Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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November, 2011


Switzer Programs and Network News

 Upcoming Conferences  

Fellow Updates



PROGRAMSI.  Switzer Programs and Network News


1.  Applications being accepted for 2012 Fellowships - spread the word!

2.  Switzer Network Innovation Grants - pending ideas and deadlines

3.  New Featured Fellow and Blog posts on the Switzer site - check it out!

4.  Calendar of Events

5.  NEW:  digest option available for Switzer listserv

6.  Good reasons to join us on LinkedIn

7.  Send us your photos!





2012 Fellowship applications are due January 15, 2012.  Switzer Fellows are our best ambassadors for this program, so please help us spread the word!  Fellows who are housed in universities in California and New England, or who have colleagues or potential applicants at eligible institutions, please pass along the Fellowship information.  Guidelines and application information are available on the website.  We also have a Call for Applications that you can print and pass around.  Please contact Erin if you would like more information on specific Fellowship talking points, or just point folks to our website!


Fellows in the UC Merced area:  Lissa will be meeting with UCM faculty to promote the Fellowship program on November 15th.  Please contact Lissa ASAP if you would like to join her on an outreach visit, also in support of outreach to build environmental capacity in the Central Valley, California.



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Our newest grant program, Switzer Network Innovation grants, was launched in September to support innovation and cross-disciplinary problem solving within the Switzer Network.  Please review the RFP on our blog if you haven't already had a chance to do so.  This program replaces the Collaborative Initiatives Fund and is designed to bring Fellows together, along with their respective professional networks, to solve an environmental problem or begin dialogue on an issue.  By way of example, we invite Fellows to view a new post by 1998 Fellow Hugh Hogan proposing to develop a network of Fellows to work on sustainable food systems with national funders and food systems groups.  (A link to this post was sent to the listserv, as well.)  There are several other Network Innovation ideas in formation and we will be posting those to the blog and listserv very shortly, as well, so stay tuned and check back often!


Also, we are still looking for ideas and actions under this program that can form the basis of a spring retreat or study tour!  Consider hosting a study tour or gathering of Fellows to examine an issue or place you are engaged with.  We're interested in any of your ideas, large or small! We'd like to see proposals for spring retreat ideas by the end of this month.  Please contact Erin or Lissa for more information or to discuss proposal ideas.


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Read about the work of Chuck Striplen, our newest Featured Fellow!  Chuck is a 2003 Switzer Fellow, Research Associate at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, and a member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band (Santa Clara Valley/Monterey Bay people).  He discusses his work on historical ecology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the San Francisco Bay area.  Chuck is the first Featured Fellow to be profiled in our new format for publicizing Fellows' work.  


Please also check out our latest blog postings proposing Network innovation ideas, information and resources about our recent skills-building webinars, video-taped testimonials from Fellows, and other topical discussions.  Consider starting a discussion or contributing to one today!  (Contact Lauren for help on how to do that.)


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Our fall/winter calendar of events is taking shape.  Here are a few things we have planned, both virtual and in-person.  Please be sure to check our web calendar for updates! 


Again, we are hoping to hear from Fellows with ideas for spring retreats - please review the RFP for the Switzer Network Innovation Grants and let us hear your ideas!  


Please note, we are always looking for Fellows to offer to host happy hours, gatherings at conferences, or other strategic places where Fellows will be.  Please contact Erin if you are interested in organizing a get-together.  It can be as easy as meeting for cocktails at an appointed time and place - we'll even send the email invite for you!


Upcoming Network gatherings:

Several Network gatherings are in the works and spring retreat plans are still open for your suggestions.  Please consider hosting a gathering in your area or proposing a spring study tour.  So far, stay tuned for these upcoming events:

  • November 15, 2011:  UC Merced.  Switzer Fellows and Lissa meet with UCM faculty to promote Switzer Fellowship program.  Please let Lissa know ASAP if you would like to join us on this outreach visit.
  • December 2, 2011 and January 18, 2012 (1-2 pm Eastern Standard Time):  Virtual Networking Events.  Keep the spirit of the retreats alive all year long!  Meet Fellows and swap stories, resources, tips and more at our first two virtual networking events.  Open to all Fellows.  We'll be using BlitzTime to connect you one-on-one with other Fellows for brief networking chats.  It's like a virtual cocktail party - but from the comfort of your office or living room!  You need access to your computer and a phone line to attend.  Contact Lauren if you'd like to attend either or both!
  • January 11-12, 2012:  Washington, DC-  Federal Policy workshop with the Smith Fellows Program - details will be announced shortly but PLEASE CONTACT ERIN if you are interested - only a few slots will be available!)
  • January 11 or 12, 2012 (TBD):  Washington, DC - DC Fellows social gathering
  • January 19, 2012:  New York City - lunch or evening reception with NYC Fellows.  Contact Lissa with your time preference.
  • February, 2012 date TBD:  Boston - gathering or seminar on Public Narratives and Public Policy with Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (Invited).
  • March, 2012 TBD:  southern California spring retreat/study tour?  (Fellow ideas, please!)

Upcoming Digital Skills and Leadership Webinars:

Details forthcoming, but please contact Lauren if you are interested or have questions.

  • November 28, 2011:  Organizing Your Digital Life
  • January 30, 2012:  Creating Your Leadership Learning Agenda
  • February 27, 2012:  Working and Collaborating Remotely
  • March 26, 2012:  Balancing Work and Life
  • April 30, 2012:  Using Google Tools in Your Organization
  • May 21, 2012:  How to Write and Publish a Book (with Fellow panelists Eric Jay Dolin, Mark Elbroch, Sharon Smith and Susan Clark)

Other issue-oriented Webinars are being planned, including:

Stuart Cohen (1996), Executive Director of TransForm:  GreenTRIP:  Certifying developments with less parking and more walkability

Laura Wisland (2007), Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists:  Utilities and Renewable Energy Resources:  How do we move forward?

Tim Greiner (1992), Principal, Greiner Environmental:  Infusing Your Entire Organization with Sustainability


Please contact Erin if you have an idea for a webinar.


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 If you are a member of the Switzer listserv, or have been at one time but opted out because of an already busy email inbox, we can now offer a daily digest option for those of you who want to stay connected but would rather receive fewer emails.  Please contact Lauren if you are interested in this option, and thanks to all of our Fellows who post to the listserv!


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LinkedIn offers several useful ways to link up with Switzer Fellows and identify yourself with the Switzer Foundation.  


To get fully connected with us on LinkedIn in three easy steps and just 15 minutes, please do the following:

1.  Join our Group.  Visit, then click the "Join Group" button.  The group is open to all Fellows and colleagues with a connection to the Foundation.

2.  Include your Fellowship (and Leadership Grant, if applicable) in the "Honors and Awards" section on your Profile.  To do this, go to Edit Profile, then scroll to just before the Summary section and click the "Add sections" link.  Choose "Honors and Awards" and then fill out the short form.

Here's sample text for the Fellowship (to make it REALLY easy!):

  • Title:  Switzer Environmental Fellowship
  • Issuer:  Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation
  • Occupation:  (choose your own affiliation here)
  • Date:  (choose just the year of your fellowship, leave the month blank)
  • Description:  The goal of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program is to support highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field.  For more information about the Fellowship, please visit

3.  Include your LinkedIn URL on your Switzer directory profile.  For most of you, your Switzer website directory profile is the FIRST result for your name in a Google search.  (Try it and see!)  To make sure folks can find your LinkedIn profile, too, add it to your Switzer profile.  Log in at, click "My Account" at the bottom of any page, then choose the "Edit" tab.  (Don't know your LinkedIn URL?  Click "Edit profile" in LinkedIn, then look at the bottom of the summary and copy the "Public profile" link.  Note that you can also edit this link so that it makes more sense, for example, using your full name instead of randomly generated characters.)


Not really active on LinkedIn yet, but want to learn more?  Check out our recent webinar, "Using LinkedIn to Boost Your Career" and download our Resources Guide, which includes links to basic tutorials to get you up and running fast on the service.


Not convinced?  The benefits of linking to us are big:

  • Automatic updates about webinars, trainings, retreats and other important events
  • Access to dozens of Fellows and their Connections
  • Instant notifications sent to Switzer when you change jobs or post other news, which we use to enhance your profile through Fellows in the News

Let Lauren know if you have any questions or need help.



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We need your photos!


We are building a bank of photos to use on the website, in our annual report, and in social media.  We're looking for photos of you at work, photos from retreats, and anything else you think shows the spirit and ideals of the Switzer Network.


Here are 3 easy ways to send us your photos:


1.  If you only have a few, just email them to Lauren!


2.  Upload them to Yogile.  Visit and click the "Add more photos" button.  You don't need an account or to sign in.  The system will notify us automatically that new photos are there.


3.  Put them on your photo sharing account.  Just send us the name of the service you're using (Flickr, Picasa, Snapfish, etc.) and your username.  Then tag any photos you'd like us to have with "switzernetwork" (no quotes) and we'll find and download them ourselves!


Let Lauren know if you need help or have any questions about how the photos will be used.



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Please let Erin know if you will be attending any of these conferences.  Fellows are attending a number of them and we can help Fellows connect with each other. 

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

November 13-17:  Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry annual meeting, Boston, MA
November 13-16:  Entomological Society of America annual meeting, Reno, NV
November 29-December 8:  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Durban, South Africa
December 4-7:  Society for Risk Analysis, Charleston, SC
December 5-9:  International Congress for Conservation Biology, Auckland, NZ
December 5-9:  American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
January 18-20:  National Council for Science and the Environment's annual conference (Environment and Security), Washington, DC
February 2-4:  New Partners for Smart Growth, San Diego, CA
February 16-20:  American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia
February 24-28:  Association of American Geographers annual meeting, New York, NY
Is there a conference or training event you think we should include on this calendar?  Please let Erin know.


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Here are some professional updates from Fellows.  Now that we are tracking our Fellows' work via Google Alerts, please also be sure to check out Fellows in the News on the Switzer website for more news from the Network!  
Chuck Striplen (2003) is our latest Featured Fellow on the Switzer website.  Chuck talks about his expertise in historical ecology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the San Francisco Bay area.  Click here to find out more!

Eric Jay Dolin (1989) has received the following awards for his most recent book, Fur, Fortune and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America (W.W. Norton, 2010):  2010 James P. Hanlan Book Award, given by the New England Historical Association; 1st place in the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Excellence in Craft Contest, book division; and bronze medal in history in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  Eric's book was also chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Seattle Times, one of the top ten books of 2010 by the Rocky Mountain Land Library, and it was a finalist in the Reading the West Book Award sponsored by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.  Eric has just completed the manuscript for his next book, this one on the trade between the United States and China (e.g., tea, silk, sea otters, sandalwood, beche de mer, and opium), from the American Revolution through the Civil War.  That book will be published by Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton, in September, 2012.
Trish Holden (1992) is now the director of the UC Santa Barbara Natural Reserve System in addition to her faculty position at the Bren School.  UCSB manages six of the 36 sites in the System:  K.S.N. Rancho Marino, Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, Coal Oil Point Reserve (at UCSB), Sedgwick Reserve, Santa Cruz Island Reserve, and the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.
Lisa Bunin (1994) has been elected Board President of the Ecological Farming Association.  Lisa is Organic Policy Coordinator with the Center for Food Safety in San Francisco.
David Sonnenfeld (1995), Professor of Sociology and Environmental Policy at SUNY-ESF, has co-authored a new textbook entitled, Food, Globalization and Sustainability (London and New York: Earthscan/Routledge) designed for upper division undergraduate and masters level courses.  The book is a comprehensive examination of the contributions of social theory to understanding contemporary problems of food, hunger, globalization and sustainability.  For more information:

(Fellows, send your professional updates to Erin!)  


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