The Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) is a research and service unit of the University of Kansas (KU) and an agency of the State of Kansas. Its programs and activities meet mission-oriented goals germane to state, regional, national, and global environmental and biological issues. The legislatively mandated mission of KBS is to gather, by field census and other means, information on the kinds, distribution, and abundance of plants and animals, compile, analyze, and interpret this information, and distribute this information through reports and publications.

The scope of activities at KBS has expanded over time, however, to embrace both interdisciplinary and multi-investigator research initiatives that focus on holistic environmental analyses, fundamental community and ecosystem ecology, conservation and rehabilitation of ecosystems, and remote sensing/GIS sciences (including systems analyses and data archiving). To complement its official state mission and expanded research activities, KBS maintains an active role in traditional and public education, especially through the formal classes and research mentorship its scientists offer to undergraduate and graduate students at KU and through diverse activities at the University of Kansas Field Station. Scientists and staff at KBS also contribute to public outreach and service activities at local, state, regional, and national levels. While activities of KBS focus on environmental issues important to the State of Kansas and Great Plains ecosystems, scientific research at KBS extends to the Midwestern region, nations, and global environments.