Fall 2015
From the Executive Director
Each year, the coming of fall brings the excitement of new beginnings, as our work aligns with academic calendars and new projects of the Switzer Foundation and of our Fellows. This issue of our newsletter shines the spotlight on the new 2015 Switzer Fellows, our 29th class, bringing our network to over 570 environmental leaders working all around the US and the globe. The Switzer Environmental Fellowship remains one of the most sought-after graduate Fellowships in the New England region and in California, and this year we awarded 22 graduate students whose work exemplifies the kind of leadership and innovation we need to sustain natural and human systems.  Whether Fellows are working as climate scientists or food systems advocates or in environmental policy, we value the diversity of issues and approaches they use to bring measurable environmental improvement to our world. Join me in welcoming the 2015 Fellows and learning about the positive contributions being made by our extraordinary Switzer Fellowship Network.
30th Anniversary Celebration

This year, we will celebrate the Foundation's 30th anniversary and are proud to recognize our long-term investment in supporting the environmental leaders and innovators who have helped us move from the end-of-pipe solutions needed 30 years ago, to the scientific, political and community-based collaborative approaches that are needed for the future. We look forward to a year-long focus on our Fellows, their accomplishments and the fulfillment of Robert and Patricia Switzers' intent to make positive environmental change through the Foundation's support of environmental leaders and scholars.

Read more
Katherine Zeller
Meet the 2015 Fellows!

The core program of the Switzer Foundation, the Switzer Fellowship Program supports highly talented graduate students who show outstanding leadership potential, and who are working towards environmental improvement.

This year twenty-two environmental leaders, comprising the 29th class of Fellows, joined the Switzer Network.  This brings our total to 572 Fellows located across the country and around the world.

The 2015 Fellows have expertise in renewable/alternative energy, climate change and adaptation, coastal and marine issues, business and finance, engineering, sustainable agriculture and food policy, conservation biology, environmental and public health, law, architecture and urban planning, and natural resource management.  Their work varies in scope from local to international.

Read the bios of all 2015 Fellows
Dr. Tracey Osborne
Recent Leadership Grants

The Foundation helps advance the professional careers of Fellows by awarding Leadership Grants of up to $40,000 to qualified organizations that can benefit from Fellows' expertise and leadership on critical environmental issues. This past year we awarded $130,000 as follows:

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground
$40,000 to Amazon Watch to partner with Dr. Tracey Osborne to lead the Climate Alliance Mapping Project.

Mapping for climate equity
$15,000 to Amazon Watch to develop the Climate Alliance Mapping Project's interactive multimedia website.

Protecting the character and biodiversity of the Sierra Nevada region
$15,000 to Sierra Watch for a second year of funding to support Isaac Silverman's position as Staff Attorney. 

Protecting Threatened Seabirds
$15,000 to Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge to promote Ryan Carle to a new position of Conservation Training and Development Manager.

Supporting Wetlands Managers
$20,000 to the Association of State Wetland Managers to support a second year of Brenda Zollitsch's work as Policy Analyst at the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM).

Shifting the Course of California Agricultural Policy
$25,000 to California Institute for Rural Studies to hire Ildi Carlisle-Cummins for the newly created position of Director of the Cal Ag Roots Project.

Leading the San Diego Climate Science Alliance
$40,000 to California Landscape Conservation Cooperative to hire Dr. Amber Pairis to develop and lead the San Diego Climate Science Alliance. 

See all recent recipients of Leadership Grants

Visioning Workshop
Results of our Grants

Exposing the Hidden Dangers of Fracking
"We're looking at a new California Gold Rush, only this time the frenzy is nationwide, and now we have technology that's capable of leaving an environmental footprint exponentially more harmful than what was possible in the past," writes Sue Chiang about her work with the Center for Environmental Health under a 2014 Switzer Leadership Grant.

Decentralized Renewable Energy: A Wish List for Multi-Actors
A 2013 Switzer Leadership Grant with International Rivers showed Dipti Vaghela the importance of synergy and cooperation among decision makers to achieve greater results in decentralized renewable energy.

Disadvantaged Communities Visioning Workshop
Fellows Mike Antos and Carolina Balazs report on the outcome of a Switzer Network Innovation Grant aimed at providing the state's Department of Water Resources with policy and practice recommendations to ensure environmental justice is integrated into future funding and planning decisions.

5 Things We've Learned About Addressing Amphibian Road Mortality
In 2014, Fellows Brett Amy Thelen and Brad Timm received a Network Innovation Grant to support a small project aimed at piloting field techniques for assessing the effectiveness of amphibian road crossing brigades, and at convening potential collaborators for a larger regional research initiative focused on reducing amphibian road mortality in the northeastern United States.
Kartikeya Singh
The Switzer Network in Action

Kartikeya Singh presented during the plenary session of the 2014 Arctic Circle Assembly, convened to discuss environmental issues facing the region.

Colleen Callahan served on a panel of the Los Angeles County Business Federation on the complex challenges and opportunities afforded by the cap-and-trade program in California.

Jeff Dlott presented on Wal-Mart's sustainability expectations of produce suppliers at the 2015 Potato Expo.

Read more about our Fellows' accomplishments
Upcoming Events
New England Fall Fellows Retreat
September 18-20, 2015
View the agenda

California Fall Fellows Retreat
October 2-4, 2015

View the agenda

2016 Switzer Environmental Fellowships
January 11, 2016 - Application Deadline
View the Fellowship guidelines

Leadership Grant Deadlines - Spring Cycle
Feb 1, 2016 - Concept letters due
Mar 1, 2016 - Invited proposals due

30th Anniversary Dinner Celebration - Washington, DC
March 12, 2016

Switzer Fellows' Spring Retreat Training
March 13-14, 2016

30th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Terry Tempest Williams (invited) - Boston, MA
March 24, 2016

30th Anniversary Reception - San Francisco, CA
May 20, 2016

Fellows in the News
Rachel Morello-Frosch advocates frank talk about chemical exposures by physicians on Project HOPE's Health Affairs Blog.

Angel Hsu says Beijing is finally getting serious about climate change in a Foreign Policy article. 

Evan Hansen was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on West Virginia lawmaker's decision to roll back the state's storage tank rules.

Lily Lewis's work with bryophytes was featured on the BBC website with incredible photographs.

Doreen Stabinsky was quoted in an Inter Press Service article examining the underlying climate change links in the Syrian conflict.

Sharon Smith co-authored the Palm Oil Scorecard 2015 from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Thu Quach's research was featured in a New York Times article on nail salon workers' health.

Ayana Johnson co-authored a New York Times op-ed on the Caribbean's coral reefs' future.

A vibrant community of environmental leaders