January 2021
Switzer grant funds available
Switzer grant programs aim to bolster fellows' professional development and leadership skills - we encourage fellows to take advantage!
  • Leadership Grants of up to $40,000 are available to organizations that partner with a Switzer Fellow to create a new position or a consulting project. See the guidelines here, and check out past grantees here. Concept letters are due February 1st!
  • Network Innovation Grants of up to $10,000 are available to two or more Switzer Fellows who come together across disciplines or areas of expertise to uniquely address an environmental issue. These grants can be used for seed funding, planning or convening around an issue. See guidelines here and past/current grantees here.
  • Professional Development Grants of up to $1,000 can help cover the costs of a training, workshop or other important professional development opportunity. This is a great time to take advantage of these, as there are so many online offerings these days! See guidelines here.
Fellowship interviewers needed

Interviews for 2021 Switzer Fellowships will be held virtually this year, and we're looking for volunteers. If you'd like to take part in fellowship selection as an interviewer, see dates below. This is a great way to give back to the Switzer Network and to have a role in selecting the next cohort of your network colleagues. Interviews are fun and informative - we learn things every year from the people we interview. It's a wonderful chance to meet these emerging leaders and support their advancement.

Please note, we're holding interviews on Fridays this year instead of Saturdays - we hope that will be easier for all of you. Erin will be putting out a call to all fellows soon, and you will be directed to a sign-up sheet. For now, save the date if you're interested! Choose the time zone that works best for you.

Interviews for California applicants: Friday, May 14, 2021, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Pacific
Interviews for New England applicants: Friday, May 21, 2021, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Eastern

TEDxSwitzerFoundation talks now available

Last November four Switzer Fellows presented at TEDxSwitzerFoundation as part of TED's Countdown project, a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. Each of the talks envisions a way in which a new future is possible:
From Beer to Algae: the future of a low-carbon food system

Algae leader and advocate, Jill Kauffman Johnson of Corbion discusses how tiny microbes may be one of our most powerful solutions to address climate change. Through fermentation, microalgae, yeast, and bacteria are providing nutritious and delicious foods using less of our planet's resources.

Watch the talk
Less talk, more action! Catalyzing climate change solutions now

Marine ecologist Karleen Boyle outlines a strategy that uses natural processes and existing techniques to remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and oceans, and reduce coral reef bleaching and hurricane damages by cooling sea surface temperatures in targeted areas. In this talk, she advocates working outside of traditional channels and describes how the newly formed non-profit, Blue Carbon Catalyst, is organizing corporations pursuing net zero carbon goals, scientists, NGOs and the public to crowdsource resources and infrastructure that will speed up the deployment of these strategies.
Shifting AgTech Toward Eco-stability

The food system is in an interesting predicament - it's a significant contributor to one of its own biggest threats -climate change. Poor land management is degrading our soil, releasing greenhouse gases, and contributing to catastrophic events such as droughts, floods, fires, among others. Unfortunately, many of the tools we have developed to address agricultural problems brought about by climate change and other environmental disasters target the symptoms of a crumbling ecosystem rather than solving for the root cause, says Jessica Shade of The Organic Center. We need to shift our thinking to look at challenges that we are faced with pre- and post-farm gate with the goal of developing technology that will better allow us to integrate anthropogenic practices into a functioning ecosystem, so that we can create a future where we are not constantly living in fear of a global ecological collapse.

Watch the talk
Trash is Cash: turning stranded plant-based residues into higher-value products

More than 4 billion tons/year of plant-based crop and forest residues (e.g. biomass) are being burned. Some of this burning contributes to catastrophic wildfires. And yet, almost all these burned residues would otherwise have intrinsic economic values for conversion into fuels or chemicals. In this talk, Kevin Kung of Takachar explores the apparent paradox between biomass disposal and utilization. He highlights the newest efforts in turning trash into cash, which could make biomass residue conversion more attractive economically, at the same time reducing the environmental and economic damages of biomass burning.

Watch the talk
Two fellows named on list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists

Cell Mentor's Community of Scholars is a group of Persons Excluded because of their Ethnicity or Race (PEER) composed of postdoctoral fellows, early-stage investigators, instructors, and consultants with a common passion to advance scientific discovery while innovating diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. They recently released a list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists in America that includes Ayana Johnson and Regan Patterson.

Read more
A Community of Practice for Equitable Electric Mobility

Isa Gaillard is working with The Greenlining Institute's Environmental Equity team as a Program Manager for the community of practice project. For this project, the institute is partnering with Forth to develop a national community of practice that will include organizations across five states and will focus on advancing clean and equitable transportation for all. The community of practice format balances the community, networking, and learning components of an educational cohort while also maintaining the policy advocacy focus of a coalition. 
How to Redefine the Housing Crisis in Hawaii

Jonathan Likeke Scheuer is in his seventh year of serving as one of nine members of Hawaii's Land Use Commission. The LUC is responsible for moving land from Hawaii's conservation and agricultural districts into the urban district - for housing and other purposes. He writes the state cannot hope to solve its housing problem until it recognizes the myths in most definitions of the housing crisis.

New seminar series on conservation issues in the American West in light of the 2020 election

Katie Pofahl planned a seminar series with colleagues from Yale School of the Environment, Yale Law, Northern Arizona University, Lewis and Clark Law School, and the Wyss Foundation. The series focuses on conservation issues in the US West with a focus on policy and the results of the 2020 election. The last of the events will be on Wednesday, January 27. You can register for it and watch recordings of the previous events at https://www.conservationpolicydiscussions.org.
Fellow News
Kristin Dobbin and Meredith Niles contributed articles to a new special issue of Society & Natural Resources titled, "Sustainable Groundwater Management in California: A Grand Experiment in Environmental Governance" released in December.

In November Maria Jesus discussed her work on conservation in the Southern Inyo Mountains with Naomi Fraga during a presentation for the California Botanic Garden.

Regan Patterson was selected as one of the new Agents of Change in Environmental Health fellows by Environmental Health News.

Janelle Heslop is now Senior Manager, Strategic Planning and Operations, Amgen.

Logan McCoy is now Vice President, Sustainability Solutions Product Manager, ISS Corporate Solutions.

Erik Grijalva is now Supervisory Vegetation Ecologist, National Park Service.

Have news for this section? Send it to Lauren so she can post it to our website, social media, and a future e-news issue. Please update your profile as well. You can use our new Google Form to submit changes instead of logging in.
Upcoming Events
Save the date for Race and Equity Discussion Group
Wednesday, February 17
9:30 a.m. Pacific / 12:30 p.m. Eastern

Switzer Fellowship Interviews - California
Friday, May 14
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Pacific
Interviews will be held virtually

Switzer Fellowship Interviews - New England
Friday, May 21
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Interviews will be held virtually
We are excited to see the number and variety of job postings by fellows on the Switzer Fellows listserv - more than 40 in the past two months! We think this is a great way for the network to support each other, and we encourage you to continue to post opportunities that come your way. If you have a connection to the hiring organization, search committee, or related and are willing to be contacted, please include that information when you forward the posting. We will then also include it in this section each month.

Meredith Niles is hiring a post-doctoral associate to work with her in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences and the Food Systems Program, as well as other researchers within University of Vermont. Review of materials will begin February 1.

The California Native Plant Society is looking for a Community Science Coordinator and an Important Plant Areas Program Assistant. Interested fellows can contact Nick Jensen directly.

The Salazar Center for North American Conservation at Colorado State University is hiring a Program Director. Contact Sarah Reed if you are interested in applying, and she'd be happy to facilitate an introduction to the Center's director.

The Coral Reef Alliance is hiring a Project and Outreach Manager. Let Sarah Reed know if you are interested in applying as she knows one of the collaborators leading the project and would be happy to facilitate an introduction.

Nature for All is hiring an Executive Director in Los Angeles. Mike Antos works with the organization on a regular basis and is happy to answer questions or have his name dropped if you plan to apply.

Elisabeth Stoddard is co-chairing the search for the Inaugural Dean of the Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is happy to answer questions.
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