Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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January, 2012


Happy New Year!


Switzer Programs and Network News

 Upcoming Conferences 

Fellow Updates



PROGRAMSI.  Switzer Programs and Network News


1.  NEW GRANT PROGRAM:  Switzer Network Innovation Grants

2.  Deadlines:  All Grant Programs

3.  SPRING RETREATS:  Ideas and helpers needed!
4.  Upcoming Events and Webinars

5.  New Switzer Affinity Groups

6.  New Switzer Web Content

7.  Don't forget - Twitter and LinkedIn

8.  Send us your photos!






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.  As of 2012, this program replaces the Collaborative Initiatives Fund.  Several ideas have begun to percolate under this program - please check out the blog to read more!  


NOTE:  No deadlines!  Proposals are reviewed on a quarterly or rolling basis.


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leadershipdeadlines2.  DEADLINES:  ALL GRANT PROGRAMS


Fellowship Program:  APPLICATIONS DUE JANUARY 15th!  


Leadership Grant Program:

Announcements will be made shortly about the new Leadership and Collaborative Initiatives grants awarded in December, so please stay tuned to our website!  

Spring 2012 cycle:

Concept letters due February 1, 2012

Invited proposals due March 1, 2012

Decisions made by May 15, 2012

Fall 2012 cycle:

Concept letters due September 1, 2012

Invited proposals due October 1, 2012

Decisions made by December, 15, 2012

ANYONE WISHING TO SUBMIT A CONCEPT LETTER must contact Erin before submitting!


Network Innovation Grants:

No deadline.  Contact Lissa and post your ideas to the blog and listserve.


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We are still looking for ideas that may form spring retreats in southern California and New England!  If you would like to showcase your work in either of these areas, or have any ideas for issues we can examine on field trips/lectures, please contact Lissa as soon as possible!  Spring retreat ideas may be eligible for Network Innovation funding!


Let the planning begin!  Ideally late March in southern California and early to mid April in New England.  A few options under consideration for California include:  a visit to "inland empire" region of southern California to examine innovative approaches in watershed and water management, a follow-up trip to the Central Valley, or perhaps examination of sustainable agriculture and food systems issues.  In addition, it has been suggested that a day trip to the "delta" to examine ongoing restoration efforts could be offered.


For New England, options include a seminar on "public narratives for public policy issues" with Marshall Ganz at Harvard, or a convening of one of our emerging affinity groups or Fellow-led workshop or seminar.


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January 11:  GreenTRIP:  Creating great, low-carbon, affordable communities.  GreenTRIP ( is an innovative certification program that is getting developers to include free transit passes, car share and other strategies to make truly low-carbon, affordable developments that are embraced by the community.  Join Switzer Fellow Stuart Cohen, Executive Director of TransForm, and Ann Cheng, GreenTRIP Program Director, for this informative and inspiring webinar.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


January 19:  California's Renewable Energy Policy.  As Senior Energy Analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, Switzer Fellow Laura Wisland played an important role in the passage of California's Renewable Portfolio Standard.  Hear about her newest research into how California's utilities are faring under the new rules.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


January 30:  Creating Your Leadership Learning AgendaLearn the system we teach new Fellows to develop a leadership learning agenda that you can follow throughout your career.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


February 17Greening Stonyfield Farm.  Join Switzer Fellow Tim Greiner of Pure Strategies to hear how his company helped Stonyfield Farm spread their sustainability mission throughout the organization.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


February 27:  Working and Collaborating RemotelyLearn about tools that can help you work and collaborate effectively in the cloud, and explore some workflows that have worked for others.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


March 26:    Balancing Work and Life:  A Panel with Practical Tips and TricksJoin us for a roundtable on balancing work and life from a variety of perspectives:  working parents, caregivers for elderly relatives, time-intensive hobbies and interests outside of work, and more.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


April 30:    Using Google Tools in Your OrganizationGoogle offers a dizzying array of free and low-cost tools to use in your organization.  Cloud email, shared calendars and simple websites are just the beginning.  This webinar looks at how you can shift your organization to cloud computing with Google, including tips on how to get buy-in at all levels.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


May 21:  How to Publish a Book (Virtual Book Signing by published Switzer Fellows)


June 25:  Blogging About Your Work




January 11:  Storytelling: Tapping the Power of Narrative, with Andy Goodman (1st in a series of four classes to be held 1/11, 1/18, 1/25 and 2/1)

12-1 pm Eastern/9-10 am Pacific

Cost: $400.  Space is limited, some funding is available for Switzer Fellows!  Contact Lissa FMI.


January 11-13:  Workshop, Washington, D.C. - Federal Policy for conservation scientists (all slots are filled, but let Erin know if you are still interested in case of cancellations). 


January 13:  Happy Hour Reception, Washington, D.C. - Hosted by David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program in conjunction with above Federal Policy workshop.  Contact Erin FMI.


March and April (TBD):  SPRING RETREATS!!!



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As part of the Switzer Foundation's effort to enhance networking opportunities for Fellows with similar professional interests, we are creating topical discussion groups, offering "virtual networking events", and issue-based webinars to foster interaction.  We currently have two discussion groups you can join that will allow for archiving discussions, and that are visible through google groups:


Central Valley - this group is for Fellows involved in or interested in the Central Valley, San Joaquin River restoration and water management, environmental justice, and related issues.  This group is currently comprised of Fellows who participated in the Central Valley spring retreat last year, Fellows whose research involves Central Valley, and other colleagues involved in these and related issues. 


Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems - this new group is intended to help Fellows involved in these issues to connect with each other and link with regional and national food systems efforts.


If you are interested in joining either group, contact Lauren Hertel.


For an updated list of discussion groups as they are created, go to 


The next groups we want to create are for Fellows working on international development, a group for conservation science, and a group for climate and energy.  If you are particularly interested in joining these, let Lauren know and we will sign you up when we set up the groups.


Upcoming virtual networking events include:


January 18:  Virtual Networking Event for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy Affinity Group.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific

Not a member?  Request an invitation from Lauren Hertel.



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New content highlights, now on our website:


The Switzer Network Goes to France!  In late November, Lissa represented the Switzer Foundation at a conference in France. Read about the experience and download her presentation handout.

Lessons Learned by Arcata's Former Mayor, Susan Ornelas- Switzer Fellow Susan Ornelas recently stepped down as mayor of Arcata, CA.  She reflects on her handling of the Occupy Arcata movement and offers thoughts about the importance of acting with the greatest good in mind.

The Noob Guide to Online Marketing - Although most Switzer Fellows don't consider themselves marketers, we are all responsible to some degree for getting the word out about what we do.  The number one place to do that cheaply and quickly is on the web, but where should you start?

Writing an Effective Online Profile - How should you present yourself online?  It's most effective (and easiest) to write one online professional profile and use it for everything from LinkedIn to conferences .. to the Switzer website!


Upcoming highlights on our website as of January 16th:

Exploring the Ecological Role of Pumas - 2011 Switzer Fellow Mark Elbroch's research focuses on a major carnivore and asks the question:  Are they beneficial to their environment?


Webinar records being reposted!  We had some trouble recording our recent webinars, so we are recording new versions and will post them on our website as follows:  

Organizing Your Digital Life

Sounding Smart in an Interview

Learn How to Use the Switzer Website (created for new Fellows but useful to all as a refresher)


If you'd like to be notified when these items are posted, subscribe to our RSS feed to be notified by email! 


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Please add your Twitter and LinkedIn handles to your Switzer profile.  Just log in, choose "My account" at the bottom of any page, then "Edit" to access your profile.  The Twitter and LinkedIn fields are right after the Biography box.  We can follow your news and re-tweet to the wider Switzer community and strengthen our use of LinkedIn as a networking tool.



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We are still looking for photos of Fellows in the field or doing other activities that are representative of your work.  We'll use them on our website and in our electronic publications.  Please upload your images to today.  No account or sign-in is necessary.



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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.

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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UPDATESIII.  FELLOW UPDATES  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!    


Jason Selwitz (2006) is starting his new job as Project Manager for the Agricultural Center of Excellence at Walla Walla Community College in January. 


Glenn Yeck (2009) is working as a federal agent training with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the Special Agent Basic School.  Glenn will be working to uphold wildlife and endangered species laws.
Dave Wiley (1999), Research Coordinator for NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, has returned from a 7-month stint in New Zealand as an Ian Axzford (Fulbright) Fellow in Public Policy.  Dave researched how stakeholders perceive scientific information in a decison-making context and how scientists can work within those perceptions to inform controversial issues.  Dave was also busy publishing two articles:   Wiley, DN, C. Ware, A. Bocconcelli, D. Cholewiak; A. Friedlaender; M. Thompson, & M. Weinrich (2011) Underwater Components of Humpback Whale Bubble-Net Feeding Behaviour.  Behaviour 148:5-6(575-602); and Wiley, David N., Michael Thompson, Richard M. Pace III, and Jake Levenson (2011) Modeling Speed Restrictions to Mitigate Lethal Collisions between Ships and Whales in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, USA.  Biological Conservation 144:2377-2381.
Susan Ornelas (1997) is stepping down as Mayor of Arcata, CA, to take care of her husband after a serious cycling accident.  Susan shared some of her lessons learned as mayor on a recent Switzer blog post.  We continue to keep Susan and her husband in our thoughts.
Jessica Nelson (2007) completed her PhD at Boston University and is now the bio-monitoring program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health.
Nancy Steele (1993) was awarded a Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation for 2012-2013.  Nancy is the Executive Director of the Council for Watershed Health in Los Angeles (formerly Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Coalition).


(Fellows, send your professional updates to Erin!)  


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