Letter to the Editor, Illinois State Museum closure, Chicago Tribune

eric grimm

Letter to the Editor:

Illinois has produced numerous leaders for our nation, including our most revered president, Abraham Lincoln. Over the past 200 years, the state has played a central role in the industrial and agricultural development of America. Illinois has also been a leader in culture and education, with excellent orchestras, universities and museums. How then can the state possibly be verging on the unthinkable – closing the much-acclaimed Illinois State Museum?I’ll share one example: Dr. Eric Grimm is a scientist whose specialty is uncovering long term changes in our natural world. His brilliant studies have illuminated the history of vegetation and climate in Illinois and beyond. Research in his field involves collection of sediment cores from lakes and bogs and the measurement of changes in abundance of fossil pollen grains that have been dispersed by different plants since the last ice age. An array of sites then allows mapping of landscape dynamics, revealing how the natural world has shifted. Why does this matter? Only by understanding the long term natural variability of the climate and related systems can we understand our modern world.Dr. Grimm is a nationally and internationally renowned scientist. With the closure of the Illinois State Museum, he would certainly leave and his expertise and experience would be irreplaceable. I urge the proud citizens of the Land of Lincoln to prevent that closing.  Anything less would be a shame in every sense of the word.

Since 1988, Grimm has been a leader and innovator in Illinois and globally. He pioneered essential research techniques and realized that gathering and curating data from sites all across Illinois, North America and other continents would provide a powerful tool for understanding change. Having competed for national funding from NOAA and NSF, he led the creation of what is now a global database used daily by scientists, archaeologists, historians and others. He personally wrote the computer code for a program now used daily – at almost no cost – by thousands of scholars throughout the world.

Perhaps the citizens of Illinois don’t realize the treasure housed in Springfield. Even in Maine I have had firsthand experience with both the museum and its researchers and curators. The excellent exhibits provide a wonderful journey through the state’s natural and cultural history. The museum also has a superb staff, including top-flight scholars who oversee collections and conduct research that provides context.

How can Illinois possibly be verging on the unthinkable – closing the Illinois State Museum?

—George L. Jacobson, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Ecology and Climate Change, University of Maine, Orono, Maine

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune


How to find and contact your Illinois State Senator or State Representative


How to find and contact your Illinois State Senator or State Representative

Step 1:  Click on FIND MY LEGISLATOR and on OK in the Box in the center of the page.

Step 2:  At the top left, in the “Find Contact Information For” box, enter your county  and click. Then enter your street and town address and click Search. It will give you district numbers for your State Representative and State Senator. Note they are different. Click on “more details” for each to get office addresses, email, and phone and fax numbers.

Step 3:  You can find more information including email addresses, at their party’s webpages. Some have a Face Book page where you can post. And you can Google for more options.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS   Type in address, follow link to their webpage.

HOUSE DEMOCRATS   Click on “legislators” (hard to see/read) on top banner for A-Z list.

SENATE REPUBLICANS  Click on “Meet your Senator.”  Click on “Contact Us” to send a message.

SENATE DEMOCRATS  Click on your Senator for contact information. Try Google to find more information or a webpage.

Adapted from C.O.R.E

HELP! Contact your Representative on S.B. 317—how to and what to say!

call your representative

HELP!   We need to contact your Illinois General Assembly Representative!  and share this post with all your FB friends!

  1. Find your State Representative, using our post: “How to find and contact your Illinois State Senator or State Representative.” 

2)    Call (preferable) or email your representative. Here is a short script to help:

I’m calling to ask Representative XXXX to save the Illinois State Museum by voting yes on S.B. 317* which has passed the Senate and will soon be up for vote in the House. Governor Rauner has announced his intention to close the Illinois State Museum, and layoff notices have already been announced. The bill requires the state to keep the Museum open.

Thank you.

Sponsored by Representative Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) and co-sponsored by Representatives Raymond Poe (R-Springfield),  Sue Scherer (D-Springfield & Decatur),  John E. Bradley (D-Marion),  Tim Butler (R-Springfield),  Brandon W. Phelps (D-Harrisburg),  Arthur Turner (D-Chicago), Mike Smiddy (D-Port Byron) and Camille Y. Lilly (D-Chicago).

FYI:   S. B. 317 keeps the same name and number in the House as it had in the Senate.