Keller Science Action Center

The Field Museum has a century-strong commitment to explore and document the diversity of life on Earth and the connections between human cultures and their environment. The Action Center is a team of specialized scientist-explorers who build on this foundation to translate science into action and measurable outcomes on the ground. Our team forges partnerships with governments and communities to implement targeted, science-rooted recommendations, and works to turn vision into reality: from national parks, to indigenous reserves, to vibrant wildlife corridors that benefit inner-city neighborhoods.

Conservation action — as only a museum can do it

The Field Museum’s scientific reputation and encyclopedic collections give us special credibility with local communities and government officials, both in the megalopolis of Chicago and in the remote wilderness of the Andes-Amazon. Our collections data and our expertise in inventories and research around the world equip us with a unique ability to build partnerships and guide collective action. We bring together stakeholders to address urgent issues, from tropical deforestation and quality of life in rural villages, to the well-being of people and nature in the heart of urban centers.

Tropical forests — greatest number of species

Our Action team seizes emerging opportunities to build large-scale conservation corridors in species-rich forests: foundations on which people and nature can thrive in a fast-changing world. In the past 15 years, armed with information, expertise, and input from our team, governments have worked to protect more than 30 million acres in some of Earth’s most diverse tropical forests, primarily in the Andes-Amazon. We are expanding our footprint into regions of historical collection strengths for the Museum: Colombia, Madagascar, and the Congo basin.

Urban landscapes — greatest number of people

Half of the world’s population, and 80% of Americans, live in large metropolitan areas. As built-up areas spread, people lose their connection to nature. The Field works to re-establish that connection, through our own programs and through multi-institution collaborations like Chicago Wilderness and the Chicago Cultural Alliance. In partnership with government agencies, schools, community groups, and sister institutions like zoos and botanical gardens, our scientists are creating sustainable corridors that link the city and neighborhoods with natural areas and innovative green infrastructure. These efforts have been a model for emerging initiatives in cities around the world.

Tools for Conservation


The Field Museum has an unparalleled capacity to harness information in our collections and make it available to those who need it. Our Rapid Color Guides are high-quality and publicly accessible tools that accelerate the identification of plants and animals in targeted habitats around the world. These tools empower fieldwork, inform conservation action plans, and enhance learning for communities, volunteers, and students. The Rapid Color Guides website——is the world’s largest clearinghouse of biodiversity field guides.


Explore how we put science into action Highlights from 2014