CHICAGO ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

aka The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.naturemuseum.org

Mission

The mission of the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is to create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions, and public forums to grow our region's urban connection to the world of nature and science.

Ruling year info

1933

President & CEO

Ms. Deborah Lahey

Main address

2430 N Cannon Dr

Chicago, IL 60614 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-0895575

NTEE code info

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The mission of the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (“Nature Museum") is to create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions, and public forums to grow our region's urban connection to the world of nature and science. The Nature Museum is dedicated to serving as an environmental leader in our community, offering year-round educational programs, public programs, exhibits, and events.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Educational Programs

The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert
Nature Museum offers more than 50 unique programs both in
the museum and out in community schools. Each year, museum
educators provide more contact hours than any other museum
in the city to over 50,000 students, 1,500 teachers, and 500
Chicago–area schools.

Key Programs include:
Science on the Go - quarter-long education program featuring in-class instruction, professional development, curriculum tools and more.

Nature on the Go - Two part program: our educators visit the school for a lesson, then students visit the Nature Museum to reinforce what they have learned.

Field Trips and Field Trip Workshops - Unique, on-site learning experiences for students of all ages.

School Science Partnerships (grant funded) - Fosters a school-wide culture of science teaching and learning through professional development, model teaching, resources, and field trips to the Nature Museum.

Science Teaching Network (grant funded) - Free program featuring a summer institute and follow up professional development for teachers.

TEENS (grant funded) - Teenagers Exploring & Explaining Nature & Science - free program for Chicago high school students, focused on urban ecosystems and conservation.

After School Science Club (grant funded) - after school science enrichment program at local schools.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is the "museum" of the Academy. As such, it is the teaching, learning, and exhibition center that supports the mission of the Chicago Academy of Sciences. Exceptional exhibits bring nature right to visitors' fingertips. The Museum's iconic exhibit, the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven delights all who enter with a kaleidoscope of 1,000 butterflies, plus colorful birds. From live native animals to nature-inspired art, from toddler-friendly play spaces to dozens of exotic butterfly species, our exhibits are sure to entertain, educate, and excite guests of all ages.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Founded in 1857, the Chicago Academy of Sciences is one of America’s oldest scientific institutions. Our scientific collections have been built since that time and have been used to help define human understanding of nature, ecology, and the diversity of life in the United States. The Academy’s collections include herpetology, mammalogy, ornithology, oology, entomology, malacology, paleontology, mineralogy, botany, photography and film, manuscripts and archives, and cultural artifacts.

Specimens in a collection are like a physical snapshot in time, containing irreplaceable information. Often, the knowledge that can be obtained through careful study of these authentic artifacts was not anticipated when the specimen was collected.

Through natural history specimens, we have a physical, empirical record of the past. We can use these specimens to interpret our present place in history which then allows us to anticipate future conditions. This power to hold the past, understand the context of the present, and predict the future makes natural history collections an important and unique human resource.

Scientists and historians frequently access the collections while working on research projects. The museum collections have never been more accessible, thanks to grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. As of August 2012, every specimen in our collections was inventoried and digitally catalogued.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of works in collection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children who have access to education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Collections & Biology

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Chicago Conservation Corps has worked with community partners to recruit, train, and support a network of volunteer leaders who have led sustainability projects in all 50 wards of Chicago.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Nature Museum is focused on aligning all activity with the mission, vision, and institutional goals of the organization. Institutional goals include:

1. Create Museum visitor experiences inside and outside the facility that engage, educate, and inspire people of all ages to better understand and appreciate nature and to take action to care for it.

2. Be recognized as a leader in environmental science education by creating and evaluating formal and non-formal educational programs and learning opportunities at the Museum, in schools, and other forums that reach diverse audiences.

3. Be recognized for scientific expertise for our 160-year-old collection and for outstanding conservation research programs that benefit regional wildlife, natural areas, and the environment.

4. Through innovative and collaborative initiatives, be recognized as the urban gateway to nature and as experts in urban ecology and science.

5. Establish a strong financial position supported by increased visibility, attendance, donor support, and revenue generating programs.

EXHIBITS AND COLLECTIONS
As stewards of the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ 390,000-piece collection, the Nature Museum is dedicated to increasing the accessibility of the entire collection. Our collection provides vital resources to students and offers the public access to an abundance of valuable data on natural history in the Great Lakes region.

The celebrated Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is a permanent exhibit featuring more than 40 species of exotic butterflies, as well as several bird species from the Southern hemisphere. The 2,700 square-foot greenhouse includes tropical flora and a vibrant population of more than 1,000 butterflies. Both educational and beautiful, the Butterfly Haven is a key part of the Nature Museum’s appeal and success.

EDUCATION
Nature Museum educators provide more hands-on contact hours with students and teachers than any other museum in the city: nearly 80,000 hours each year, with fourteen full-time school program staff members who teach a combined total of more than 35,000 students and 1,500 teachers from schools throughout Chicago, most of which serve high percentages of low-income students. These hands-on school programs are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and feature the Nature Museum’s unique resources: from live animals to our vast preserved scientific collection.

BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
A leader in local wildlife conservation and restoration, the Nature Museum assists in rebuilding populations of threatened and endangered local species, and serves as a center for public engagement with ecology and environmental concerns. Community-based science programs include the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network, Calling Frog Survey, and the Illinois Odonate Survey, generating large amounts of data across Illinois that is useful for conservation professionals. The Nature Museum’s Butterfly and Blanding’s Turtles Restoration Projects work to protect and restore local species.

GUEST EXPERIENCE & ENGAGEMENT
The Guest Experience and Engagement department develops daily programming, regular family events, special events, and the annual Summer Nature Fest, which brings more than 2,000 people to the Nature Museum’s grounds for food, drinks, live animals, live music, hands-on activities, and interactions with our scientists.

CHICAGO CONSERVATION CORPS (C3)
The Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) is the Nature Museum’s flagship sustainability program. Since its founding in 2006, C3 has worked with more than 20 community partners to recruit, train, and support a network of 670 volunteer leaders who have led sustainability projects in all 50 wards of Chicago.

With its strategic plan as its guide, the Nature Museum continues to build on its solid financial position and generate positive cash flows from operations. The Nature Museum’s revenue streams are both robust and diverse, with new or increased revenue from both contract work and grants. Our major fundraising event, the Butterfly Ball, supports our education programs, conservation efforts, and overall commitment to nature and science. Operations revenue fully funds capital expenditures as well as an annual payment into a debt service reserve fund.

The Nature Museum’s management and Board carefully monitor its operational results and cash flows. Senior management reviews financial results on a monthly basis, and then reviews those results with the Board Chair and the Treasurer. Detailed financial reports are provided quarterly to the Board.

• Nature Museum educators provide more hands-on education hours than any other museum in Chicago.

• The Chicago Academy of Sciences holds a 390,000-piece collection – featuring an amazing cross-section of the region’s natural history.

• Our community-based science programs have more participants than ever before – with more than 120 different data collection routes.

• The Chicago Conservation Corps has trained volunteers from every one of Chicago’s 50 wards.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

CHICAGO ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CHICAGO ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Board of directors
as of 4/30/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

David Hackett

Baker & McKenzie LLC

Term: 2020 - 2022

Lowell Stahl

PFS Group

Brian Walls

Alternative Investments Group at COEX

Leslie Burns

Independent Futures Trader

Charles Douglas

Sidley Austin LLP

Lisa Tribbett

Civic Leader

Peggy Notebaert

Civic Leader

Judy Istock

Civic Leader

Leslie Coolidge

Civic Leader

Cathleen Osborn

Civic Leader

Susan Whiting

Kemper Corp., Edelman

Greg Case

Aon Corporation

Benjamin Lenhardt

UBS Global Asset Management, (Americas) Inc. (retired)

Richard Williams

Hlustik, Huizenga, Williams & Vander Woude, Ltd.

Joan Walker

Civic Leader

Frank Clark

ComEd (retired)

Thomas Cox

Illinois Bell (retired)

Rakesh Khanna

McKinsey & Co.

David Hackett

Baker & McKenzie LLC

James Murray

PJT Partners

Tasha Cruzat

Voices for Illinois Children

Charles Barone

Ernst & Young

Nadalie Bosse

W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Joel Brown

University of Illinois, Chicago

Catherine Dowd

MG Fulton Partners

Robert Frentzel

CIBC

Rich Hanson

Avison Young

Peter Harrison

Morgan Stanley

Michelle Hawver

Civic Leader

Meredith Mendes

Gresham Partners

James Montgomery

DePaul University

Gail Moss

Civic Leader

John Murphy

MB Real Estate

Nicole Nocera

Exelon Utilities

Erin Ohlms

Fernwood Management

Robert Sarazen

Goldman Sachs

Brooke Cullen

Wintrust

Peggy Diamond

Civic Leader

Joseph Dolan

PNC Financial Services Group

Meg George

Akerman, LLP

Todd Jensen

KPMG

Nicole Lacy

Civic Leader

Sheila Mulligan

Edelman

Agatha Newman

Astellas Pharma

Art Reliford

Retired Educator

Stacie Selinger

GCM Grosvenor

Ben Settle

William Blair & Company

Marianne Stanke

Deloitte Consulting LLP

Alison Taylor

Archer Daniels Midland Company

Nancy Tuchman

School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University

Colleen Zambole

Civic Leader

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data