December 2019
E-Newsline
Welcoming 2020 Fellowship applications
Greetings, Fellows! The application period for 2020 Switzer Fellowships is in full swing, with applications due January 6, 2020. Thanks to those of you who have helped steer great applicants our way or otherwise helped spread the word at your institutions or in your networks. (Here is the Call for Applications
- please share widely!) Remember, we expanded the eligibility criteria to now include U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents ("green card" holders) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. 

Fellowship interviews will take place on the following dates. If you are interested in serving as an interviewer this year, please contact Erin. We will create interview teams comprised of people from a diversity of backgrounds, sectors and areas of expertise.
  • California Fellowship interviews: Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Center for Biological Diversity, Oakland, CA
  • New England Fellowship interviews: Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA.
Slack workspace for work/life balance

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Slack workspace for Switzer Fellows to discuss work/life balance issues. If you would like to join the workspace, please email Laine. Laine will email you a link to join and instructions that will get you up and running on the service in less than fifteen minutes.
Race and Equity Reading Group: Allyship, community care, and wellness

Please join us for a conversation about allyship in the environmental community with our host, Switzer Fellow Francisco Dóñez. This conversation is open to all Switzer Fellows. Contact Laine if you are interested in joining this call, and/or joining the Race and Equity Reading Group for future discussions!

For more information
Engaging with policy via Twitter

Twitter has emerged as one of the best places to connect with and potentially influence policymakers on social media.  We have invited some of the Switzer Network's most prolific tweeters for a panel discussion on what has been effective and ineffective in their own use of the platform for policy. They will be discussing best practices, recommendations and resources that they have found useful in their development as Twitter influencers.

Register for the event
Grant outcomes: Community engagement on the control of avian malaria

Hawai'i has an extremely high rate of extinction for birds, and introduced mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit are a leading threat. A new biotechnology approach, called the  Wolbachia  sterile insect technique, shows great promise for safely controlling mosquitoes that transmit diseases to humans, and research is underway to test whether this will also work to reduce the species of mosquito that transmits avian malaria. Community engagement and support is critical to the success of developing and eventually implementing any solution to the problem. Fellows Brad Keitt, Jonathan Scheuer and Jason Delborne received a Switzer Network Innovation Grant to convene a working group to develop a strategy for community engagement as Hawai'i considers next steps it needs to take to control this devastating disease.

Read more
Grant outcomes: Improving understanding of energy pipeline permitting

In recent years, the growth of the natural gas industry has expanded pipeline development into states unaccustomed to pipeline permitting, and has increased the number of permits necessitating review by states and tribes. While this growth is a critical economic driver, it comes with challenges. Pipeline development often results in short- and long-term impacts to environmental resources, including wetlands and other waters. Five Switzer Fellows collaborated under a Switzer Network Innovation Grant, producing useful products and guidance to assist states and tribes on how to contribute to the permitting process to better protect aquatic resources.
Grant outcomes:  Guiding community-based action on PFAS drinking water contamination

With funding from a Switzer Leadership Grant, Lauren Richter worked with Silent Spring Institute as part of the organization's  PFAS research team. (PFAS refers to a class of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, found in many commonly used products, that do not break down over time and are linked to serious public health concerns.)  Lauren led community workshops on PFAS at regional and national conferences, investigated the public costs of PFAS drinking water contamination on Cape Cod, and provided expert testimony at hearings on PFAS bills before state legislative committees in Rhode Island, among other notable accomplishments.

SACNAS conference: Early bird registration ends December 21st

SACNAS, an organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM fields, will be holding its 2020 annual conference in Long Beach, California, October 22-24, 2020. Early bird registration ends December 21st! If any Fellows plan to attend, please contact Erin. It would be terrific to have a Switzer presence at this important convening.
Frances Roberts-Gregory: Coalition at  COP 25 advocates feminist Green New Deal

In the midst of the global climate talks last week in Madrid, Spain, climate justice and women's rights activists introduced a set of collective feminist demands to help advance the Green New Deal, in the US and around the world. Frances Roberts-Gregory was among them and spoke at the WEDO press conference.
 
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Lindsay Olsen: The future of fish

Lindsay Olsen, a native of Homer, Alaska, asks in the latest issue of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies' SAGE magazine: Have innovations in the aquaculture industry removed the need for both the fisherman and the sea? 
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Christina Fuller: Looking to trees to help ease highway air pollution

Plenty of Atlantans spend time on highways, speeding or inching or swerving along. But many people spend a lot of time near the highways, too: at their homes, schools or workplaces. Christina Fuller, a Georgia State University public health professor, is studying how effectively trees can help filter out some of the pollution in these areas.
 
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What is holding back renewable energy development in Indian Country?

An energy paradox lingers in Indian Country, the land base of Native Americans in the contiguous 48 states: enormous renewable energy generation potential, but numerous barriers to development and electrification. An article by Margaret Tallmadge is the first in a two-part series: first, exploring the barriers to renewable energy development in Indian Country, and second, laying out potential regulatory, legislative, financial, and business solutions for overcoming them.
 
Read more
Upcoming Events
Race and Equity Reading Group: Allyship, Community Care, and Wellness
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 9:30 am PT / 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Engaging with policy via Twitter
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 9:30 am PT / 12:30 pm ET
For more information

Switzer Fellows Alumni Dinner - Washington, D.C.
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Location TBA (in D.C.)
Save the date!

Switzer Fellowship Interviews - California
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Center for Biological Diversity, Oakland, CA

Switzer Fellowship Interviews - New England
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA

Our 2020 Events calendar is in the planning stages now. Please check the Events section of our website for updates.
Fellows in the News
Avalon Owens' discovery that light pollution is the key 'bringer of insect apocalypse' received global attention.

Erin Satterthwaite's work creating a map of  the global seascape of marine life observing programs was featured on the NCEAS website.

Stuart Siegel was featured in a Marin Magazine article on the challenges of elevated sea levels in the region.

Amber Pairis has been selected as a KPBS and National Conflict Resolution Center Community Hero for her collaborative, community-centered approach to climate change.

Bruni Pizarro has joined the New Haven mayor-elect's transition team to work on climate change and the environment in new policies that hold transparency and equity at the forefront.

Beckie Menten has joined East Bay Community Energy as a Program Manager in Building Electrification and Energy Efficiency.
A vibrant community of environmental leaders