One team. One mission.

All Water Resource Centers were created under the Water Resources Act of 1964 and are funded through the U.S. Geological Survey.
54 Water Resource Centers collectively form the National Institutes for Water Resources, with one in each U.S. state and territory.

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Transferred to the Prairie Research Institute in 2018, the Illinois Water Resources Center is home to staff and students passionate about water. We are housed at the Natural Resources Building in Champaign, IL. 

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What the Illinois Water Resources Center Does

The Illinois Water Resources Center works with scientists, water professionals, and communities to address water resource challenges at both the national and state scales. Every year, we award roughly $40,000 to university-based researchers throughout the state and help scientists working on regional issues secure funding through the National Competitive Grants Program.

IWRC is one of 54 programs funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964 to promote and support the restoration, conservation, and best management of water resources in the United States and U.S. territories. State and territory programs are administered by the National Institutes for Water Resources, whose mission includes:


Yu-Feng Lin



Dr. Yu-Feng Forrest Lin is the Director of the IWRC. Dr. Lin is also a Principal Research Hydrogeologist at the Prairie Research Institute, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Research Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

He received his B.S. in water resources and Environmental Engineering from Tamkang University in Taiwan (1993), M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut (1996), and Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2002). 

Dr. Lin has devoted his efforts to serving professional communities. He is presently the Executive Editor for Groundwater, published by the National Ground Water Association.


Maryam Ghadiri

research scientist

Dr. Maryam Ghadiri is a research scientist in the IWRC. Her research is primarily focused on the impact of surface and subsurface hydrology on agriculture and urban applications, such as Food-Energy-Water nexus and urban resilience under climate change. Her research interests include: 

(1) Groundwater/surface water interaction, 

(2) Geothermal exchange and renewable energy, and 

(3) Fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS) applications in water-food-energy nexus. 

For the Outreach program in IWRC, since the scientific research requires a diverse set of skills and knowledge, Dr. Ghadiri works towards establishing connections between IWRC and other research centers/universities to improve research collaboration, research networking and research partnership by attending different conferences and workshops.

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Amy Weckle

program manager

Amy Weckle has a B.S. in Microbiology and has been with the IWRC as Program Manager since 2018. As part of her role, she coordinates IWRC activities, including managing information transfer activities and coordinating state and national research programs, proposal development, reporting, and external relations, as assigned by the Director.

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Sydney Curts

Undergraduate assistant

Sydney Curts is a sophomore studying Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She joined the IWRC in hopes of gaining more professional experience while also remaining close to her passion of natural resources. In the future, Sydney hopes to obtain a job for the Environmental Protection Agency as a researcher. Currently, she is a Multimedia Assistant.

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Julija Sakutyte

Undergraduate assistant

 Julija Sakutyte is a senior studying Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She joined the IWRC as part of her plans to take advantage of every learning opportunity she can. Currently, she is a Multimedia Assistant.


Alara Tin

Undergraduate Assistant

Alara Tin is a sophomore studying Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . Her studies highly interest and motivate her to be in the technology field. Being involved in IWRC whose mission is to address the state’s water resources challenges gives her great motivation to expand upon her knowledge and do her very best! Currently, she is a Multimedia Assistant.


Sean Welch

Undergraduate Assistant

Sean Welch is a junior studying Agricultural Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined IWRC to pursue extension and outreach work as an undergraduate. Currently, he is a Multimedia Assistant.


Blaise Torrence

Research Assistant

Blaise Torrence is a graduate of the Master of Accounting Science program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His interest and background in topics related to ESG reporting prompted his involvement in an ambitious project to identify needs and opportunities regarding corporate disclosures of water-related activities. Currently, he is a Research Assistant.


Joey Hartz

Undergraduate Assistant

Joey Hartz is a sophomore studying Graphic Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His primary design focus is User Experience and Interface design, commonly known as UI/UX. At IWRC, he will primarily focusing on designing and developing web content with a focus on improving accessibility and the user’s experience. Currently, he is an Undergraduate Assistant.

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