Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

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E-Newsline April, 2014
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This Month's Five Minute Task
Is your Switzer bio current on your website profile?  If not, don't forget your Switzer profile comes up in the top five Google search results for your name!  (Really!)  If you're short on time, feel free to send an updated bio to Erin or Don and we can help you upload it.
question2Question of the Month
We are continuing to refine the Sunday agenda at our fall retreats to attract Fellowship alumni.  How can we structure (or not structure) that day to make it compelling for you to come?  Please share your thoughts with Erin.  We will be starting fall retreat planning very shortly!
Upcoming Events and Webinars
April 16:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Pacific Northwest Fellows
April 30:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Sustainability on Campuses
May 3:  New England Fellowship Interviews, Boston, MA
May 16:  Switzer Foundation Reception, San Francisco, CA
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
September 24:  Switzer Fellows Networking Call, Business & Finance Fellows
September 26-28:  New England Fall Fellows' Retreat, Warren Conference Center, Ashland, MA

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

Happy Spring to all!  Thanks to all of our Fellows who participated in our spring retreat trainings in Cambridge and Oakland last month.  These retreats were a great opportunity to share leadership stories, learn and network with each other!  Read about it in Lissa's blog post on the training sessions.  Next up for the Foundation:  2014 Fellowship selection!  

April Highlights:  Leadership Stories and Discussions
PHOTO CREDIT:  Arnold Gold, copyright New Haven Register
Robert Klee has been nominated as Connecticut's next Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  "If I could define what I believe would be a successful tenure for my commissionership I would simply like to be known as the commissioner who got stuff done," Klee told the General Assembly's executive and legislative nominations committee.

Each and every one of us can lead, regardless of our position, level of authority, or perceived leadership role.  Lissa Widoff recounts lessons learned from our recent spring retreat trainings on Collective Leadership and Storytelling.

On April 2nd, ten Switzer Fellows participated in our second networking conference call of 2014.  Read about the topics and career strategies discussed on the call.

The latest in a series of blog posts from our colleagues at COMPASS.  As a scientist, what's the best way to garner enthusiasm from others when talking about your work?  (Hint:  Be yourself!)

Following the January Freedom Spill in West Virginia, Switzer Fellow Evan Hansen immediately went to work on Twitter, posting tweets about the situation on the ground and more.  The result?  A chance to testify before the U.S. Senate Full Committee on Environment & Public Works.  Three lessons emerge from this incredible use of Twitter to influence policy.
In October 2013, California's Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711, making it illegal to use lead ammunition for hunting, a ban that will be phased in from 2015 to 2019.  For 1998 Switzer Fellow Myra Finkelstein, the bill represents the translation of years of scientific research into a new policy to protect people and wildlife from lead poisoning.  We talked with Myra about lessons scientists can learn from her experience working with policymakers.
One of the ways our Fellows lead is by providing expert testimony before state and national legislative bodies.  Mike Wilson reflected on his experience of testifying before a U.S. Senate Committee last month and took away a few important lessons.
In June 2013, Caitlin Cleaver had the opportunity to organize a collaborative research project with a number of partner organizations and scallop fishermen.  In this blog post she explains why the work has been so rewarding and what might come of it in the future.
Switzer Program and Network News
2014 Fellowship Selection
One of our favorite times of the year is May, when we choose our new class of Switzer Fellows!  This year, we received 137 applications in New England and 154 in California.  We will hold interviews on Saturday, May 3rd, in Boston, and on Saturday, May 17th, in San Francisco.  Thanks to all of our Fellows and Trustees who will join environmental colleagues to help us interview another array of impressive candidates.  Stay tuned in June for announcements of the new Fellows, and come to the fall retreats to help us welcome them to the Switzer Network!
Save the Date:  Switzer Reception
In conjunction with our annual board meeting and California Fellowship selection, we will be having a reception for Fellows, staff and Trustees!  Save the date and we will share details shortly!
Date:  Friday evening, May 16, 2014
Location:  San Francisco, venue TBD
Calling all Fellow volunteers - anyone willing to help plan the reception, or if you have great ideas for a venue that is easily accessible from Embarcadero BART station, or for a speaker that we simply must hear, please contact Erin!

Update on Fall Retreats 
And speaking of the fall retreats, a reminder/update on retreat dates and agendas:
California Fall Fellows' Retreat 
September 19-21, 2014
NatureBridge at the Headlands, Sausalito, CA
New England Fall Fellows' Retreat
September 26-28, 2014
Warren Conference Center, Ashland, MA

The Saturday leadership trainings will be led by Rockwood Leadership Program in California, and by the Center for Whole Communities in New England.  These trainings will primarily be for the 2014 Fellows, but in an effort to integrate new Fellows into the Network we are willing to reserve space in these reflective leadership trainings for Fellowship alums who wish to act as a mentor to a new Fellow.  We will be sending more information about the fall retreats soon.
The remainder of the retreat weekends' schedules will be announced in late spring/early summer.  Please see our Question of the Month about how we can best structure the retreats to attract Fellowship alumni!

Policy Communications Training with COMPASS
Starting with the 2014 Fellowship class, we will be requiring all new Fellows to attend two weekend retreats - the first in the fall, and the second in late winter/early spring which will focus on a leadership skills training.  This year, we will continue our successful partnership with COMPASS to offer a training on how scientists and experts can more effectively engage with decision makers.  This training will take place in March 2015 in Washington, DC, convening all 20 new Fellows from New England and California.  We will likely be able to offer up to five seats for Fellow alums.  Details will be shared as plans are solidified.

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 16, 2014, 9:30 am Pacific time - Pacific Northwest Fellows
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!)
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!)  
Sarah Uhl (2011) is leading a campaign at Clean Air Task Force, with partial funding from the Switzer Leadership Grant Program, to curb methane leaks from oil and gas industry operations.  This campaign resulted in recent action by the Obama administration to announce a strategy to cut those emissions.
Evan Hansen (1996) was quoted in a New Yorker article about West Virginia politics and the undermining of environmental laws.
Dennis Takahashi Kelso (1998), who was Alaska's Commissioner of Environmental Conservation at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, was quoted in the Huffington Post about the inadequacy of oil spill responses.
Angel Hsu (2012) co-authored a blog post on Scientific American citing the lack of air quality data transparency in China and India as a major problem.
Tanzania has adopted Jennifer O'Leary's (2006) Adaptive Management approach to its Marine Protected Areas (following on the heels of similar success in Kenya).
Karl Linden (1993) and his team at University of Colorado-Boulder have built an innovative, solar-powered toilet with Gates Foundation funding that will be unveiled in India this month.  
A new article in The Nation cites the pathbreaking CHAMACOS study from Asa Bradman (1996) and others, which has detected developmental problems in children born to mothers who worked in California's treated fields.  The question remains - will anything change?
Linwood Pendleton's (1994) call for a tougher treaty to protect the deep ocean was picked up internationally.
Sharon Smith's (2011) campaign for the Union of Concerned Scientists took a huge step forward with several food giants promising to use only deforestation-free palm oil.
Ayana Johnson's (2009) work on how the famous marshmallow study explains environmental conservation was covered in The Atlantic.
Joseph Aldy's (2003) conclusion that the "green stimulus" of the Obama administration built into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was worth it, was picked up by The Washington Post.

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

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