Geos Institute

Helping communities build resilience in the face of climate change using science and local knowledge.

Ashland, OR   |


Geos Institute helps communities build resilience in the face of climate change using science and local knowledge. Our holistic approach prioritizes the needs of ecosystems and those on the frontlines of climate change impacts.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Tonya Graham

Main address

84 Fourth St

Ashland, OR 97520 USA

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NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The climate crisis is the greatest existential threat to both people and nature ever faced. The latest scientific assessments indicate that we less than 10 years to address the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the crisis. At the same time, we are already experiencing impacts in all regions of the country. Because of the highly polarized nature of the climate crisis, in some communities the climate conversation needs to start with helping communities adapt to the changes that are now clearly underway. And many communities cannot afford expensive consultants or planners and have to rely on information freely available to help them understand the magnitude of changes expected in their towns and cities.

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?


Helping communities prepare for a changing climate with Whole Community Resilience, an inclusive planning framework developed by our team to ensure all members of the community are protected.

Population(s) Served

Climate Ready Communities brings Whole Community Resilience to local governments through an assisted “Do-It-Yourself” approach with 3 elements:
1) Downloadable, comprehensive Practical Guide to Building Climate Resilience
2) Support Package for assistance utilizing the Guide
3) Other Services that supplement the Guide and Annual Support but may also be used independently

Population(s) Served

We are a founding member of the Drinking Water Providers Partnership which supports environmental conservation and restoration projects in municipal watersheds across the Northwest. These projects aim to improve both native fish habitat and drinking source watersheds in towns across Oregon and Washington.

Population(s) Served

The goal of Climate Ready America is to create an effective system of climate services so that all communities, no matter their location, wealth, or size, can access the help they need to build climate resilience – both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate impacts.

It creates a civic infrastructure that will partner with the federal government to leverage and support the climate mitigation and adaptation programs of federal agencies and other organizations, helping those tools reach the
ground. This system will also gather critical information regarding emerging community needs for research and tools to be developed by federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations.

Population(s) Served

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.

Number of requests for advocate products or information, including downloads or page views of online material

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Climate Ready Communities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

These numbers reflect the requests for our Practical Guide to Building Climate Resilience.

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.

Geos Institute is focused on developing the system of climate resilience support services that is needed in order for local communities to do their part in helping the U.S. meet its climate targets for both adaptation and mitigation – collectively climate resilience. This involves developing Climate Ready America – a system of coordinated state-level climate resilience hubs that make existing tools and resources available to communities nationwide.

Alongside and within Climate Ready America is our Climate Ready Communities program, which focuses specifically on helping small to mid-sized and under-resourced communities build climate resilience using an “assisted do-it-yourself” approach. While Climate Ready Communities is being developed somewhat independently of Climate Ready America, we anticipate that the Climate Ready Communities program will eventually be housed primarily in the state level hubs that make up the structure of Climate Ready America. Over time, these two elements will become fully integrated.

At the same time, we are continuing to undertake standalone projects with communities through our ClimateWise program to provide funding for our team and allow us to continue to refine our Whole Community Resilience framework. Our efforts to support the development of the climate resilience field and maintain a focus on nature-based solutions support all of our community-based climate resilience work.

We utilize a multi-pronged approach so that we can meet communities wherever they are on their climate resilience journey. Our current focus is on developing a nationwide system of climate support services, what we are calling Climate Ready America. We are in active discussions with allied organizations, federal agencies, and elected officials to create the funding mechanism for this system. We are also working to launch a 5-state pilot program to demonstrate how this system might function, and to learn from the process.

Our ClimateWise team provides full-scale consulting services, at an affordable rate, for communities looking to bring in a consultant to help them. In this process we work closely with the community to develop a local task force and facilitate a broad stakeholder engagement strategy so that the resulting plan is inclusive for all.

For communities not yet ready or interested in a consultant, we wrote the "Practical Guide to Building Climate Resilience" which provides a step-by-step through our Whole Community Resilience framework that anyone can use. We offer tips and direction to publicly available resources whenever possible. This is the foundation of our Climate Ready Communities program, which also offers a Support Package of templates, tutorials, and consulting time with our network of experts.

And finally, through our participation in the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, we support habitat conservation and restoration projects in municipal watersheds across Washington and Oregon that benefit native fish and drinking water sources.

The Geos Institute and our ClimateWise initiative have long been leaders in the national climate adaptation field. Our geospatial analyst was one of the first to bring climate data to community leaders using GIS software over 10 years ago and our Executive Director is well-known nationally as an expert in building climate resilience for small to mid-sized communities. In 2012, the Geos Institute hosted the first national gathering of climate adaptation practitioners with the Kresge Foundation.

Our ClimateWise team wrote the "Practical Guide to Building Climate Resilience", which is the foundation for the Institute’s Climate Ready Communities program. Climate Ready Communities is an “assisted do-it-yourself” program that provides local leaders who do not have the resources to hire planning consultants with the information, guidance, and support to build and implement their own climate resilience plans.

We are also a founding member of the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, a collaboration with USDA Forest Service, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Washington Department of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, The Freshwater Trust, and WildEarth Guardians.

We are part of the team selected to run the Climate Smart Communities Initiative by NOAA. This a 4-year effort aimed at helping build climate resilience in communities across the U.S. through direct technical support and adaptation practitioner training.

We are in conversations with 40+ states interested in starting their own Climate Innovation Centers as part of Climate Ready America. Of these states, 5 are part of our first pilot program. We are actively seeking funding to get these pilots started.

The "Practical Guide to Building Climate Resilience" has been downloaded by hundreds of communities across the United States. We have had inquiries from communities interested in our specific consulting services to accompany the guide, and have assisted communities in Texas and Oregon. We have also developed a mechanism for community "cohorts" to move through a year of Climate Ready Communities planning together, utilizing the power of networking and sharing of information to facilitate multi-community progress towards climate resilience. Currently we have a cohort of small communities Oregon and are just beginning a cohort in Indiana.

Our ClimateWise team is leading the climate resilience element of a comprehensive plan update in Sandy, OR.

The Drinking Water Providers Partnership has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial assistance to over 70 watershed restoration projects since 2016. This has had a direct improvement on the drinking water quality for over a million people in Washington and Oregon who rely on surface water sources.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    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

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 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?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback


Geos Institute

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.

Geos Institute

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Linda Langston

No Affiliation

Jim Ince

No Affiliation

Ken Crocker

No Affiliation

Scott Denning

No Affiliation

Stephen Sendar

No Affiliation

Matthew McKinnon

No Affiliation

Linda Langston

No Affiliation

Micah Hahn

No Affiliation

Andrea Webster

No Affiliation

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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/14/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/08/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.