About The Illinois State Water Survey

Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site

For decades, the Illinois State Water Survey has conducted research and monitoring activities on a University of Illinois Foundation farm four miles south of Bondville in Champaign County. These activities include evaluation and application of equipment and methods to measure climate, meteorological, precipitation, and air quality parameters, including monitoring of:

  • basic air quality (sulfur dioxide, ozone, particulate, organics)
  • precipitation chemistry (major ions and cations, mercury, event-based and long-term)
  • long-term climate (a long-term National Weather Service site)
  • on-site meteorology (wind velocity, air and soil temperatures, dew points, pressure, radiation, etc.)
  • atmospheric visibility
  • solar physics
  • continuous particulate monitoring using chromatographic methods

The Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site (BEARS) location and facilities provide atmospheric scientists with a unique and near ideal location for environmental measurements and sample collection. The research site is actively managed by technical staff who maintain equipment and help resolve issues involving data collection. The site has cell service, Wi-Fi, and electricity. Water is also available on the property. 

ISWS scientists and numerous colleagues from other organizations and federal and state agencies use the site for a variety of research projects: 

  • Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program (WARM): Collection of long-term weather, soil, and water table level data (Illinois State Water Survey)
  • Aerosol Monitoring - Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL): Measuring baseline aerosol optical properties to determine average conditions and trends and to enable calculation of direct aerosol climate forcing (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NOAA)
  • Surface Radiation Budget Network (SURFRAD): Continuous, long-term measurements of the surface radiation budget over the United States; up and down direct and diffuse solar, photosynthetically active radiation, UV-B, spectral solar, and meteorology (NOAA)
  • UV-B Monitoring and Research Program: Geographical distribution and temporal trends of UV-B (ultraviolet -B) radiation in the United States, measuring UV, UV-B, and photosynthetically active radiation (U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University)
  • Atmospheric Integrated Research Monitoring Network (AIRMoN-Dry): Detection of atmospheric concentration and deposition consequences of emission reductions measuring filter-based particulate components, nitric acid and sulfur dioxide.
  • Aerosol data-sf-ec-immutable="" Robotic Network (AERONET): Long-term measurements of sky radiance to estimate aerosol phase function, size distribution, and aerosol optical thickness (NOAA)
  • Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET): Long-term measurements of atmospheric gases and aerosols for dry deposition calculations; measures filter-based major ions, trace metals and carbon, and meteorology (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE): Long-term monitoring program to establish the current visibility conditions, track changes in visibility, and determine the causal mechanism for the visibility impairment in the National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Measures bi-weekly filter-based particulate chemistry, optical adsorption, multiple elements, etc. (Various federal and state agencies)
  • Rural particulate monitoring: Federal Reference Method 6-day PM2.5 monitoring (State of Illinois)
  • Semi-continuous monitoring of gases and particulates: Semi-continuous monitoring of particulate nitrates, sulfates, ammonium, etc. and gaseous sulfur dioxide, nitric acid, and ammonia, etc.

BEARS has also hosted short-term research projects into areas including public health, wildlife, and environmental engineering.

For information about the use of BEARS for a research project, contact jatkins@illinois.edu.

Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr., MC-674
Champaign, IL 61820-7463
Email us with questions or comments.


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