Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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March, 2012


Switzer Programs and Network News

 Upcoming Conferences 

 Fellows in the News Highlights


PROGRAMSI.  Switzer Programs and Network News


1.   Spring Retreats!

2.   Switzer affinity groups

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

4.   Missed February's Webinar?  Materials now available!

5.   Network Innovation Grants Funded

6.   Leadership Grant Program Reminders and Updates

7.   Build Your Switzer Network ... Morning, Noon and Night

8.   Connect with us on photo sharing websites

9.    Fellow resources available on the Switzer site

10.  Upcoming Webinars and Events



springretreats1.  SPRING RETREATS!



Spots still available!  Register now for the California spring retreat:

California's Inland Empire: A land of contradictions - an examination of water management and social equity in a rapidly developing region.

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.  Other highlights include:

  • An insider's view of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, hosted by Switzer Fellow Naomi Fraga;
  • A visit to the Galleano Winery to hear about dry-farming agriculture techniques; and
  • Switzer Fellow Dustin Mulvaney will update us on the latest in solar power development in the desertlands.

We have made arrangements with a local hotel ( and suggest Friday evening arrival and Sunday departure.  We will 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. 




Ideas for a New England spring retreat are still evolving, but we have honed our sights on a gathering with a marine science focus, and a possible family-friendly whale watch tour.  We apologize for putting out potential dates for a sustainable agriculture gathering in our last ENews, but those plans have been postponed for now.  We will instead focus on convening a growing number of our Fellows involved in coastal and marine issues in this region and beyond.  Thanks in advance to those of you who have offered to help.  Stay tuned!


And, please let Lissa or Erin know if you want to help with planning a marine science gathering!


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All Fellows have been contacted and added to an "affinity group", a Google-based discussion group that matches their primary area of expertise and interest.  The groups are intended to foster greater communication and networking among Fellows working on similar issues and to allow us to better tailor and stream information most relevant to you, from our website and other sources.  We will also be sending you invitations to join groups for secondary areas of expertise that you have identified on your Switzer profile.  


Regardless of stated areas of expertise, you can join any of the other groups on this list at any time: 


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Featured Fellow:  "Getting Real About Climate Change and Agriculture," with Switzer Fellow Doreen Stabinsky and Karen Hansen-Kuhn of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 

Doreen Stabinsky (1991), Professor at College of the Atlantic, is our Featured Fellow this month.  You can view a short video about Doreen's work, through a Switzer Leadership Grant, with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy around issues of climate change and its effect on agriculture.   


Video Spotlight:  Managing Water Runoff for the Greater Good, with Switzer Fellow Brenda Zollitsch (2009).  Brenda's work focuses on how jurisdictions can collaborate to manage stormwater runoff in the United States.  In this video, she addresses some of the common ways we can keep our lakes and rivers clean by being careful of what we do upstream.



WEBINAR:  Balancing Work and Life: A Panel Discussion.

Date:  Monday, March 26, 2012

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

Join us for a roundtable on balancing work and life from a variety of perspectives that will be helpful for Fellows who are working parents, caregivers for elderly relatives, have time-intensive hobbies and interests outside of work, and more.  This session will be moderated by Margaret Rubega, Switzer Fellow, Trustee, and professor of ornithology at UConn, with several Fellows as presenters to kick off an interactive discussion.

Click here to register.




Following are two new discussions that have been started on our blog.  We encourage Fellows to comment and add to the discussion!


The Switzer Foundation Signs on to Carbon Disclosure Project. Lissa Widoff, Executive Director, explains Switzer's decision to take part in this project, and the important role that foundations can play in influencing more sustainable corporate practices.


Best Practices for Webinars.  Webinars can help cement your reputation as a leading expert on a topic, but how do you ensure a successful event?  Read this blog post about a great resource from Adobe to learn everything you need to know about setting up a webinar, running the big event, and following up afterwards.   


All Fellows are welcome to comment on any existing blog postings, or to start a new discussion thread at any time!  If you need help with this, please contact Erin.


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Greening Stonyfield Farm with Tim Greiner

On February 17, Tim Greiner delivered an outstanding webinar for us about his work with Stonyfield Farm to broaden and deepen sustainability within the company.  The webinar video and slides are now available online.  You can also read Tim's follow-up blog post on the question of how to set meaningful corporate sustainability goals.


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Two Switzer Network Innovation Grants have been funded since the recent inception of this program!   All Fellows are welcome to check out the blog discussions on these grants and join the conversation.


Soak It Up!  Preventing Oil Spills and Leakage from Recreational Boating.

This project, initiated by Colleen Callahan (2009), engages Switzer Fellows as technical advisors to advance strategies for cleaner recreational boating in California.


How filmmakers and conservationists connect people, nature and climate.

Kristy Deiner (2010) and Matt Hamilton (2010) are leading the development of a workshop for the upcoming Society for Conservation Biology-North America section annual meeting in July in Oakland.  This will be a full day workshop on communicating science through film. 


Click here to see other network innovations brewing 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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The spring Leadership Grant cycle is now underway!  For the past couple of years, the Leadership Grant Program has been an increasingly popular tool to advance the professional careers of Fellows who address critical environmental issues in their work.  We continue to be humbled and heartened by the breadth of expertise of our Fellows, and the creative ways in which they use the program to advance their careers.  Our monetary resources have been tight in recent years with the ups and downs of the economy, and a corresponding increase in interest in the program.  We'd like to take this opportunity to remind Fellows of a couple of key points about the program:

  • We still give overall preference to earlier career Fellows who are just out of school and want to create a position for themselves, though this does not preclude submission of proposals from mid or later career Fellows, as well.  
  • When a proposal seeks to create a new staff position, it is important for the partner NGO to be willing and able to fundraise up front to assure the sustainability of the position.
  • We do still welcome proposals that use a Fellow on a SHORT term consulting basis where his or her expertise can add significant value.


For questions or information on the Leadership Grant Program, please contact Erin

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We are now publishing network updates three times a day on most weekdays!  Get updates with your morning coffee, during your lunch break, and again during the last email check of the day.  Find out what other Fellows are up to, and build your network by congratulating them on successes and finding ways to collaborate.  


Facebook:  Like our page ( and you can leave comments and questions directly on any post.


Twitter:  Follow us on Twitter ( and retweet posts you like or direct message folks we follow.


LinkedIn:  Become a member of our private LinkedIn group ( and network directly with other Fellows.


Our website:  Subscribe for website updates via RSS or e-mail and get the latest news on your favorite device (


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We are building our presence on Flickr, Picasa, and other photo sharing websites.  Connect with us so we can see when you post photos of your work and accomplishments!  Email Lauren your contact details on the photo sharing sites you use most frequently.


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A couple of changes/updates to the Network Resources (private) section of the Switzer website:  

  • We've reorganized the Network Resources a little bit to make finding information easier, particularly with regard to Grant Program forms, and Network/Fellow information.
  • We have added some information on the new Affinity Groups to help Fellows access groups and to see a list of all groups.
  • We are no longer posting job announcements in that section.  (Our ongoing web tracking indicated this page was not getting much traffic.)  Job postings are now sent via the listserve and will be sent through affinity group streams.
  • We have added a list of professional and executive coaches and training programs as a career resource for Fellows (look for the Leadership Resources tab in the Documents section of the private side).

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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 21How to Publish a Book.  Join us for a lively and informative event that will bring successful Switzer authors together for the first time!  Hear about their writing process, finding environmental subjects that sell, finding an agent, and more.  Eric Jay Dolin, Thor Hanson, Mark Elbroch, Susan Clark and others will offer their lessons, tips and tricks.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific


June 25Blogging About Your Work.  Join us for a roundtable as Switzer Fellows discuss all of the ways you can use blogs and blogging to spread the word about your science, activism, and more.  We'll cover technical aspects like choosing a blogging platform, finding motivation to keep going in the early months, and working with collaborators to increase your reach and spread out the work.

1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific




March 23-25:  California Spring Retreat and Study Tour.



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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.

Apr 24-28:    Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, New York, NY
May 4-7:       National River Rally, Portland, OR
May 24-25:  CERES Conference 2012, Boston, MA
Is there a conference or training event you think we should include on this calendar?  Please let
 Erin know.


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UPDATESIII.  'FELLOWS IN THE NEWS' HIGHLIGHTS  Here are some professional updates and highlights from Fellows in the News on the Switzer website!    


Eric Jay Dolin's book on whaling in America kept Drew Barrymore entertained while filming her latest movie.  Read more.


Derek Lemoine was quoted in a Washington Post article on relative winners and losers with global warming.  Read more.


H. Bruce Rinker was quoted in an L.A. Times article about a pristine Mexican beach being ruined by washed up plastic trash.  Read more.


Rachel Morello-Frosch's new book, "Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science and Health Social Movements" is now available.  Read more.


Timothy Ramirez has been appointed to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.  Read more.


Rebecca Shaw and Linwood Pendleton's article, "The impact of climate change on California's ecosystem services" was picked up by The New York Times Green Blog.  Read more


Linda Kramme was quoted in a Washington Post blog post about the Kroger decision to halt purchases from Virginia-based Mercury Paper.  Read more.


To read all recent Fellows in the News updates, please visit our website!


(Fellows, send your news and updates to Lauren!)  


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