Calumet Stewardship Initiative

Calumet Environmental Resource Center (CERC)


The Calumet Environmental Resource Center (CERC) is a unique resource library, meeting place, and referral network where neighborhood residents, government officials, community activists and others can learn about and respond to environmental issues across the Calumet region. CERC was established in 1991 through a joint effort of the Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC) at Chicago State University, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Chicago Legal Clinic and is maintained by the Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center as part of the university's Geography program.

CERC's extensive collection continues to expand and now contains over 5,000 assorted research documents, maps, books, photographs and other resources about the Calumet region of southeast Chicago, southern Cook County, and northwestern Indiana. A storehouse of government documents/reports, industry profiles, and scientific research papers on past environmental pollution and current toxic hazards enables community groups to formulate effective strategies for addressing many of the local and regional environmental concerns facing the region. CERC caters to a wide range community organizations, businesses, students, and neighborhood residents seeking to enhance economic development, protect the area's fragile environment, and monitor the health and safety of their communities.

Michael Siola is the research specialist and coordinator of the CERC resource collection which is housed in the Williams Science Center, Room 208 on the campus of Chicago State University at 9501 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Please call us at (773) 995-2964 to schedule a visit.

You can come to the Calumet Environmental Resource Center (CERC) to:
- study thousands of government reports, documents, and maps in the resource center
- search the catalogs of over 800 public and private Illinois libraries via IlliNet
- visit our website at and access numerous environmental and scientific research databases
- download over 800 research reports from the CERC website at
- learn about local grassroots efforts to preserve and restore the Calumet region’s natural, cultural, and historical environment
- consult with us on ways to present environmental information in map or graphic form
- use interactive environmental education software to learn about the area's ecosystems
- meet and discuss environmental issues with representatives of federal, local and state government agencies,                             neighborhood organizations, and environmental groups

Contact Information: Michael Siola at (773) 995-2964 or [email protected]

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