Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation


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E-Newsline February, 2014
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This Month's Five Minute Task
Our LinkedIn group is growing by leaps and bounds!  This has become a critical place for networking with other Switzer Fellows and colleagues!  If you haven't joined, please do it today!

Question of the Month
Interested in helping the Switzer Foundation guide its work and strategize on program activities?  We are looking for new members to serve on our Fellows Advisory Committee.  Please email Lissa for more details!
 
Upcoming Events and Webinars
February 15-17:
Growing Outside the Box conference (Fellow Enid Wonnacott), Burlington, VT
 
February 20:
1 pm ET (10 am PT)
 
February 26:
9:30 am PT
 
March 5:
2 pm ET 
 
March 21-22:  
 
March 26:  Fellows' Networking Call:  Soft Money in Academia (save the date)
 
March 28-29:  Switzer Spring Trainings Retreat, Oakland, CA
 
May 3:  New England Fellowship Interviews, Boston, MA
 
May 17:  California Fellowship Interviews, San Francisco, CA

Professional Conferences
Let Erin know if you will be attending any of these!

Feb. 13-15:  New Partners for Smart Growth Annual Conference, Denver, CO
 
 
 
Apr. 26-30:  American Planning Association Conference, Atlanta, GA

Apr. 30-May 1:  CERES Annual Conference, Boston, MA

May 30-June 2:  National River Rally, Pittsburgh, PA
Fellows, it is February already!  We are busy with Fellowship application review and preparations for our upcoming spring retreat trainings.  Like all of you, we have been carefully following events in West Virginia.  Our sincere appreciation goes to our Fellows, Jen Osha and Evan Hansen, and everyone else who has worked within this crisis.  And for everyone else, we wish you warmth, or rain, depending on where you are!  


February Highlights:  Leadership Stories and Discussions
 
FELLOWS TAKE ACTION:

Jen Osha (2000) is coordinating an effort to bring
bottled water to West Virginia residents whose water supply has been  contaminated by the chemical leak at Freedom Industries last month.  Jen and her non-profit, Aurora Lights, have been involved with community organizing and mountaintop removal coal mining issues in West Virginia, including a partnership with Fellow Evan Hansen under a Switzer Collaborative Initiatives Fund grant in 2009 to develop the Coal River Wind Educational Website.
 
Evan has been working and tweeting constantly since the chemical leak, including testifying before the West Virginia Legislature.  See Evan's Twitter feed for a full list of his comments and activities.

ON THE BLOG:

Evan Hansen, in partnership with SkyTruth, is seeking a Switzer Fellow to collaborate on a study of the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining to improve the knowledge base for future studies of this destructive practice.  The project would include updating SkyTruth's groundbreaking database that maps the actual footprint of mountaintop removal mines.

Brett Thelen and Brad Timm are seeking input and participation from Fellows on a potential project focused on salamander "crossing brigades" as a tool for conservation of migratory amphibian species in the northeastern United States.

Houses perforating forest land in MA (photo by David Foster)
In December, Harvard Forest released a report that found, if left unchecked, recent trends in the loss of forest to development will undermine significant conservation gains in Massachusetts, jeopardize water quality, and limit the natural landscape's ability to protect against climate change.  Switzer Fellow Kathy Fallon Lambert, a member of the report team, wrote this blog post for us on the media outreach and results.
 
Jessica Levine reports on the process and outcomes of her work under a Switzer Leadership Grant, working with the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to help advance work in freshwater conservation and climate change adaptation in the bi-national Lake Champlain Basin.
 
Bruce Rinker wrote an op-ed on HB 207 in Virginia, which allows teachers to throw doubt on evolution in the name of exploring scientific questions and "scientific controversies."
 
Lissa Widoff presents a list of sources that offer links to scientific evidence and studies that support concerns about the unintended consequences of GE and GMOs from a biological, ecological, agricultural and human health perspective.  
 
Matt Hamilton summarizes a series of events on conservation filmmaking at last summer's Society for Conservation Biology annual meeting in California.  Matt and Fellows, Kristy Deiner, Sarah Reed, and Harold Glasser, received a Network Innovation Grant to develop a workshop at the SCB meeting on how filmmakers and conservationists can connect people to nature through film.
Switzer Program and Network News
Welcome, New Switzer Trustees
Please join us in welcoming three new Trustees to the Switzer Foundation's Board!  
Elise Switzer, of Napa, California (and Arizona) is a Research Associate at Arizona State.  Dr. Switzer's expertise is in the research and development of sustainable energy technologies, with a focus on electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems.  She is a registered patent agent with interests in intellectual property strategies applied to the adoption of clean energy technology.
Adrienne Alvord, of Berkeley, California, is the California and Western States Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Adrienne has extensive experience in climate, energy, fuels, waste, and agricultural policy, and translating technical and scientific work into policy.
Bruce Kahn, of Brooklyn, New York, is Portfolio Manager at Sustainable Insight Capital Management in New York.  Bruce has over 25 years experience in environmental and investment research and management.  He has an academic background in the natural sciences, culminating in a PhD in Land Resources from University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Bruce is also a lecturer at Columbia University's Earth Institute in the Sustainability Management Program.

 

2014 Spring Training Retreats
Thanks to all who have registered for our upcoming spring training retreats!  Registration is now closed, but we have a couple of spots still available for each.  If you haven't registered but are interested in attending, please email Erin right away.  The remaining spots will be filled on a first come-first served basis!
Friday, March 21, and Saturday, March 22
8:30 am - 4:30 pm each day
Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA
Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29
8:30 am - 4:30 pm each day
Preservation Park, Oakland, CA
COST:  $25, for one or both workshops

Three new Leadership Grants Awarded in December
The Switzer Foundation awarded $80,000 in Leadership Grants at our December board meeting:
The Association of State Wetland Managers received $40,000 to hire Dr. Brenda Zollitsch as Policy Analyst to provide policy analysis and programmatic expertise to the Association's members nationwide, and to coordinate the Wetlands Alliance.
Clean Air Task Force was awarded $10,000 to fund a portion of Sarah Uhl's time as Campaigns Coordinator on the Stop the Leaks Campaign, aimed at building public awareness and political will to press for new federal regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
The Center for Environmental Health received $30,000 to help fund Sue Chiang's work in a new program area for the organization, working to investigate and ultimately to eliminate the toxic health effects of fracking.  Sue will lead a market-based advocacy campaign to increase public awareness and engagement on the health effects of fracking.

 

2014 Fellowship Applications
Reviewers are currently in the process of reading all of the 2014 Fellowship applications.  It looks like another year of amazing people coming into the pipeline!  If you are interested in interviewing candidates, please let Erin know.  We are developing the interview teams now and will be trying to create balanced teams with diversity of work sector, area of expertise, and career level.  

 

Fellows Conference Call:  Pacific Northwest Fellows
Are you currently living or working on issues in the Pacific Northwest?  Join us for the second in a series of Fellow conference calls on topics of interest!  These calls are intended to provide an open forum for Fellows to connect with each other on topics that directly inform your work.  Some topics will be issue-based; others will be of regional interest; and some will be particular to where you are in your career.  If you'd like to register for this call, or if you have an idea for another topic, please email Lauren.
Date:  Wed., February 26, 2014
Time:  12:30 pm ET
 
We Need Fellows Advisory Committee Members!
Interested in helping the Switzer Foundation guide its work and strategize on program activities?  We are looking for new members to serve on our Fellows Advisory Committee.  Please email Lissa for more details!

New Switzer Citizen Science Group!
Our first networking call of 2014 on citizen science was a huge hit!  You can read a re-cap of who attended and what they discussed on our blog.  One of the outcomes is that we have a new Google Group on the topic.  You can request membership by emailing Lauren. 
 
Reminder:  Leadership Exchange Postings
Science Policy Exchange Program Coordinator
Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA  
Research Fellow, Confluence Philanthropy, New York, NY

Other Leadership and Professional Development Opportunities
Interaction Institute for Social Change in Boston has a host of great offerings coming up, on facilitative leadership and facilitation skills.  Trainings will be offered in Boston, New York, and Oakland.  Here's a link to their workshop schedule.
Fellows in the News Highlights
(Remember, these are just a few highlights!  Catch up on all Fellows in the News on our website!)  

Asa Bradman (1996) has been reappointed to the California Scientific Guidance Panel, where he has served since 2007.
 
Lisa Feldstein (2012) co-authored an article on San Francisco's Mission District dot-com boom and its effects on community planning.
 
Tracey Osborne (2004) recently gave a talk at Yale on "Global Environmental Justice: A Public Political Ecology of the Carbon Economy," which is available for viewing online.
 
Jia Ching Chen (2013), a Visiting Research Fellow at Brown University, says economic factors within China are prompting the government to look outside the country for agricultural land.
 
Laura Wisland (2009) was quoted in The New York Times on how solar production in California is doing its job and shifting the need for capacity on the system to a need for battery storage.

Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation 
P. O. Box 293
Belfast, ME 04915

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