a network of urban farms.

11/15/2012
America Recycles Day

Happy America Recycles Day! Today is all about raising recycling awareness and thinking about how we can do more in our homes, schools, and offices to reduce waste.

Check out one of the many local recycling events happening in honor of today or learn about which items are recyclable and where you can take them.

Thank you to all who submitted t-shirt designs. Which design will you be wearing on November 15? Order Now! Click on any of the t-shirt icons below.

According to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Sandhill Cranes are now migrating through the Chicago Region -...
11/14/2012

According to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Sandhill Cranes are now migrating through the Chicago Region - giving us just one more reason to admire the amazing environment surrounding us.

Let us know if you spot any!

Listen to the skies this week for the faint gurgle of sandhill cranes! They are passing over the Chicago region in formation RIGHT NOW, heading from Wisconsin down to Florida.

•Sandhill cranes stand up to five feet tall—that’s taller than a lot of humans! Their wings can measure six feet, tip to tip.
•These cranes create pair bonds—and even burn off stress—by dancing. They are incredibly fancy dancers.
•Sandhill cranes are believed to be the oldest living bird species on the planet. Fossils identical to the modern sandhill crane have been dated back 10 million years.
•Sandhills fly with their long necks extended forward and long, skinny legs out behind. Geese and herons may look similar from a distance, but geese feet don’t extend far out the back, and herons fly with necks folded in.
•On rare occasion, you might even spot an endangered whooping crane (which are white with black wingtips, compared to the gray sandhills) flocking with the sandhills during migration. Whoopers raised in captivity as part of recovery programs have actually been trained (using ultralight aircraft at first) to fly with sandhills; this helps teach them the migration route, which, under normal circumstances, young cranes learn from the older birds.
•A baby crane is known as a colt.
•Sandhill cranes can often be spotted on the ground in farm country, eating waste grains from harvested fields.
•With increased habitat restoration, cranes have been using many Cook County forest preserves, especially our large, open, wet grasslands.

Photo of sandhill cranes at Somme Prairie Grove by Lisa Culp.

Our Rapid Inventory team is just coming back from Rapid Inventory 25, where they explored the Ere and Campuya rivers in ...
11/12/2012

Our Rapid Inventory team is just coming back from Rapid Inventory 25, where they explored the Ere and Campuya rivers in northern Peru, one of the most diverse places on the planet!

Keep your eyes open for photos and updates on our page from their explorations and check out our Twitter (@fmecco) for the most up to date Rapid Inventory information.

11/09/2012
How Global Warming Made Hurricane Sandy Worse | Climate Central

Was Hurricane Sandy's damage an effect of climate change?

"There are three different ways climate change might have influenced Sandy: through the effects of sea level rise; through abnormally warm sea surface temperatures; and possibly through an unusual weather pattern that some scientists think bore the fingerprint of rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice."

Global warming likely made Hurricane Sandy more destructive than it would otherwise have been, through sea level rise and warmer ocean temperatures.

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