Advancing Science and Severe Weather
The Jonathan Merage Foundation, founded by passionate young philanthropist, Jonathan Merage, focuses on advancing the study of, education, and activities surrounding science and severe weather. The foundation seeks to invest in innovative and pioneering approaches to further our understanding of the world around us.
The foundation has a standing history of partnering with the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, where it provided seed funding in 2010 to the college’s Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) as part of the VORTEX2 project, allowing RECUV to develop a mobile ground station for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The VORTEX2 field campaign was the largest experiment ever deployed to study tornadoes. Then, in 2014, the foundation committed an additional investment to fund the procurement of a tracker vehicle and a new lightning detection instrument to be integrated into a small, unmanned aircraft. This system is being designed to measure electric field changes associated with lightning strikes.
The Jonathan Merage Foundation is also a strong partner to the Denver Botanic Gardens. In 2014, it funded the installation of photovoltaic panels on the newly developed Science Pyramid, providing an important tool for community education on the benefits of sustainable energy. This grant was a continuation of the foundation’s ongoing support to the Denver Botanic Gardens, as it was the very first gift in support of making the Science Pyramid a reality in 2010, and had previously funded educational programming for climate related plant programs.