March 2015
Welcome Back, Lissa!
March 1st marked our Executive Director, Lissa Widoff's, first day back from her three-month sabbatical.  This day happened to coincide with the first day of our spring retreat training in Washington, DC, so we welcomed her back while standing in the lobby of the Washington Plaza Hotel!  Lissa wished for the peace and quiet of a snowy winter to set the stage for her sabbatical journey, and that wish certainly came true.  Read her reflections on taking a time out, re-charging and re-energizing, and on leadership lessons learned.  Join us in welcoming her back!

Read Lissa's blog post
Learning by Doing:  Fellows Meet with Decision Makers in Washington, DC

On March 1-2, we convened our 2014 Fellows in Washington, DC, for our first ever all-cohort retreat!  It is now a requirement of the Fellowship that Fellows attend two retreats during the year - the fall retreat that we hold on each coast, and a spring retreat training at which, for the first time this year, we convened both groups of Fellows.  The agenda for this retreat started with a networking brunch on Sunday morning, March 1st, which was well attended by local Fellow alumni.  Then, we embarked on a two-day training led by COMPASS on communicating with policy makers which culminated in all participants meeting with legislative staff on Capitol Hill or with NGO or agency policy staff to talk about their issue. 

The trainer's perspective: Heather Mannix from COMPASS on the workshop

See the spring retreat photo album!

Networking Opportunity:  Switzer Fellows Meet-and-Greet at the National Adaptation Forum

The Switzer Foundation is a sponsor of this year's National Adaptation Forum, May 12-14 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Fellows attending the Forum are invited to a Meet-and-Greet alongside other sponsors, including the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, EcoAdapt, and the United Nations Environment Programme.  Great networking opportunity! 

Date of Reception:  Monday evening, May 11th
Time:  5:30 - 7:00 pm
Location:  St. Louis Union Station Hotel

Please contact Erin if you plan to attend.  Please also note we have limited travel and registration support available to Fellows - contact Erin for more information.
Calling all Network Innovators!

As we head into the close of our current fiscal year, this is a good time to remind everyone that if you've been thinking about a problem you'd like to address that requires interdisciplinary expertise, use your Switzer Network and develop an idea for the Network Innovation Grant Program!  We have funds available for these interdisciplinary, team-oriented grants that convene at least two Switzer Fellows to tackle a problem. 

Fellows Brett Thelen and Brad Timm received such a grant in 2014 for a project which piloted field techniques for assessing the effectiveness of amphibian road crossing brigades, and convened potential collaborators for a larger regional research initiative to reduce amphibian road mortality in the northeastern U.S.  

Rockwood Leadership Training Discount for Switzer Fellows

Our fall retreat training partner, the Rockwood Leadership Institute, is offering 10% off tuition for their Art of Leadership and Advanced Art of Leadership trainings to Switzer Fellows!  Just use the code SWITZER when you apply to receive the discount.  (Please also let Erin know if you plan to apply, so we can track Switzer attendance.)  The Art of Leadership is a five-day intensive retreat that teaches leaders how to lead from their purpose, create a clear vision, build stronger partnerships, be resilient under stress, increase their impact, and maintain balance over a lifetime of activism.  The Advanced Art of Leadership is designed for graduates of the Art of Leadership who want to take their leadership to the next level. 

Reminder:  We may have limited support for Fellows under the Professional Development Grant program.  Contact Erin for more information.
Webinar on Open Access Research Now Available

On March 4th, Switzer Fellow Meredith Niles, Postdoctoral Researcher at Harvard University, led a webinar on open access research - how it works, opportunities to make academic publications more accessible, and the resources available to researchers and scientists to make their work more open.

Watch the webinar recording and download the materials
Fellows at COP20 in Lima

In December, 2014, several Switzer Fellows attended events held in conjunction with COP20 in Lima, Peru.

Greiner:  It Takes More Than Numbers to Set Smart Climate Goals

With many companies in the goal-planning stage as they retire 2015 targets and set new ones, it is an appropriate time to evaluate our troubled relationship with carbon goals.  1992 Fellow Tim Greiner, President of Pure Strategies, is not seeing goals that are bold enough to get us where we need to be. 

Berger: Why Voluntary Pledges Won't Save the Climate

1988 Fellow John Berger, author and consultant on climate and energy issues, believes the world must have an enforceable mandatory global climate agreement instead of relying on voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions pledges and a patchwork of bilateral agreements.

Shade Responds to "Why Organic Isn't Sustainable"

2011 Fellow Jessica Shade is Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center. She recently came under fire by Henry I. Miller and Richard Cornett after she published a piece on the Center's blog questioning their use of research in a piece they published on about why organic isn't sustainable.  We offer links to all three pieces on our website as an opportunity for Fellows and others to weigh in on the issues.

On Communications

Op-Ed Writing:  It's Ok to Argue for Something
Scientists naturally shy away from advocacy, but our colleagues at COMPASS argue that you will make your science much more relevant and useful if you get it beyond peer-reviewed journals and into real-world discussions.

Connecting on Climate:  The seven psychological reasons that are stopping us from acting on climate change
When a gigantic threat is staring you in the face, and you can't act upon it, it's safe to assume there's some sort of mental blockage happening.  So what's the hangup?  That's what a new report from ecoAmerica and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University's Earth Institute seeks to help us better understand.

#SwitzerTop50:  The Top 50 People Switzer Fellows Follow on Twitter
With so many Fellows active on Twitter now, we thought it would be interesting to compile a list of who Fellows like to follow, so you can follow them, too!

Upcoming Events
Network Call:  Sustainable Waste Management
Wednesday, March 18 - 12:30 pm ET

Moderated by 2013 Fellow Caroline Howe
For more information

Network Call:  Northeast - Fellows in NY, NJ, PA
Wednesday, March 25 - 12:30 pm ET

For more information

Network Call:  International Conservation & Development
Wednesday, April 1 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Switzer Fellow Sara Mersha:  With Liberty, Justice and Sovereignty for All
Monday, April 20 - 6:30 pm PT
Sara Mersha, Director of Grantmaking and Advocacy for Grassroots International, will speak with Anim Steel and Mark Bittman in this session of Edible Education, a UC Berkeley course with free live streaming that focuses on the rise and future of the food movement.
For more information

See more of our Events on our website!
Fellows in the News
Robert Long (2003), Senior Conservation Fellow at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, has been recognized as one of 20 scientists awarded the newly established Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science.

Andrew Cohen (1988), Director of the Center for Research on Aquatic Bioinvasions, authored a study that found a program to prevent global spread of disease from ships' ballast water is a failure.

Sarah Johnson (2007) is now an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Hillary Young (2003), Assistant Professor at UC Santa Barbara, has discovered that killing big animals allows rodents (and their fleas) to flourish.

The Sustainability Professionals Certification Program led by Maureen Hart (1992), President of Sustainable Measures, is gaining momentum.

Chris Wilcox (1993), Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, has authored a paper on the amount and sources of plastic entering the world's oceans every year.
A vibrant community of environmental leaders