Emiquon Bursting with Life
We’re seeing more and more species of
wildlife at Emiquon this season and with them,
one species we welcome with open arms: humans.
Along with the birds, fish, and wildlife, nature
lovers are finding themselves strongly attracted to
the Emiquon Preserve and the many features it has
With the Illinois River flowing next to it and
the Spoon River running through it, the Emiquon
National Wildlife Refuge is a paradise for
wildlife and humans alike. Visitors gather at a
turn-off area along Route 97/78 that has a ramp
for putting a boat into the Spoon River. Another
popular turn-off area has become an unofficial dog
training and exercising spot. Some pull-offs
provide parking so visitors can hike, watch
wildlife, have a picnic at the tables provided, or
fish off of a raised dock. There is also a half-mile
wheelchair accessible trail. There are many things
to do but the favorite activity among nature lovers
is to just sit and watch the different animals. On
any given day this Spring, a quiet visitor may
witness a doe and her young fawn getting a drink
at the river’s edge.
Seasonal hunting and fishing are now
allowed at Emiquon. Leisure fishermen are
already reporting catching more catfish than they
can eat, along with crappie, bass and carp.
Stockings so far have included standard
gamefish: largemouth bass, channel catfish,
crappie, bluegill, walleye, brown bullhead,
pumpkinseed sunfish, and warmouth. Several
less popular but intriguing native species have
also been hauled in by tanker truck from as far
away as the Mississippi River: bowfin, spotted
gar, grass pike and orange-spotted sunfish.
Emiquon has also become a popular
attraction for wildlife photographers. Ducks,
geese, heron, and hawks can be found seasonally
without too much effort. A more elusive subject
would be any of the bald eagles that now return
to Emiquon yearly, between October and March.
Dog lovers are known to gather at the wooden
footbridge at the dog training area to socialize
with each other as their faithful companions do
the same. Many visitors to the Emiquon Preserve
enjoy taking a book and sitting at a picnic table
on the raised dock. Sitting beneath the shade
trees with the Spoon River flowing by, Emiquon
is truly one of the most peaceful and relaxing
spots in Illinois.
In this issue:
Emiquon Bursting With
Life This Spring
. . . . . page 1
Letter From the Director
. . . . . page 2
Division news . . page 2
Q and A . . . . . . . page 3
In the Spotlight
. . . . . page 3
. . . . . page 3
Calendar of Events
. . . . . page 4
Ongoing EFS Photo
. . . . . page 4
Editor: Michael Lemke, Ph.D.
Designer: Kim McFarland
Letter From the Director
As we all know, the
mission of EFS is to teach
natural sciences and train
students of all ages in
effective field biology
techniques; learn more
about natural flood-plain
ecology, and restoration
and management strategies;
and research cooperatively
with regional, national, and
intimately familiar with the river and flood-plain
restoration. In keeping with these goals I’m
pleased to announce that EFS has set up a
scholarship program to fund an undergraduate
student scholarship, which will allow each
selected student to spend a semester working on
various research projects at EFS with the science
faculty who are conducting ongoing research.
When each scholarship recipient later enters the
world as a UIS graduate, they’ll bring the lessons
of Emiquon with them.
Data compiled at EFS can be used to better
understand the changes that occur as the
Emiquon preserve, converted to cropland about
80 years ago, is restored to a complex system of
backwater wetlands and lakes that will
eventually serve once again as a vital component
of the Illinois River. Habitat for migratory birds
and several indigenous species of mammals,
The Emiquon Field Station:
Dr. Luiz Felipe
Machado Velho is
currently visiting UIS
from the State
University of Maringa,
located in southern
Brazil. UIS has been
scientists from the
University of Maringa
for many years. Dr.
Mike Lemke, professor
of biology at UIS,
traveled to Brazil
several years ago and
even co-wrote a
published paper with
Velho's colleagues in
Brazil. "Dr. Lemke
came to Brazil and
started a collaborative
project with our group,
who has also been
working on big rivers,"
Velho said. Being from
Brazil, this is the first
time Dr. Velho and his
family have seen a
snowy, icy winter.
Welcome to Illinois, Dr.
reptiles, and insects will be reestablished.
Researchers at EFS hope to uncover principles
of nutrient export that can be immediately
applied to the current global fresh water
problem. Alarmingly large portions of oceans
and fresh water are no longer livable due to
increased nutrient loading from agricultural
activities. Wetlands foster clean water by
filtering and collecting sediment, keeping our
nation’s rivers cleaner and clearer.
I think not to tell the story of the Emiquon
Restoration would be a real disservice to
society. There are real lessons here. To take on
a restoration project of this size and learn from
that, and then use that as a blueprint for other
restorations has implications not only for
habitat and wildlife, but also for water quality
and just sound environmental management.
We’re here on the ground level and we’ll be
able to follow it, which makes this a wonderful
opportunity. Work being done at EFS may
uncover principles of nutrient export that can
be immediately applied to the current global
fresh water problem
We welcome all levels of donation to the
scholarship program, whether it's a one-time
gift, a monthly donation or the establishment
of a matching gifts program. For more
information, please call 217/206-7339. With
your gift, you can enrich a young person’s life
by helping provide an invaluable education
that cultivates a better future for the recipient
and the community he or she serves throughout
-- Mike Lemke
Fall 2008, p.7.
Dr. Hua Chen and
Volume 1, Issue 2,
Q and A . . .
Still to come.
In the Spotlight . . .
On a typical day during the
school year, Dr. Gilbert
Crain can be found in his
office, writing for the monthly
Accounting and Auditing
Update, or in a classroom,
teaching students about the
finer aspects of accounting.
But when the summer moves in and school
lets out, Crain packs up his books and heads to
Yellowstone National Park, where he spends his
days as a park ranger, primarily directing “bear
jams” to ensure that Yellowstone’s bears can get
safely across the roads, while leaving the park-
goers and their vehicles unharmed as well.
It’s a double life that isn’t for the faint of
heart. Born in Urbana, Crain obtained his Ph.D.
in accountancy from The University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. It was several years ago,
while still living in Bozeman, Montana that Crain
stumbled upon an opportunity that fulfilled a life-
long dream of working outdoors. “When I first
started at Southern (Illinois University at
Carbondale for undergraduate), I had my sights
on being a forester, but I’m not a science guy,” he
said. “That was really always where I wanted to
be, was outdoors. About eight years ago, I had
the opportunity to quit teaching continuing
education courses in the summer and started
volunteering with Yellowstone.”
Calendar of Events
Friday, April 17, 9–4: Be a part of the 9th Annual UIS SCIENCE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM. Oral and
Poster Presentations by Students, Faculty, and Guests; Awards for Best Posters and Oral Presentations.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Peter Ward, Professor of Paleontology, Department of Earth & Space Sciences,
University of Washington “Mass Extinctions: Past, Present, And Future.” Organized by the Biology,
Chemistry, & Clinical Lab Sciences Departments and the Student Science Clubs. Brookens Auditorium.
Saturday, May 10: Don’t miss the UIS Biology Club’s Annual Plant Propagation Sale. The UIS Biology
Club is an officially registered organization that seeks to broaden the experiences of students in the
biological sciences, increasing the scientific understanding and development of each student. Brookens
Winners of this issue’s photo contest
Submit your Emiquon photos in jpeg form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for an upcoming issue of EFS News.