Find out how we’re exploring, celebrating, and protecting our planet.

A man descends from a helicopter, lowered on a line into a dense green forest below.

Putting science into action for Earth’s future

In the Keller Science Action Center, we protect and restore the places that are critical to life on Earth.

Our team of scientists and educators translates museum science into results you can see. We strive to conserve natural areas and, in turn, improve quality of life for all people. Whether we’re working in Chicago or the Amazon, we’re driven by our mission to build a brighter future rich in nature and culture.

26 million acres of nature protected
40 thousand youth trained in environmental science and stewardship
200+ communities engaged in global conservation 
31 rapid inventories documenting nature in remote areas

Conservation at home and around the world

The Keller Center’s work focuses on two key regions: the tropical forests of the Andes-Amazon—home to the greatest diversity of species on the planet—and the Field’s home of Chicago, where city and nature intersect.  

On rapid inventories, we travel to some of the most remote parts of the world to document unnamed species and join local communities in protecting natural habitats. Together with our partners, we use conservation science to lead real change. Since 1999, our rapid inventory work has contributed to the protection of 26 million acres of lands and waters. The faster we can gather and share data with decision-makers, the better they can work to protect these areas for generations to come. 

And we’re doing similar work in our own backyard: Chicago, its surrounding towns and cities, and the Calumet region of Illinois and northwest Indiana. We’re working to create an ecological network of eight million acres that unites urban neighborhoods with natural areas—but we can’t do it alone. Community members and groups are essential collaborators in bringing together diverse landscapes, celebrating cultures, and addressing climate change.

Learn more about how we work

Get involved

Everyone has a role to play in conservation. Whether you’re one individual, a classroom full of students, a community leader, or a decision-maker, join us in taking action and making an impact.



  • Field Guides

    Browse more than 1,000 plant and animal ID guides for over 40 countries. 

  • Rapid Inventory Reports

    Explore survey results from rapid inventories in the Andes-Amazon region.

  • Calumet Heritage Area

    Learn about the collaborative effort to protect the Calumet region, one of the most diverse places in America.

  • Chicago Community Climate Partnership

    Join Chicagoans who are taking action on climate change right here in our city.

  • Chicago Wilderness

    Connect with an alliance of conservation leaders working toward a green vision for the Chicago region.

  • Mighty Acorns

    Support environmental education by becoming a Mighty Acorns partner, school, volunteer, or sponsor.