April 2015
30th Anniversary Planning!
Calling all Fellows!  Help us plan our 30th birthday party!

In 2016, it will be 30 years since Bob and Patricia Switzer established the Foundation's endowment with proceeds of the sale of Day-Glo Color Corp.  We want to celebrate this occasion with you, and we're ready to start planning some fun ways to do this!

To start, we'll need your ideas.  Tell us how you think we should recognize this remarkable network of 550 Fellows and 30 years of distinguished Fellowships and invaluable contributions to environmental leadership. Some ideas currently kicking around include:
  • A sponsored Speaker Series.  Who is on your wish list for a guest speaker, on either coast or in between?  This might be in conjunction with regional receptions for Fellows and colleagues, so don't let geography limit your ideas.
  • An Environmental Leader Award.  Who would you cast your vote for?
  • A Switzer Foundation Summit, or one-day conference.  Got any ideas on a well-attended Fellows' conference or event we could piggy-back on?
Please send your ideas to Lissa Widoff or Jessica Switzer, or post your ideas on our website.  Let the planning begin! 

Reminder:  Switzer Networking Opportunity 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. 

Reminder:  Rockwood Leadership Training Discount for Switzer Fellows

 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.

And, a further reminder:  We may have limited support for Fellows under the Professional Development Grant program.  Contact  Erin for more information.
Switzer Network in Action: 
Balazs, Antos Contribute to California Water Resource Policy

Across the prosperous state of California communities struggle to achieve clean, safe and affordable water in their taps and streams.  2009 Fellow Carolina Balazs and 2013 Fellow Mike Antos worked together under a Switzer Network Innovation Grant aimed at providing the state's Department of Water Resources with recommendations to ensure environmental justice is integrated into future funding and planning decisions.

Read their blog post
Quach:  In Safer Hands

Nail salons offering "manis" and "pedis" have become a booming business in the United States, setting up shop on seemingly every corner and approaching $8 billion in annual sales.  "You have numerous chemicals being mixed, new products coming out all the time, limited available data on health effects and weak accountability for the manufacturers," says 2008 Fellow Thu Quach, research scientist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and research director for Asian Health Services.  "That would make it difficult for the workers to protect themselves even if there weren't language barriers."  Thu is part of a grassroots effort that empowers low-wage, Vietnamese immigrant-dominated nail salon workers to fight for healthier conditions.

Read more
Andrade, Cushing, Morello-Frosch: 
UC Berkeley Science Shop

When 2014 Fellow Karen Andrade arrived at UC Berkeley in 2009, she was surprised to discover how challenging it was for outside organizations to partner with students and faculty on research projects.  She set out to create the UC Berkeley Science Shop, a publicly accessible entity that connects small nonprofits, local government agencies, small businesses, and other civic organizations with undergraduate and graduate researchers.

Read more
Steinberg:  Who Rules the Earth?

The realization that individual action has little to no impact on major environmental problems - to say nothing of the existential threat of climate change - can prompt despair, 1995 Fellow Paul Steinberg, a professor of political science and environmental policy at Harvey Mudd College, says.  But it doesn't have to.  We could try, instead, consulting social scientists, who have spent a lot of time thinking about just this problem:  How can a single individual act in a way that effects large-scale change?

Read more
Moffitt:  Recovery from Ocean Warming Can Take Thousands of Years

Marine ecosystems can take thousands, rather than hundreds, of years to recover from climate-related upheavals, according to 2013 Fellow Sarah Moffitt.  "There's not a recovery we have to look forward to in my lifetime or my grandchildren's lifetimes.  It's a gritty reality we need to face as scientists and people who care about the natural world and who make decisions about the natural world."

Read more and watch the video
Osha:  Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School

Aurora Lights, 2004 Fellow Jen Osha Buysse's West Virginia-based nonprofit, has taken the next step in nurturing future generations of environmental leaders with the opening of the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership (SOL) School in Morgantown, WV, in Fall 2014.  Jen is the School's first Director, and she shared her leadership lessons from the first year with us.

 Read Jen's thought leadership piece
Deiner:  CSI for Biodiversity

For the past three years, 2010 Fellow Kristy Deiner has been involved with several projects to test the utility of detecting species in their environment simply by finding the DNA they leave behind.  Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect species is at the forefront of new tools in the conservation and restoration tool box.

 Read Kristy's thought leadership piece
Upcoming Events
Switzer Fellow Joe Aldy:  Target: Climate Change
Monday, April 13 - 4:00 pm ET
Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Joe Aldy will participate as a panelist with other experts from the worlds of science, government, economics, business and history to discuss how society and universities can confront the effects of climate change.
 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

Switzer Fellow Nancy Steele: Monumental Change in the San Gabriel Watershed
Thursday, April 23 - 8:30 am PT
Grace T. Black Auditorium, El Monte, CA
Nancy Steele, Executive Director of the Council for Watershed Health, will speak in a symposium on the opportunities and challenges that will arise with President Obama's designation of 346,000 acres as the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
For more information

California Fellowship Selection Interviews
Saturday, May 2 - 8:30 am
San Francisco, CA

Switzer Networking Call:  Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy
Wednesday, May 6 - 12:30 pm ET

For more information

Switzer Foundation Reception at the National Adaptation Forum
Monday, May 11 - 5:30-7:00 pm
St. Louis Union Station Hotel, 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO
For more information

New England Fellowship Selection Interviews
Saturday, May 16 - 8:30 am
Boston, MA

Switzer Fellow David Kramer:  Panel Discussion on Energy Policy and the Environment
Saturday, May 16 (all day)
Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA
David Kramer, Senior Manager at EcoLogic Development Fund, will speak on a panel for this Harvard Kennedy School alumni event.  (Open to HKS alumni only.)
For more information

Switzer Networking Call:  Mid-Atlantic Fellows (DC, MD, VA, WV, DE)
Wednesday, May 20 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

See our website for a complete listing of all upcoming Events!
Fellows in the News
Stephen Wheeler (1994), Professor of Landscape Architecture at UC Davis, received the CalCAN award for his leadership in agriculture and climate change.

Lauren Gwin (2005), Research Associate at Oregon State University and Coordinator of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, was quoted widely in an article on the shortage of butchers despite a rise in demand for local beef.

Evan Hansen (1996), President of Downstream Strategies, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on the rollback of West Virginia's storage tank rules.

Meredith Niles (2013) will begin her new position as Assistant Professor of food policy at the University of Vermont in August 2015.

Amanda Beal (2014) is the inaugural fellow in a new Policy and Research Fellowship program at the Maine Farmland Trust.

Thor Hanson's (1998) newest book, The Triumph of Seeds, is now available!

A vibrant community of environmental leaders