Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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February, 2012


Switzer Programs and Network News

 Upcoming Conferences 

Fellow Updates


PROGRAMSI.  Switzer Programs and Network News


1.   In Memoriam:  Patricia Switzer

2.   Spring Retreats!

3.   February Highlights:  Switzer Network News, Webinars and Discussions

4.   Video Spotlight on Kendra Klein:  "Healthy Food in Health Care"

5.   New Switzer Listserve and Affinity Groups 

6.   Switzer Network Innovation ideas are happening!

7.   New Grants and Awards

8.   Making the most of the Switzer website

9.   Missed Webinars?  Materials now available!

10.  Upcoming Webinars and Events





In December, 2011, Switzer Foundation co-founder Patricia Switzer passed away at the blessed age of 98.  She was surrounded by family and loved ones in New Bern, North Carolina.  Her enthusiastic support of environmental leaders will live on through the Foundation's mission and programs.  Read Lissa's blog post for more.


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springretreats2.  SPRING RETREATS!



Register now for the California spring retreat:

The Inland Empire of California at the Crossroads:  an examination of land use and development in an increasingly resource-limited environment.

Date:  March 23-25, 2012

Location:  Corona, CA


Join our southern California Fellow hosts for another inside view at a region of California where the juxtaposition of expanding population and growth has placed extreme pressures on natural and human communities.  Join us for a full day tour of the region's challenges and opportunities with local leaders, and time for networking.  We will participate in a "toxics tour" hosted by the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice that will include exploration of goods movement issues, air quality and land use development impacts.  We will examine challenges and progressive approaches to water use, management and restoration with the Santa Ana Watershed Protection Authority and its inspiring General Manager, Celeste Cantu.  We have made arrangements with a local hotel ( and suggest Friday evening arrival and Sunday departure.  We are in the process of exploring Friday afternoon and Sunday morning events, hosted by area Fellows.  PLEASE REGISTER EARLY and we will also explore carpool or rail travel from Los Angeles and/or Claremont Colleges area.  Some travel support is available for Fellows.


Thanks to the dream team of Nancy Steele, Center for Watershed Health; Francisco Donez, EPA Region 9; and Jessica Hall, Restoration Design Group for their planning and organizing efforts!


CLICK HERE to register. 




We are planning a whalewatch tour and marine science day in late spring (to aim for more cooperative weather) and a day trip to focus on sustainable agriculture and/or urban sustainability in Boston.  Dates in play are April 7 or 14 for urban sustainability, so SAVE THE DATES while we continue developing plans!  Please let Lissa know if you want to help with planning or hosting.  We plan to cap the day's outing with a "film night" to watch some TEDx talks and learn from the pros!  Details will be sent to Fellows shortly - stay tuned.


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SWITZER NETWORK NEWS: "Greening Stonyfield Farm," with Switzer Fellow Tim Greiner.  

Tim Greiner (1992), of Pure Strategies, is our Featured Fellow this month.  You can view a short video about Tim's work with companies that want to infuse their organizations with sustainable practices, then find out how he helped Stonyfield Farm do just that during a webinar, "Greening Stonyfield Farm," scheduled for:

Date:  Friday, February 17, 2012

Time:  1-2 pm Eastern/10-11 am Pacific

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION:  As a consultant with Stonyfield Farm for the past 12 years, Tim will discuss efforts to broaden and deepen sustainability within the company.  He will discuss the company's efforts to track its environmental impacts, barriers the company had to overcome, and the environmental and financial savings the company has seen as a result of these efforts.  Tim will answer your questions, including:

  • What are the key steps for establishing a sustainability vision for a company?
  • How do you integrate responsibility for sustainability initiatives into core business processes such as manufacturing, sourcing, packaging and logistics?
  • What mistakes were made in the process of greening the company that anyone seeking to do similar work should avoid?

Please check out Switzer Network News, and join us for the webinar!  (And feel free to pass this invitation to interested colleagues.)



WEBINAR:  Working and Collaborating Remotely (Switzer digital webinar series)

Date:  Monday, February 27, 2012

Time:  1-2 pm Eastern/10-11 am Pacific

Telecommuting and telework are growing at an exponential pace in today's lean economy.  Learn about tools that can help you work and collaborate effectively in the cloud, and explore some workflows that have worked for others.  Click here for details and registration link.




"Whatever Happened to Mandatory Recycling?", asks Lynn Rubinstein (1993) of the Northeast Recycling Council.  Lynn offers Fellows an insider's view of the organization's recent report looking at bans versus mandatory recycling laws, and poses some provocative questions about how the United States got to this point . . . and where we might go from here.


Heard and Seen by Melissa Garren at the Smith Fellows' Federal Policy Workshop:  Melissa Garren (2010) attended the recent Federal Policy workshop offered by the Switzer Foundation through the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. in January.  The workshop focused on the implications of national policy-making for conservation professionals.  Ayana Johnson (2009), Eunice Blavascunas (2005), and Fellow and Switzer Trustee Jen Sokolove (2000) also attended the workshop.  


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This is our first offering in a series of brief video spotlights filmed at this year's fall retreats.  Kendra Klein (2011) discusses how hospitals can use their buying power and "moral authority" as healthcare organizations to push the food system towards more sustainable choices.  Click here to see the video.



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The Switzer listserve address has changed!  The new address is  The benefit of the new listserve address is that it is a Google Group and you can find past messages and threads.  As of this month, we are eliminating the old listserve address.  Please send all future postings to the new address and change your email address books accordingly!  Contact Lauren Hertel with any questions.


Also, starting this month, we are launching a series of affinity groups on environmental topics using our internally administered Google Groups.  You will be automatically added to the group that matches your primary area of expertise (as noted in your Switzer web directory profile) so you can start receiving targeted information immediately.  You will have full control over your subscription, including the ability to set email digest options, join additional affinity groups, and quickly unsubscribe.  We hope you'll find these new groups a better way to keep up with news, jobs and special events we offer on topics of interest to you!  Keep an eye out for your welcome email, and please join the conversation by posting to the group to introduce yourself when you are added.  



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Fellows are connecting under the Network Innovation Grants program!  Currently, we have discussions focusing on: 

  • Flood Risk and Environmental Justice in California's Central Valley; 
  • Filmmakers and conservationists connecting people, nature and climate; 
  • Marcellus Shale research and white paper; 
  • Addressing oil leakage from recreational boats in California; and 
  • Food systems and sustainable agriculture.
Click here to see the discussions on the Switzer blog, and to contact the Fellows leading these efforts.
Click here for the Network Innovation Grant Program guidelines.  (No deadlines!)


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We awarded $145,190 in Leadership and Collaborative Initiatives grants at our December board meeting.  Following are brief summaries, but please check out the web links for more information on each.


Leadership Grants:

The Nature Conservancy Adirondack Chapter and Switzer Fellow Jessica Levine:  Transportation Planning for Climate Change Adaptation and Aquatic Connectivity in the Adirondack Region.  Award amount:  $35,190.


Community Water Center and Switzer Fellow Carolina Balazs:  Cumulative Impacts and Sustainable Solutions, Central Valley, California.  Award amount:  $40,000.


Whale Trust and Switzer Fellow Meagan Jones:  Second year of funding for Meagan as the organization's first full time Executive Director.  Award amount:  $30,000.


Collaborative Initiative Grant:

(Please note that this is the final Collaborative Initiatives Grant to be awarded.  This program has been closed, and we are now funding Fellow collaborations under the Switzer Network Innovation Program.)

Todd Gartner and Josh Donlan, and the World Resources Institute:  Candidate Species Conservation: Developing a Pilot Policy for Preemptive Conservation.  Award amount: $40,000. 



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Did you know that the Switzer website shows up in Google searches in the top THREE results for over HALF of all Fellows?  Update your profile, learn how to connect with us on social media, and learn about useful Fellows-only resources on our website.


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We held webinars with two Fellows (and one Fellow/staff member!) last month and you can watch them any time by following the links below:


Stuart Cohen and GreenTRIP: Creating great, low-carbon, affordable communities


Laura Wisland - California's Renewable Portfolio Standard


Lissa Widoff - Developing Your Leadership Learning Agenda


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March 6:  Agriculture, Climate Change and Rio+20, with Doreen Stabinsky.  Join Switzer Fellow Doreen Stabinsky as she reprises a talk she gave at the Global Policy Forum in New York City on agriculture, climate change, and Rio +20.  She will help us understand what happened in Durban, and will look ahead to Rio and the issues facing us in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


March 26:  Balancing Work and Life:  A Panel Discussion.   Join 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 11:  Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Reform - A look at funder efforts and priorities for a research and action agenda.  

Invited speakers:  Virginia Clarke, Executive Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (; Kolu Zigbi, Program Officer for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation (; and Hugh Hogan, Executive Director, North Star Fund ( and 1998 Switzer Fellow.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


April 18:  "Go Botany!", with Elizabeth Farnsworth.  How do you develop consumer-oriented websites that both inform and inspire sustainable action?  Find out from Switzer Fellow Elizabeth Farnsworth as she takes us inside Go Botany!, a new website designed to help you identify over 1,200 of the most common native and naturalized New England plants.  It includes interactive features that allow users to find friends, collaborate on field surveys for plants, and make maps; teaching tools to encourage education in botany; and advanced ID tools to assist experienced botanists with complete identification.  

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



March 3:  Switzer Fellow Jessica Shade (2011) is partnering with the organization, Expanding Your Horizons, to put together a workshop geared towards getting under-represented youth interested in environmental science through art.  Switzer Fellow artists will have their work displayed at the workshop, which will take place on March 3rd in the Bay Area.  Interested Fellows, please contact Jessica Shade.



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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.

New Partners for Smart Growth.  February 2-4, 2012.  San Diego, CA.
American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting.  February 13-15, 2012.  Miami, FL.
Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting.  February 24-28, 2012.  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!    


Sharon Smith's book, The Young Activist's Guide to Building a Green Movement and Changing the World (Ten Speed Press), was featured prominently in a December 31st article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune


Daniel Orenstein had an article published in January's Journal of the American Planning Association.  Daniel writes about an assessment of urban growth management policy in Israel.



(Fellows, send your professional updates to Erin!)  


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