Fall 2019 Newsletter
From the Executive Director
Dr. Sarah Reed
Executive Director
Greetings from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, and welcome to our fall newsletter highlighting our 33rd cohort of Switzer Fellows.

In September, I had the pleasure of participating in my first Switzer Fellows' retreat as Executive Director. It was humbling to realize that just 13 years ago I was sitting in the same place, as a new Switzer Fellow. Our guest speaker then was Van Jones, who spoke to us about his work founding the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, and now appears as a host and regular commentator on CNN. 

My Switzer Fellowship and subsequent Leadership Grant were critical sources of support for me to build a career in applied conservation science and accumulate the experiences and relationships that brought me to the Executive Director role. This year I encouraged the fellows to enjoy the honor of the Switzer Fellowship and reminded them that the Switzer network will be what they make of it - the opportunities they pursue for individual development, the relationships formed through retreats and other program activities, and the vision they have for the collective power of their cohort and the network as a whole.

At the retreat, I spoke with a couple of new fellows about how our careers had taken unexpected paths, and how sometimes the challenging experiences of changing directions have the most to teach us about where we do belong. These conversations were reflected by the leadership stories of the panel of Switzer Fellowship alumni who joined us at the retreat. As a result, I decided to f ocus my  first On Leadership post on my own story, and how I shifted from working as an applied conservation scientist to leading a family foundation - because I want to pay forward the investments made in my education and career, and because I believe I can make the biggest difference by supporting the next generation of leaders to advance both environmental conservation and social equity.

Please join us in welcoming the 2019 cohort of Switzer Fellows and celebrating their innovative and meaningful contributions to environmental science, policy, and justice. Please also visit our Find an Expert page to learn more about fellows working in your area and how their leadership can be a resource for you.

Dr. Sarah Reed
Executive Director
2019 cohort gathered in Sausalito, California
Meet the 2019 Fellows

In May, the Switzer Fellowship network welcomed twenty graduate student leaders from schools in New England and California! The 2019 fellows come from Ph.D., masters' and law programs. They are working on issues such as marine fisheries by-catch, water quality, city and regional planning, wildlife conservation, botany, law, business, and policy, to name a few. All are addressing their work through the lens of a rapidly changing climate. The 2019 Switzer fellows will be a part of our next generation of scientists, lawyers, activists, teachers, business leaders and policymakers.

Read more about them!
Angela Park led a training focused on equity as a 21st century leadership competency
Fall Retreat on Equity Brought Full Cohort Together for First Time

The Switzer Fellows' Fall Retreat was held September 13-15 in Sausalito, California. Our fall retreat is where we welcome new fellows, get to know each other, and engage in a leadership development training.

With the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation's commitment to equity and justice in our organization and programs, we strive to provide fellows with the skills to strengthen their own knowledge and practice towards applying an equity lens to their work. Thus, our fall training, led by our colleague Angela Park, focused on equity as a 21st century leadership competency. This workshop covered topics such as the impact of group identity, power dynamics, and on embedding equity and justice into organization culture, policies and practices. As environmental leaders, Switzer Fellows understand the critical importance of the relationships between environmental improvement, cultural competency, and social justice.

A particularly special aspect to this year's fall retreat was a new format under which we brought all 20 of the current fellows to one fall retreat. This format replaced our past tradition of hosting separate retreats in New England and California, and we could not be more pleased with the results! We saw friendships form across geography, life background, research topic, and career aspirations. We look forward to seeing how more connected cohorts will provide mutual support, inspiration and collaboration.
Fellow Nick Jensen, California Native Plant Society
Recent Grants 

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation helps advance the professional careers of fellows through several post-fellowship grant programs, including the Leadership Grant Program, which provides funds for organizations which partner with Switzer Fellows on a project or to create a position which utilizes the fellow's expertise, and the Network Innovation Grant Program, which supports projects in which two or more fellows work together to advance a solution to a critical issue. Our two most recent grants are:

Southern California Conservation Analyst
$20,000 Leadership Grant to the California Native Plant Society (Claremont, CA) to provided continued support for fellow Nick Jensen's position as Southern California Conservation Analyst, advocating for conservation of southern California's critical habitats.

Whither Phalaropes? Convening a working group to propel shorebird conservation
$10,000 to Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge (Santa Cruz, CA) for fellows Ryan Carle and Margaret Rubega to convene and lead a working group of researchers and others to study two species of migratory birds (Wilson's and Red-necked Phalaropes) whose population numbers are declining.

Upcoming Events
2020 Switzer Fellowship Application Period Opens 
November 1, 2019

Learn how to apply

Work-Life Balance Kick-off Call
November 6, 2019
Register by email

Switzer Fellows' Gathering: Boston
November 7, 2019

Learn more

Switzer Fellows' Spring Retreat and Policy Communications Training
March 14-16, 2020
Washington, DC
Fellows in the News
Below i s a small sampling of news about our fellows' work that appeared in mainstream media.   To learn more about our fellows' work in the past year, please visit our Fellows in the News feed. You can get regular updates by following us on Twitter or Facebook .

Cassandra Brooks was interviewed by Nature's social science editors for an early-career spotlight article. She discussed her research interests, journey in science communications and policy outreach, challenges and predictions for the near future of her field.

Pamela McElwee was one of the lead authors of the  IPCC report on climate change and land use and was quoted widely in international media.

Dustin Mulvaney's book on solar power and environmental justice was published.

David Wiley, Research Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and an expert on seabirds and endangered whales, was named the 2019 recipient of Mass Audubon's Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award.

Nicole Ardoin was named the new director of Stanford University's interdisciplinary program in environment and resources.
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