Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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October, 2011


Switzer Programs and Network News

 Upcoming Conferences  

Fellow Updates



PROGRAMSI.  Switzer Programs and Network News


1.  Announcement:  Switzer Network Innovation Grants!

2.  Spread the word:  2012 Fellowship guidelines now available

3.  Policy training - January, 2012 - Washington, DC


And, here are two easy things you can do NOW to stay involved in our vibrant community! 


4.  Update your bio!  It can be the #1 search result for your name!     

5.  Participate in a Webinar  




We released a SPECIAL Request for Proposals last week.  To support the kind of innovation and cross-disciplinary problem-solving the Switzer Fellowship Network is capable of, we've created the Switzer Network Innovation Grants to foster innovation and collaboration among members of the Network.  You can review the RFP on our blog. The aim is to catalyze innovation and the potential for collective impact through these grants.  The guidelines for the RFP are general in order to give you flexibility in thinking about how you would use the Network to achieve your goal or vision for positive change.  We are especially interested in ideas and actions that can form the basis for a spring retreat or study tour!  Please note proposals for spring retreat ideas must be submitted by November 15th.


Action items: 

  • Review the RFP which can be found on our blog.
  • Consider hosting a Spring Retreat or Study Tour.  You can read inspiring reports from last year's spring retreats to fire up your imagination!
  • Request a specialized list of Fellows (by geography, area of interest, or affiliation) from Don if you'd like to start putting together an event or proposal.

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Guidelines for the 2012 Switzer Fellowships are now available on the website.  (Click here to access guidelines and program information.)  The application deadline is January 15, 2012.  Please help us spread the word!  You can refer interested candidates to our website, or have them contact Erin for more information.


Also, please let Erin know if you would be interested in serving as an interviewer for Fellowship candidates in May (Boston and San Francisco).  This is a great way to help the Foundation, and to network with colleagues and meet the next generation of inspiring leaders!


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Switzer Fellows are invited to participate in a day-long policy training in partnership with the Smith Fellows Program/Society for Conservation Biology.


Dates:  Thursday-Friday, January 12-13, 2012.

Location:  Washington, DC


The Smith Fellows section will have panel discussions with federal land agency leaders.  We have the opportunity to add at least one half-day of our own program, which can be designed with Fellow input.  Please let Erin know your ideas and early expression of interest.  Space may be limited to ten Switzer Fellows.  We hope to continue an annual tradition of a federal briefing in the winter in DC.  We welcome your input!


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We are following your work every minute of every day now with Google Alerts.  Whenever your name appears online, we are alerted to it and can post the news to our website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn streams immediately.  The benefit to you?  All of this content is also linked to your Switzer profile, making it a robust overview of your professional work.  When someone searches for your name, the chances are good that your Switzer profile will be the first or second link that appears, often even before LinkedIn!  Keep your bio and photo up to date to ensure that your Switzer profile represents you and your important work accurately.


Action items:

  • Log in and review your Switzer profile today.  If you can't remember how, email Lauren and she'll send you an instruction sheet.  If you have trouble sizing the photo to meet the requirements (157 x 219 pixels), feel free to send it to Lauren and she'll edit and post it for you.
  • Check out the new and improved Fellows in the News stream that features the content we are finding through Google Alerts.
  • Curious about setting up Google Alerts to track people, companies and topics of interest to you automatically?  Let Lauren know and she'll do a webinar on the topic as part of our Digital Skills series this year.
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This year, we are sponsoring three webinar series to feature Fellows and help you develop valuable career skills.  Specific dates will be announced as the webinars are scheduled, but here are just a few of the sessions we are busy planning:


Switzer Network News Webinars

--Tim Greiner of Pure Strategies, on how he helped Stonyfield Farm take their sustainability commitment company-wide

--Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist, New England Wild Flower Society, on her NSF-funded online project "Go Botany" 

--Laura Wisland of the Union of Concerned Scientists, on next steps for California since passage of the Renewables Portfolio Standard 


Digital Skills Webinars

--Making the Most of the Switzer Network, with an overview of online tips and tools to manage your profile and social media streams

--Tools and Techniques for Collaborating Remotely, showing you the best tools and practices to keep your productivity high when you're on the road


Leadership Skills Webinars

--Crafting Your Message for the Media, with ideas gleaned from our new COMPASS training team at this year's fall retreats

--Balancing Work and Family, a panel of Switzer Fellows offering practical tips and tricks


Action Items:

  • Subscribe to one of our news feeds using the social media buttons at the top of this email so that you are notified of all upcoming webinars.
  • Check out the screencast and resource guide for our recent webinar on "Using LinkedIn to Boost Your Career," featuring four Switzer Fellows talking about their successes with the professional social networking service.
  • Let Lauren know if you have an idea for a webinar or if you'd like to host one about your work or a digital or leadership skill you think is important for Fellows to master.

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Please let Erin know if you will be attending any of these conferences.  We can help arrange a Switzer Fellows get-together while you are there. 

Also check our calendar for specific listings of Fellows who are presenting at these conferences.

October 4-6: SXSW Eco, Austin, TX
October 4-6: Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Toronto, CANADA (Fellow Mara Baum presenting)
October 13-16: Land Trust Alliance Rally, Milwaukee, WI
October 14-16: Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA (Fellow Melissa Nelson presenting)
October 29-November 2: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
December 5-9: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

Is there a conference or training event you think we should include on this calendar?  Please let Erin know.


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Melissa Garren (2010) has accepted a post-doc position at MIT working on a high-tech approach to studying coral-microbe interactions to better understand the relationship between coral and bacteria.  Melissa received her PhD from UC San Diego this past summer.  

Sarah Kapnick (2010) will be starting a position as Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, also working with the NOAA Lab affiliated with Princeton.  Sarah will be involved with the start-up of an interdisciplinary institute dealing with climate change adaptation and risk assessment through her specialty in hydroclimate and water availability.


Dave Wiley (1999) has returned from a 7-month Fulbright fellowship in New Zealand and has written a report entitled, "Increasing the Social Power of Scientific Information used for Decisions on Marine Protected Areas in New Zealand", looking at how stakeholders perceived scientific information in a decision-making context and how such realities need to be acknowledged and understood by scientists.  Dave is the Research Coordinator for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.


Christina Hemphill (2008) has accepted a position as Postdoctoral Associate at Georgia State University in Atlanta where she will continue her research on air pollution and public health, and environmental justice.


In August, Jasquelin Pena (2006) started her new position as Assistant Professor of Geoscience and the Environment at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.


(Fellows, send your updates to Lauren!)  


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