Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation


Switzer Foundation Program and Network News

September, 2012


1.    Richard Heinberg from Post Carbon Institute at CA Fall Retreat! 

2.    What are the 2011 Fellows Up to Now?

3.    Communications Training:  Connect with COMPASS

4.    September Highlights:  Switzer Network News and Discussions

5.    This Month's 5-Minute Task

6.    Missed our recent Webinars?  Materials now available!

7.    Upcoming Events and Webinars

8.    Upcoming Conferences

9.    Fellows in the News Highlights




Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow-in-Residence at the Post Carbon Institute will be the keynote speaker at the California Fall Retreat!   Mr. Heinberg is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators.  He has authored scores of articles and essays that have appeared in such journals as Nature, The Ecologist, The American Prospect, Public Policy Research, Quarterly Review, Z Magazine, Resurgence, The Futurist, European Business Review, Earth Island Journal, Yes!, Pacific Ecologist, and The Sun; and on websites such as,,,, and  He has appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio's 11th Hour, and is a recipient of the M. King Hubbard Award for Excellence in Energy Education.  His most recent book, "The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality," was published by New Society Publishers in June, 2011.


Please consider joining us for the talk even if you can't make the whole retreat weekend!  Just go ahead and register via the registration link as soon as possible - space is limited!  If you have any questions, please contact Erin.



FellowsUpdate2.  WHAT ARE THE 2011 FELLOWS UP TO NOW?


Now that the 2011 Fellows have finished their fellowship year (and in some cases, finished school), what are they doing?  Here are some highlights!


Andrea Bogomolni (UConn, PhD) is completing her research on stressors in marine mammals, and will be working part-time this year at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Laura Bozzi (Yale, PhD) will spend the coming year writing her dissertation, and remains active with a variety of environmental and justice groups including 350CT, CT Center for New Economy, and Healthy CT Alliance calling for the retirement of the last coal fired plant in Connecticut.   


Christian Casillas (UC Berkeley, PhD) graduated in May.  He has been continuing some of his work in Latin America on education and renewable energy initiatives and will be traveling in India for the next year working on rural development and energy education projects.


Tara Cornelisse (UC Santa Cruz, PhD) will be finishing her research this year on habitat needs for the endangered Ohlone tiger beetle.


Rebecca Dell (MIT, PhD) will be starting a post-doc at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.  She has strong interests in working to motivate people on climate change issues and hopes to work on bridging those interests.


Shereen D'Souza (Yale, MS) graduated in May and has been offered a Presidential Management Fellowship in Washington DC.  She is exploring a variety of options to pursue her work on food systems and equity.


Mark Elbroch (UC Davis, PhD) has graduated and accepted a position leading a cougar research project in the Grand Teton National Park with the organization, Craighead Beringia South, in Jackson, Wyoming.


Tavis Forrester (UC Davis, PhD) will file his dissertation this fall and start a post-doc at the Smithsonian on a citizen science project called E-Mammal in Washington, DC.  


Colin Hagan (Vermont Law School, JD) has graduated and begun work at the Schlansky Law Practice in Vermont where he will gain valuable litigation experience before eventually moving to a position with an NGO or public agency.  Colin will remain actively engaged in environmental policy issues (and is one of the Fellows involved with the latest Switzer Network Innovation Grant looking at issues involved with fracking and the Marcellus Shale natural gas development project).


Kelsey Jacobsen (UC Santa Barbara, MESM) spent the summer as Research and Projects Manager for UCSB's Sustainable Fisheries Group and will begin a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in Washington DC this fall.


Kendra Klein (UC Berkeley, PhD) will graduate in spring 2013 and will continue to work part-time as a Senior Program Associate for Physicians for Social Responsibility in California, expanding their Healthy Food in Health Care program.


Jeannette Laramee (Stanford, MEng) finished her master's degree this spring and will spend the coming year in Africa working with the NGO, Borda, on water, sanitation, biogas and resource recovery.  Jeannette will return to Stanford next year to enter a PhD program.


Julia Ledewitz (Tufts, MA) is completing the data analysis for her master's thesis on green building practices on U.S. college campuses.  She continues her job as Sustainability Coordinator for MIT where she has advanced LEED certification for several new construction and renovation projects, including one submission for LEED Gold.


Erin McCreless (UC Santa Cruz, PhD) is completing her research and dissertation on developing new tools to set priorities for bird conservation on islands where invasive species must be eradicated for species' survival.  She will graduate this fall and will seek work with an applied conservation NGO or government agency.


Kristen Pratt (Lesley College, MA) graduated in May and successfully helped her organization, the Chicago Conservation Corps, find a new home with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum after the Chicago Dept. of Environment (in which her program was situated) was eliminated.  She learned a great deal about perseverance and active problem-solving in a crisis!


Jessica Shade (UC Berkeley, PhD) is completing her dissertation draft on lupine genetics that will inform plant conservation.  She will graduate in December.  Her goal is to apply her science and communication skills in an NGO or public sector setting where she can communicate science effectively and especially engage underserved and non-traditional communities.


Ryan Shaening Pokrasso (UC Berkeley, JD) has one more year of law school and will graduate in spring 2013.  He is now working as a law clerk in Senator Dianne Feinstein's Senate Judiciary office and aims to find a government or environmental advocacy position after graduation.


Sharon Smith (Yale, MS) graduated in May and is currently working with Global Greengrants Fund to help them set up a global youth philanthropy board.  Sharon is aiming for a position in philanthropy or forest conservation based in the Bay area.


Sarah Uhl (Yale, MS) graduated in May and is headed to Washington DC for two years under a Presidential Management Fellowship where she will work with the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.


Matthew Vadeboncoeur (Univ of New Hampshire, PhD) is focused on writing his dissertation as he completes his work on nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems and growing concerns about forest biomass harvesting in the northeast.


 Congratulations on an impressive year for all of you!





Check out useful blog posts and learn more about how you can benefit from our partnership with science communications trainers at COMPASS.  Click here to learn more!






FEATURED FELLOW: Christopher Bacon (2001 Fellow, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University)


SWITZER NETWORK NEWS:   Making Affordable Housing Green (Beverly Craig, 1994 Fellow, Homeowner's Rehab, Inc., Cambridge, MA)


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Subscribe to our YouTube channel for fresh takes on important environmental issues!  We've added a Featured Video and sorted the existing videos into affinity group categories, so you can see material relevant to you that we've produced!  


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Building a Network for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement in Conservation, with Sarah Reed, 2006 Fellow, Associate Conservation Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Lindsay Ex, Environmental Planner, City of Fort Collins, CO).


Materials for all past webinars can be found on our blog.  Please be sure to check if there are any webinars you may have missed!


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 September 14-16:  New England Fall Fellows Retreat, The Warren Center, Ashland, MA.  Our keynote speakers are Susan Witt and Alice Maggio from New Economics Institute will lead a discussion on Strategies for a Sustainable Economy.  If you're interested in attending the Sunday keynote talk, please call Lissa at (207) 322-6553.  We still have a couple of spaces available!


October 5-7:  California Fall Fellows Retreat, the Headlands Institute, Sausalito, CA. 

Click here to register.


October 31:  WEBINAR:  Climate Adaptation Help Desk, with Switzer Fellows Lara Hansen, Chief Scientist and Director of EcoAdapt; Amber Pairis, Climate Change Advisor, CA Dept of Fish and Game; and Patrick McCarthy, Director, Southwest Climate Change Initiative, The Nature Conservancy New Mexico.


November 14:  WEBINAR: From Lab to Law:  Using Science Policy to Shape Public Policy, with Switzer Fellow Amy Clipp, Writer and Consultant, New Orleans, LA


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Please let
Erin know if you will be attending any of these conferences.  We can help Fellows connect with each other.  

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

Sept 29 - Oct 2:  Land Trust Alliance Rally, Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 19-21:  Bioneers, San Rafael, CA
Nov 14-16:  Greenbuild 2012, 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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fellowsinthenews9.  'FELLOWS IN THE NEWS' HIGHLIGHTS


Here are some professional updates and highlights from Fellows in the News on the Switzer website!


Jessica Hall was featured in a Grist series about the Los Angeles River.  


Mark Tompkins has been appointed to the San Joaquin River Restoration Program Technical Advisory Committee.


Patricia Holden's project on urban water quality received $1.25 million from water industry executive Henry H. Wheeler, Jr.  Click here for the story.


Matthew Orosz's company's work was profiled on


Jessica Shade received an Eco-Service award from Union of Concerned Scientists and the Ecological Society of America.


Erika Zavaleta's environmentally friendly new home won Fine Homebuilding's Best New Home award.


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


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


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