December 2015
Switzer Fellows at COP21
Dave Kramer and Sarah Lupberger at COP21
Wherever you find a gathering at the front lines of a critical environmental issue, you will find Switzer Fellows!  This makes us incredibly proud and heartened.  With world leaders convening in Paris for the COP21 climate talks, Switzer Fellows were among the leaders pushing for positive action on climate. They served in roles as country delegation members and UN representatives, and in important supporting roles with NGOs and indigenous groups.  Fellows also provided important research and data used at the talks. 
Read about Switzer Fellow Climate Champions at COP21

Heather Coleman, Climate Change Manager at Oxfam America, was there to make sure that whatever deals were struck were fair to us all.
Read Heather's Thought Leadership piece
Photo: calipariesen/Flickr
Please join us for Wild and Scenic Film Festival!

As many of you know by now, the Switzer Foundation is a sponsor, and is hosting a panel featuring Switzer Fellows speaking about untold environmental stories, at the upcoming Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, California, January 15-17, 2016.  If you are planning to join us for the film festival, please contact Lissa by January 8th!  Attending Fellows will be eligible for discounted tickets and other benefits as part of our sponsorship of the Festival.  Don't miss out!

See Film Festival schedule

30th anniversary events!  Mark your calendar!

Details continue to be finalized for all of our scheduled events to celebrate our 30th!  We'll continue to provide you with updates and schedules so we are sure not to miss you.  Added bonus:  Come to a 30th event and get a commemorative Switzer Foundation 30th Anniversary Kleen Kanteen!

Schedule of events:
  • Saturday, January 16, 2016, 4:30 pm - Switzer Fellows panel discussion at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Nevada City, CA, and social gathering afterwards
  • Saturday, March 12, 2016, 6:00 pm - Reception and dinner, with keynote speaker 1993 Fellow Jason Grumet, President and Founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, at the Hotel Palomar, Washington, DC
  • Friday, March 25, 2016, 5:30 pm - Reception and keynote address with Terry Tempest Williams at the Boston Aquarium, Boston, MA
  • Thursday, April 1, 2016 (time TBD) - Fellows gathering in Los Angeles, CA
  • Friday, April 21, 2016, 5:30 pm - Fellows gathering in New York, NY (Manhattan)
  • Friday, May 20, 2016, 5:30 pm - Reception, San Francisco Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA
2016 Fellowship Applications due January 11th

If you know of a potential applicant for the Fellowship program, please make sure they are aware of the January 11th deadline for online applications.  Guidelines are posted online (link below), and please feel free to share the Call for Applications widely.

2016 Fellowship Program Guidelines
Ildi Carlisle-Cummins
New Leadership Grant awarded to California Institute for Rural Studies

In November, the Switzer Foundation awarded a $15,000 Leadership Grant to the California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS).  This grant provides continued support to CIRS for a newly created position for Switzer Fellow Ildi Carlisle-Cummins as Director of the Cal Ag Roots Project.

Shifting the Course of California Agriculture Policy
Erika Zavaleta
Bringing field ecology online

If outdoor learning were a religion, Fellow Erika Zavaleta would be among its foremost acolytes.  "I'm interested in making more ways for people to have an entry point to get interested in conservation, an internship at a reserve, or taking a class with a field component," she says of her new online course.

See Leadership Story
Photo: Mike Antos
Developing a more resilient urban water supply

Despite rising temperatures, Californians this summer cut their water use significantly in an effort to help the state deal with a severe, ongoing drought.  The reduction caught many officials by surprise, but not Fellow Mike Antos, director of California State University, Northridge's new Center for Urban Water Resilience.

See Leadership Story
Should your social enterprise be a non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid?

The rise of social enterprises in recent years has made the distinction between for-profit businesses and non-profits less clear.  Fellow Ryan Shaening Pokrasso, founder of Elevate Law and Strategy, lays out the advantages, disadvantages, and the process for forming each.

Switzer Fellow Thought Leadership
Resources on racial oppression and cultural competency

Lissa Widoff has provided a list of resources to complement what was offered at the fall retreat training in California in the workshop on race, power and privilege in environmental leadership (which will also be offered in Boston on March 25, 2016)

On Leadership
Photo: Todd Mecklem/Flickr
After a powerful sabbatical, a new beginning

Fellow Stuart Cohen, Executive Director of TransForm, reflects on his recent three-month sabbatical awarded to him by the O2 Initiatives Sabbatical Award.

Switzer Fellow Thought Leadership
Upcoming Events
Switzer Fellows Networking Call:  Fellows in New England
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 12:30 pm ET

For more information

Switzer Foundation-sponsored Workshop at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 4:30 pm PT
For more information
(Note - contact Lissa by January 8th if you plan to attend!)

Switzer Fellows Networking Call:  Environmental Justice
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Switzer Fellows Networking Call:  Environmental Education
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Switzer Fellows Networking Call:  Fellows in Southern California
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Switzer Fellows Networking Call:  Inexpensive Air Pollution Sensors and Citizen Science
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Switzer Fellows Networking Call:  Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 12:30 pm ET
For more information

See the Events section of our website for a complete list of events!
Fellows in the News
Holmes Hummel, founder of Clean Energy Works, has won the Finance for Resilience award for clean energy upgrades.

John Berger
's book, Climate Peril, has won the 6th International Book Awards Science category.

Mark Tompkins
, Principal at Newfields River Basin Services, LLC, wrote the sustainable business model section of the Delta Stewardship Council's vision for managing California's environmental information.

Cassandra Brooks, PhD Candidate at Stanford University, published her research finding that Antarctic fish species are being threatened by willful misinterpretation of legal treaties.

Sarah Lupberger is now a Fulbright-Clinton Fellow at the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment where she is researching how mechanisms of coordination between ministries can be improved to better protect the country's natural resources.

Eric Jay Dolin's new book, Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse, will be available in April 2016.

Please be sure to check out the News section of our website for a complete list of Fellow updates and accomplishments!
A vibrant community of environmental leaders