Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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E-Newsline March, 2014
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This Month's Five Minute Task
Use your Switzer affinity group listserve!  Why?  They offer more targeted job opportunities, ease of networking with other folks in your issue area, and offer more opportunity for in-depth discussion that isn't necessarily appropriate for the general listserve.  We have several issue-focused and regional groups - join as many conversations as you like.  A full list of all affinity groups is available on the private side of the Switzer website, or you can email Erin or Lauren.
Question of the Month
How can Switzer Fellows align their individual efforts on climate change and energy issues to support a low carbon future?  Share your thoughts on our blog!
Upcoming Events and Webinars
March 21-22:  
March 28-29:  Switzer Spring Trainings Retreat, Oakland, CA
April 2:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Soft Money in Academia
April 16:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Pacific Northwest Fellows (re-scheduled from February) 
April 30:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Sustainability on Campuses
May 3:  New England Fellowship Interviews, Boston, MA
May 17:  California Fellowship Interviews, San Francisco, CA

June 25:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Coastal- and Marine-Focused Fellows

September 19-21:  California Fall Fellows' Retreat, NatureBridge at the Headlands, Sausalito, CA (save the date)
September 24:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Business & Finance Fellows
September 26-28:  New England Fall Fellows' Retreat, Warren Conference Center, Ashland, MA (save the date)

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

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


March Highlights:  Leadership Stories and Discussions
Evan Hansen (left, in photo) and Mike Wilson work on opposite coasts, preventing potential threats and improving safety at industrial sites, but a recent U.S. Senate hearing brought them together for the first time on an issue.  Read their testimony or watch the webcast recording of the event.  (Note the very timely blog post by our colleagues at COMPASS on the topic of congressional testimony!)


Sarah Moffitt, Jessica Switzer (Trustee), and Linwood Pendleton at the World Ocean Summit
In the midst of the international, politically progressive, solution-oriented conversation at this year's World Ocean Summit, 2013 Fellow Sarah Moffitt found herself crestfallen.  "A new awareness slowly dawned on me: the vast majority of the conversation at the Ocean Summit was woefully disconnected from the scientific reality of our time."

The latest in our series of blog posts from our colleagues at COMPASS!  You've been invited to give testimony at a Congressional hearing.  Now what?

Following recent announcements about potential zero allocations from the California State Water Project, and the likelihood for other water allocations to follow suit, many are wondering how California agriculture will cope with the recent drought.  The Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior released a new policy brief designed to answer this very question, writes Meredith Niles.
Switzer Program and Network News
2014 Spring Training Retreats
Our spring trainings are coming right up, and we are pleased to say we are at capacity in California, and nearly so in New England.  Our Fellows will be joined by colleagues from the Environmental Leadership Program and the Smith Fellows program, which should add up to great learning and networking for all!  If you want to come but haven't registered, we have a waiting list in California and we can still add a couple folks in New England.  Contact Erin right away since there is prep work for each training.
Friday, March 21, 8:30 am - 4 pm
Saturday, March 22, 8:30 am - 5 pm
Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA
Friday, March 28, 8:30 am - 4 pm
Saturday, March 29, 8:30 am - 5 pm
Preservation Park, Oakland, CA
COST:  $25, for one or both workshops

Last Call for Fellowship Interviewers!
Interested in meeting some innovative, talented graduate students doing cutting-edge work to solve all of our problems?  Then we have the job for you!  We may still need a couple of interviewers in Boston and San Francisco for 2014 Fellowship selection.  We would welcome Fellow interviewers, or any suggestions from Fellows for colleagues whom you think would benefit from knowing us, and vice versa.  Contact Erin if you're interested or if you have suggestions for outside contacts.

$10,000 Switzer Network Innovation Grant awarded to research the effectiveness of citizen science efforts on amphibian road mortality in the Northeastern U.S.
Brett Thelen holding blue spotted salamander (photo by Russ Cobb)
Fellows Brett Thelen (2004), Science Director for Conservation at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, New Hampshire; and Brad Timm (2008), a post-doctoral researcher at UMass Amherst, are collaborating on an applied research project.  The goal:  To determine the effectiveness of citizen "salamander crossing brigades" in conserving amphibian populations.  In these crossing brigades, citizen scientists help amphibians cross roads during rainy spring nights when they are looking for vernal pools within which to breed.  Are these crossing brigades working, and how can they be refined?

Upcoming Fellow Networking Calls
Here is the calendar for our ongoing series of Fellow networking 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.  Topics cover current environmental issues, provide a forum for regional networking, or are career-focused.  If you'd like to register for any of them, or if you have an idea for another topic, please email Lauren
April 2, 2014, 12:30 pm ET - Soft Money in Academia
April 16, 2014, 9:30 am Pacific time - Pacific Northwest Fellows (re-scheduled from February)
April 30, 2014, 12:30 pm ET - Sustainability on Campuses
May 28, 2014, 10:30 am Mountain time - Southwestern U.S. Fellows
June 25, 2014, 12:30 pm ET - Coastal- & Marine-focused Fellows
September 24, 2014, 12:30 pm ET - Business & Finance Fellows

Upcoming Switzer Network Webinars
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
12:30 pm Eastern time / 9:30 am Pacific time
Join us for a webinar and discussion with four Fellows who have experience working on social and environmental goals within large corporations.  Perspectives include internships and careers, developing products, getting things done inside systems, and more.
Fellow presenters:
  • Rita Hudetz, Program Manager, Climate Change Center of Excellence, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Sarah Connick, Manager, Biodiversity, Chevron
  • Leah Butler, Associate, Estelle Levin Ltd.
  • Heather Lahr, Community Relations Specialist, Citrix
Developing Mobile Apps
(This webinar is in the planning stages and will most likely be held in June - stay tuned!)
Regional Gatherings
Rumor has it spring may actually come this year, contrary to the weather forecast, at least in New England!  Ring in spring with a Switzer Fellows' happy hour or social gathering in your region!  If you're interested in organizing one, please contact 
Erin.  All this takes is picking out a venue and emailing Fellows in your area with a date and time.  Erin will be actively seeking volunteer organizers over the next few weeks, but all the better if you let us know now!  
Boston-area Fellows:  We will be in town for the spring trainings and may organize a get-together in Cambridge on Friday night, March 21st!  Save the date, and we'll share details shortly.


Update on Fall Retreats Dates and Format
California Fall Fellows' Retreat (NOTE new date!)
September 19-21, 2014
NatureBridge at the Headlands, Sausalito, CA
New England Fall Fellows' Retreat:  
September 26-28, 2014
Warren Conference Center, Ashland, MA

As many of you know, for the past couple of years, we have engaged with our colleagues at COMPASS to offer a one-day intensive communications training at the fall retreats.  This has been incredibly successful, and we do plan to continue our relationship with COMPASS to offer these important trainings to you.  

With the 2014 Fellowship class, we will be requiring attendance at two retreats - the fall retreats, and an additional spring retreat training.  This year, we are piloting a new trainings schedule that will involve a more reflective, holistic leadership training at the fall retreats, and a communications training with COMPASS at the spring retreat.  The idea is that we want to launch new Fellows with a more broad-based introduction to personal leadership skills, and then build on that training with the COMPASS communications and other skills training later in the year.  We will be working with the Rockwood Leadership Program at the California fall retreat, and with Center for Whole Communities at the New England retreat, to offer leadership workshops that will include personal reflection, collaborative leadership principles, and diversity.  As always, past Fellows will be welcome to join, but space will be limited.  Stay tuned for details coming later in the spring!

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!)  
Evan Hansen's (1996) and Dustin Mulvaney's (2004) fracking research was highlighted on Yale Environment 360.
Angel Hsu (2012) presented the 2014 Environmental Performance Index in Davos at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
Christy Merrick (1999), Director of the Natural Start Alliance in Washington, DC, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, encouraging parents to focus on "loose parts" instead of plastic play equipment in playscapes.

J. Morgan Grove (1993), Research Scientist with the USDA Forest Service, was recognized as a social innovator in Baltimore.
David Wiley's (1999) team at NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary recently published two new articles on humpback whale feeding habits, and marine sanctuaries and marine planning.
Stephen Wheeler (1994) published an article on the impacts of alternative patterns of urbanization on GHG emissions in agricultural Yolo County, California.

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

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