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Geos Institute helps communities build resilience in the face of climate change

Geos Institute Awarded $50,000 Lightship Prize for Climate Action 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2023

For media inquiries, please contact:
Tonya Graham (; 541-482-4459 x301)

Ashland, Oregon — The Geos Institute has been honored with the third annual Lightship Prize for climate action by a private Midwest foundation. This prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of climate action, comes as a testament to the Geos Institute’s unwavering commitment to addressing the pressing issue of climate change.

The foundation, which became acquainted with the Geos Institute through their collaboration with Climate Ready Missoula, was impressed by the Institute’s Climate Ready Communities program, which played a pivotal role in the development of a comprehensive climate resilience plan.

Geos Institute’s Executive Director, Tonya Graham, expressed her gratitude for the unexpected honor, saying, “Our work is focused on creating and enhancing the systems of support so that all communities, regardless of size, location, or wealth, have the tools and resources they need to build climate resilience. It is heartening to know that others see the value in this work.”

In a letter to the organization, the foundation’s president stated, “This award is in recognition of your organization’s long-standing, excellent, and dedicated work on the urgent problem of climate change.” The letter explained the lightship metaphor, describing their nimble and adaptable features that can endure formidable storms to provide alerts and save lives.

This award arrives at a crucial juncture for the Geos Institute, providing the flexibility required to continue building momentum for its vital work. Graham added, “Being on the leading edge of climate resilience often means forging ahead alone for a time. However, as support and momentum grow, we reach that tipping point, and the work takes flight. The lightship metaphor deeply resonates with how we see our work.”


The Geos Institute is dedicated to helping communities build resilience in the face of climate change by combining scientific expertise with local knowledge. Their holistic approach prioritizes the needs of ecosystems and communities most affected by climate change. Geos Institute pursues its mission through two primary initiatives: Climate Ready America (, a nationwide network of climate support services, and Climate Ready Communities (, a comprehensive guide for local leaders to develop climate resilience plans. Despite their modest size, the Geos Institute has had a significant impact on the conversation surrounding climate services in the resilience field. They serve as trusted advisors to the Climate Program Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Resilience Office, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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