June 2015
Honoring Rafe Sagarin
(By Lissa Widoff)  Rafe Sagarin's tragic death earlier this month in a bicycle accident has many of us in the Switzer Fellowship Network grieving over the loss of a truly magical human being.  I say magical because what I and others knew of him was that he had a blend of smarts, savvy, adaptability, creativity and fortitude that one rarely finds in one human being.  Rafe embodied the kind of leadership we emulate here at the Switzer Foundation, with incredible research and analytical capacity, interdisciplinary thinking, and a commitment to place.  His dedication to family, life, work, nature, community, and our tenuous social ecosystem in the face of natural and political uncertainty was a model for us all.

Read more in Lissa's blog post about Rafe

Fall Retreats Kick Off 30th Anniversary Celebrations

As you all know, we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Switzer Foundation this coming year, and we're planning to start the party at this year's fall retreats!  We're looking forward to celebrating the amazing and inspirational group of people who comprise the Switzer Network, and the accomplishments you've all made.  For Fellowship alumni, here are some options on the fall retreat agenda that may interest you:
  • Travel support packages based on need - do not let distance keep you away!
  • Saturday group outdoor or mini-workshop activities while 2015 Fellows and others take the Rockwood Leadership training;
  • Reception and dinner with Switzer staff, trustees, and 2015 Fellows Saturday night;
  • Music and campfire Saturday night;
  • Sunday family-friendly outdoor activities and informal networking!
Details are coming soon.  Save the dates and help us kick off the year-long celebration of . . . you!

New England Fall Fellows' Retreat:  September 28-30th, Warren Inn and Conference Center, Ashland, MA
California Fall Fellows' Retreat:  October 2-4th, NatureBridge at Golden Gate, Sausalito, CA
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 Fellow participation.)  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.

Further reminder:  We have some support available through the Professional Development Fund if you need assistance with costs.  Contact Erin for more information. 

Calling all Social Organizers!

Another reminder that it's time to plan some regional fun with your fellow Fellows!  We've got one gathering in the planning stages in Rhode Island, now let's branch out!  We need volunteers to be point person for planning a happy hour, dinner, lunch, hike - whatever you wish!  All it takes is an email to other Fellows in your area to suggest a time and place.  Contact Erin if you'd like to organize something!

Community-based Scientists: Union of Concerned Scientists Wants to Hear From You

Our colleagues at Union of Concerned Scientists are interested in hearing from any Fellow scientists working on projects that involve community engagement.  They are in the process of identifying models of scientists' engagement with communities, with a particular interest in understanding how to scale up such connections.  Fellows doing participatory research or collaborations with communities, or trying to facilitate science-community collaborations, are invited to take a brief survey to help inform UCS's work.  The deadline has been extended to June 20th.  Contact Melissa Varga at UCS with any questions.

Switzer Network Innovation:  Demonstrating the Impact of Environmental Education

Fellows Christy Merrick and Nicole Ardoin recently posted a piece on our website in which they requested input from Switzer Fellows on a potential Network Innovation project idea.  Christy and Nicole are scoping out the possibility for a major new initiative in environmental education, called Anecdotes to Evidence.  In this initiative, they aim to coordinate a collaborative project to compile and analyze existing research on the impacts of environmental education, with the goal of identifying additional research needed to quantify those impacts.  Interested Fellows should read Christy's and Nicole's blog post on the Network Innovation Exchange.

On Leadership

Leveraging Social Sector Leadership
Executive Director Lissa Widoff highlights a recent report that calls attention to a trend the Switzer Foundation has been focused on for a long time - how the nonprofit sector chronically under-invests in its leaders.

Take Away Thoughts from the National Adaptation Forum
Fellow Brenda Zollitsch reports back from the second annual Forum which was coordinated by Fellow Lara Hansen's organization, EcoAdapt.

Wally Fulweiler
Photo: Melody Komyerov

On Communications

The tools of scientific analysis are becoming more and more accessible to smart, enterprising journalists.  As Fellow Wally Fulweiler discovered, however, the result doesn't always lead to clearer communications about climate change.

Assembling (Science) Networks Online
Our communications training partner, COMPASS, says you don't need to have thousands or even hundreds of connections for social media to pay off for you, and finding your flock will very likely not mean surrounding yourself only with others in your discipline.

Photo: Engineering for Change/Flickr
Decentralized Renewable Energy:  A Wish List for Multi-Actors

Fellow Dipti Vaghela's recent Leadership Grant with International Rivers leads her to consider in this piece how decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions could have a greater impact with multi-actor synergy.

Photo: Casey Bisson/Flickr
How Tech Can Stop the Looming Food Crisis

Fellow Jason Jay argues the first step is to develop technologies that reduce the amount of wasted food, and introduces a new mobile app by MIT students that does just that.

Photo: Google, SIO, US Navy, NGO, Gebco
Clean Energy Opportunities in California's Water Sector

Fellow Laura Wisland argues in a new report she co-authored that for California to meet its climate goals, the state needs to rethink the role that water plays as a significant electricity consumer and producer.

Read more

Upcoming Events
Network Call:  Fellows in Southern California
Wednesday, June 17 - 12:30 pm ET

Network Call:  Citizen Science
Wednesday, June 29 - 12:30 pm ET
Network Call:  Coastal and Marine Issues
Wednesday, July 15 - 12:30 pm ET
Network Call:  Architecture and Urban Planning
Wednesday, July 29 - 12:30 pm ET

Network Call:  Air Quality (open to Fellows and colleagues!)
Wednesday, August 12 - 12:30 pm ET
Network Call:  Fellows in the Southwestern U.S.
Wednesday, August 26 - 12:30 pm ET
New England Fall Fellows' Retreat
Ashland, MA
Friday, September 18 - Sunday, September 20
Details coming soon!

Ildi Carlisle-Cummins: Docks to Delta event
Capitol Corridor train - Oakland to Sacramento
Saturday, September 26
California Fall Fellows' Retreat
Sausalito, CA
Friday, October 2 - Sunday, October 4
Details coming soon!
Fellows in the News
Yesenia Gallardo (2014) and her business partner won $25,000 at a Yale social entrepreneurship contest to fund their cricket protein powder idea.

Thu Quach's (2008) research on nail salon workers' health was featured in The New York Times.

Hilary Young (2003) was elected a 2015 Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America.

Ayana Johnson (2009) co-authored a New York Times op-ed on lessons learned from Barbuda on saving the Caribbean's coral reefs in the face of climate change.

Ryan Carle (2012) is blogging about his work with threatened seabirds in Chile
which is partially funded by a Switzer Leadership Grant.
A vibrant community of environmental leaders