The Field Museum’s division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo) draws on a combination of state-of-the-art scientific research and educational expertise to make conservation action a reality for the 21st century. Since our beginnings in the Museum’s centennial celebration in 1995, ECCo has focused on putting science into action by working with both urban and rural communities to promote sustainability and encourage the conservation of natural resources. Our keystone approaches include biological and social inventories, field identification, collaborative action, and alliance building. Today, in both South America and the Chicago Wilderness region, ECCo builds the capacity of local partners to draw upon science and heritage to conserve and renew ecosystems.
ECCo was a founding member of the Calumet Stewardship Initiative (CSI) and continues to participate in its leadership and growth though participation in CSI teams that focus on education, stewardship, smart urban growth, and outreach. The Calumet region is one of ECCo’s areas of focus within the larger Chicago Wilderness region, so CSI is central to achieving our goals for conservation and cultural understanding. The mutually beneficial relationship between ECCo and CSI is most apparent in the recent expansion of ECCo’s Calumet Environmental Education Program (CEEP) across the state line into Indiana, where other CSI members lead the program in collaboration with school districts. ECCo looks forward to the continued growth and importance of CSI in shaping the ecology and quality of life in the Calumet region.