We believe our future depends on bold actions to confront the climate crisis and its impact on humanity.

Investments in Science

Our anchor environmental program provides direct support for scientists who seek a deeper understanding of earth’s climate. We support the Comer Fellows, a group of climate scientists whose diverse work focuses on Greenland, mountain glaciers, oceans and drylands. By studying the history of climate changes, we can better comprehend and identify future patterns and their consequences.

We provide administrative, technical, and logistical support to the Changelings, a membership group of scientists dedicated to pooling their collective vision and interdisciplinary resources to answer the toughest questions in the field. For more than two decades, the Changelings have catalyzed research and field work while empowering the next generation of climate scientists. Scientists from around the world convene for presentations and discussion at our annual Climate Change Conference. We also provide administrative support to the Global Climate Change Foundation, established by Wally Broecker, founding mentor of the Comer Fellowship, to further field work in paleoclimatology.

Postdoctoral researcher Guleed Ali conducts fieldwork in eastern California to reconstruct the fluctuation history of Mono Lake. This fluctuation history informs how water availability in the southwestern United States changed as the planet warmed during the termination of the last Ice Age. © Jasmin Shah, 2020

Investments in Education

Climate change is a present and looming threat for both young people and for communities facing disproportionate consequences. Our legacy in environment and education affords us a rare opportunity to confront the climate crisis through our long-time work with youth and world-class climate scientists as well as our ties to local nonprofits and environmental justice organizations. In response, we’ve helped launch Teens Take On Climate to support youth to advance climate justice through experiential learning, employment, and engagement in their communities.

Comer Education Campus prepares young people for college, careers and futures as well-rounded, global citizens. A holistic approach fosters care for the environment and for building a world where all communities can thrive. The campus is home to a rigorous high school science program as well as a robust urban agriculture department. A 1.75-acre farm and rooftop garden provide STEAM learning experiences and employment opportunities while nourishing the community with fresh produce and green space.

Medill Comer Scholars is a partnership with Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Students in this intensive one-year graduate program develop the expertise needed to communicate the complex science of climate change and to command attention for environmental issues. Graduates have gone on to successful careers in environmental and science journalism, fulfilling the mission to mobilize a vital new generation of reporters.

In the pathway to science careers, the postdoctoral stage is formative, providing defining experiences while advancing scholarly research. The Comer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports 2–3-year mentorships at institutions seeking to strengthen diversity in the geosciences.

Investments in our Community & Region

We also help fund environmental organizations working to protect our unique habitats and ecosystems and to strengthen climate resilience in communities throughout the Midwest. Recognizing the power of local organizing in building healthier communities, we support the Chicago Environmental Justice Network which provides technical assistance to grassroots, community-based organizations.

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