Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation


Switzer Foundation Program and Network News

November, 2012


1.    2013 Fellowship Application Period is Open! 

2.    Annual Fellows' Survey - Input Due Nov. 5th 

3.    Fellow Input Requested on National Threatened Species Policy

4.     Any Interest in Remote Communications 'Clinics' with COMPASS?

5.    Help Needed - 2013 Spring Retreats/Study Tours

6.    Network Innovation Grants now on Switzer Website

7.    Geographical Affinity Groups Launched

8.    Communications Training:  Using Google Alerts

9.    November Highlights:  Switzer Network News and Discussions 

10.  This Month's 5-Minute Task

11.  Energy Efficiency:  We Want Your Stories!

12.  Report on the 2012 Fall Retreats

13.  Upcoming Events and Webinars

14.  Upcoming Professional Conferences

15.  Fellows in the News Highlights




Applications are now being accepted for 2013 Switzer Fellowships!  Please spread the word to talented graduate students!  Applications are due on January 10, 2013.  Our online guidelines and the Call for Applications have all the details.  


Please note that if you will be writing recommendation letters for applicants, we must emphasize that you should limit your recommendations to no more than two applicants.  We understand that for Fellows in academic institutions this means making some potentially difficult choices but we must stress that writing more than two recommendation letters can significantly reduce the weight of each letter.  Please try to pick your top one or two students! 


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Each year, we survey all Fellows who are 5, 10, 15 or 20 years out from their Fellowship year.  Our aim is to get updates on your employment, projects, and collaborations, and to get feedback on our services, so we can plan Switzer Network programs to best serve your needs.  Fellows who were contacted this year, please take a few minutes to complete the survey!  We need responses by Monday, November 5th!  Please contact Erin if you need the link to the survey.


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Fellows Todd Gartner and Josh Donlan have requested all Fellows' feedback on their collaborative project that they hope will inform national policy on threatened species.  This is a time sensitive survey and we hope you will respond - Todd and Josh requested an Oct 31st deadline, but if you have time in the next couple of days they will still be thrilled to get your feedback!   Click here for the link to their short survey.


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clinics4.  any interest in remote communications 'clinics' with compass?


As a complement to our fall retreat communications and messaging training, we are exploring the option of engaging our trainers at COMPASS in offering remote phone-based 'clinics' during the year in response to Fellows' ongoing interest in honing their skills in talking with the media.  If this is of interest to you, please contact Erin.  We'd like to know how many Fellows would be interested, and the kinds of issues you are dealing with that we might discuss in such a clinic.


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springretreatplanning5.  HELP NEEDED - 2013 SPRING RETREATS/STUDY TOURS


Switzer Fellows and colleagues are getting ready to plan fantastic study tours in New England and California for the spring!   But we need your help!


In California, we will partner with American Rivers and others for an in-depth look at Bay-Delta issues.  Specific issues will be determined by a planning committee.  Location is likely to be in the northern end of the Delta.  Date TBD but will most likely be in March - planning is in the very early stages.  If you have knowledge and interest in Bay-Delta issues, please contact Erin to suggest topics or to join the planning team.  We will be scheduling a planning call in the near future, so please let us know your interest by November 8th!  (Fellows who have already expressed interest - we will be in touch shortly!)


In New England, we will be focusing on coastal and marine spatial planning.  The event will most likely be on Cape Cod, exact location TBD.  Date: also TBD in late March or early April.  Since this is a huge topic, it will be narrowed down as planning gets underway.  We have a great group of Fellow planners already, but if you are interested and haven't yet let us know, please do!  We have our next planning call on Monday, November 12th at 3 pm Eastern time.  Contact Erin if you'd like to join!


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Check out the latest grants, and read the guidelines for our newest grant program, Network Innovation Grants!  Contact Lissa or Erin if you have an idea for a potential Switzer Network collaboration, or an idea which could benefit from feedback from your Switzer peers.


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We recently launched a set of Google groups focused on regions where our Fellows are concentrated:  Boston area; New York City area; Washington, DC/Research Triangle area; Southwest; San Francisco Bay area; Los Angeles area; Central Valley (CA) area; and Hawai'i.


To join one or more, click here, then click on a group name and request an invitation.


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Google Alerts are handy email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your search terms.  You can use them to monitor a developing news story, keep current on your industry, or track appearances of your name or organization online.  Click here to learn more.


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FEATURED COLLABORATION:  Lisa Micheli and Healy Hamilton

Lisa Micheli (1993) and Healy Hamilton (1991), two leading mid-career scientists-entrepreneurs formerly with the California Academy of Sciences, developed a model that shows the potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity and sea-level rise in Northern California.


SWITZER NETWORK NEWS:   Building Healthier Hospitals   

We usually think of hospitals as beacons of health, but they can have an impact on workers and patients.  Mara Baum, 2004 Fellow, Architect and Healthcare Sustainable Design Leader at HOK Healthcare in San Francisco, discusses her work creating healthier hospitals.


SWITZER BLOG:  Read Switzer Fellow Mike Wilson's Keynote Address on Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (Mike is a 2002 Fellow and is Research Industrial Hygienist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UC Berkeley).


SWITZER BLOG:  "I Hear What You're Saying, But ..." - COMPASS trainers offer their perspective on the New England Fellows' training at the fall retreat.


SWITZER BLOG:  Environmental Grantmakers' Association - Building Leadership Across Issues.  Lissa Widoff reports on her involvement with this year's EGA annual fall retreat which convened funders and environmental leaders on a wide variety of critical issues.


SWITZER BLOG:  We have compiled a list of excellent blogs based on what Fellows are reading regularly.   Don't see your favorite on the list?  Drop us a line and we'll add it!


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In September, we put out a call for volunteers to agree to submit one post per month to each of our topical affinity groups.  (This is a 5-minute task per month - no more!)  We now have volunteers for more than half of the topical affinity groups, but we still need you for the others!  If you are in any of the following affinity groups and you could agree to send one post per month to the group, please contact Erin.  This is a six month commitment that will take - we repeat - no more than 5 minutes per month!

  • Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Business and Finance
  • Central Valley
  • Coastal & Marine
  • International Conservation & Development
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Sustainable Ag/Food Policy


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We are devoting the Switzer Foundation spring newsletter to the topic of energy efficiency in all its forms, from personal to professional.  For example, tell us how you incorporate your values into your life.  Do you live off-grid?  Have a home with a really low-carbon footprint?  How does your work contribute to renewable energy, reducing energy use and other efforts to move the needle on policy, or lets you have a big impact on how others live?  Please send all stories or ideas to Lauren!   


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fallretreats12.  REPORT ON THE 2012 FALL RETREATS


This year's fall retreats were, as always, fun and inspiring!  Fellows, staff, trustees and colleagues gathered in Ashland, Massachusetts, and at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Sausalito, California, for communications and messaging training, networking, presentations, and campfires.  To hear more, check out Lissa Widoff's blog post about the fall retreats.

If you attended either of the retreats and happened to take any photos, please share them with us!  You can quickly and easily upload photos here:  Thanks! 


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


December (TBD):  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.  (NOTE:  This webinar was originally scheduled for October 31st but is being re-scheduled out of respect those of us who are cleaning up from Hurricane Sandy - we will post the new date as soon as possible.)
December 6:  RECEPTION:  10th Anniversary Celebration for the Environmental Health Strategy Center, Portland, Maine.  The Switzer Foundation is a sponsor of this event, which is open to the public.  Tickets are $25/person.
February 22-23, 2013:  WORKSHOP:  2013 Food Law Colloquium, Portland, Maine.  This colloquium is being organized by Switzer Fellow Aga Pinette, Editor-in-Chief of the Maine Law Review.  Participants will hear from legal scholars, community members, farmers, policy makers and others about the challenges and legal hurdles facing local food systems.  (Switzer Fellow Lisa Feldstein will be a presenter - we hope other Fellows will attend!)  Details will be announced as they are finalized.  Contact Aga Pinette with questions.


Know of an event that you think others within the Switzer Network will want to know about?  Email Erin, and we'll put it in the next edition of E-News!



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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.     

Nov 14-16:  Greenbuild 2012, San Francisco, CA
Dec 3-7:       American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
Jan 15-17:   NCSE Annual Conference - Disasters and Environment, Washington, DC
Feb 7-9:       New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Kansas City, MO
Is there a conference or training event you think we should include on this calendar?  Please let
 Erin know.


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fellowsinthenews15.  'FELLOWS IN THE NEWS' HIGHLIGHTS


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


Thor Hanson's book, Feathers, was nominated for the Samuel Johnson non-fiction prize.  


Eric Jay Dolin's latest book, When America First Met China, was featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.


Amber Pairis launched a Climate College for California's Department of Fish and Game.


Jen Sokolove and Lauren Gwin co-authored California Cuisine and Just Food, a book on food democracy in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Fellow Chris Bacon also contributed to the book in a section on food, health and environment.


And in other food systems news, Kendra Klein wrote an article for The Nation on the challenges of using locally grown food in hospitals, and Ildi Carlisle Cummins was quoted in a University of California blog about igniting interest in plant breeding with peppers.


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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