Fall 2016
From the Executive Director
Welcome to the Switzer Foundation fall newsletter, highlighting the 30th cohort of Switzer Fellows, environmental leaders who embody collaborative approaches to solving environmental problems. It is always a joy to celebrate our new Fellows and the 30th anniversary of the Fellowship Program gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the vision of the founders as well as the accomplishments of the newest Switzer Fellows!
Robert and Patricia Switzer established the Foundation in 1986 to support and recognize individuals who are committed to environmental improvement and positive change. Over the years, the Foundation expanded its support of individuals working in the sciences for environmental clean up to now include a range of scientific, social and policy approaches for environmental improvement across all sectors.  We continue to innovate the ways in which we support our Fellows and their leadership, through grants, trainings, convenings and bolstering the Switzer Network of nearly 600 Switzer Fellow alumni.  
The donors' legacy is the timelessness of their vision and their wisdom in engaging our Board of family members and environmental professionals to respond to the changing needs of our time while maintaining our focus on the core Switzer Fellowship Program. Our commitment this past year was to celebrate our 30th anniversary with our Fellows through special events, trainings and speakers.
We hope you share our pride in the 2016 Fellows, and the 30 years of leadership of all our Fellows. Please visit our Find an Expert page to learn more about our Fellows working in your field and how their leadership can be a resource for you.
Erin Satterthwaite
Meet the 2016 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 environmental leaders, comprising the 30th class of Fellows, joined the Switzer Network of nearly 600 Fellows located across the country and around the world.

Learn about innovative approaches to climate change policy, the role of transportation in creating sustainable urban landscapes, the effects of wind energy on wildlife, cross-border social and environmental justice initiatives, and more.

Read the bios of all 2016 Fellows
Ildi Carlisle-Cummins
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 on critical environmental issues.

$40,000 to Audubon South Carolina to create a new position for Heather Hulton Van Tassel as its new Manager of Sustainable Solutions.

See all recent recipients of Leadership Grants
Evan Hansen
Recent Network Innovation Grants

The Foundation supports Fellows working together across disciplines to solve complex problems through the Network Innovation Grants  program.

$40,000 to SkyTruth to support Fellows Evan Hansen and Lara Cushing to analyze the increased footprint of fracking in West Virginia, documenting chemical risks and exposures to at-risk communities.

$4,000 to the North American Association for Environmental Education to support Fellows Christy Merrick and Nicole Ardoin in a research project to quantify the effects of environmental education on student achievement and environmental outcomes.

See all recent recipients of Network Innovation Grants
Amber Pairis
Results of our Grants

A Switzer Leadership Grant supported Fellow Amber Pairis in creating the San Diego Climate Science Alliance. The Alliance serves as an umbrella for bringing people, organizations and agencies together to leverage programs, projects, resources, and expertise on climate science awareness and action.

The Association of State Wetland Managers received consecutive Switzer Leadership Grants in 2014 and 2015 to hire Fellow Brenda Zollitsch as Policy Analyst. She documented the opportunities and challenges for states as they strive to protect valuable wetland resources, and continues to facilitate peer-to-peer information sharing among wetlands professionals. 

Re-Assessing the Status of Pacific Albatross Species
Fellows Myra Finkelstein and Vickie Bakker received a Network Innovation Grant to re-assess the conservation status of black-footed and Laysan albatrosses and share their results with a broad group of stakeholders to ensure these species are adequately protected.

The Pepperwood Foundation, under the leadership of Fellow Lisa Micheli, hired Fellow Nicole Heller to work with the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative ( TBC3) science team to translate complex model results into practical information relevant to manager needs.
Sue Minter
The Switzer Network in Action

Sue Minter is running for Governor of Vermont! 

Megan Kelso was named a 2016 Delta Science Fellow for her work exploring the effects of drought and elevated nutrients on invasion by perennial pepperweed, and implications for carbon storage in tidal wetlands.
Read more

Mike Wilson has joined the Blue Green Alliance as the Director of the Occupational and Environmental Health program.
Read more

Ariana Spawn was named a 2017 NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellow.  She joins more than a dozen Switzer Fellows over the years who have received this prestigious opportunity.
Read more

Xantha Bruso was recognized as a 2016 Aspen Institute Innovation Lab First Mover Fellow for her work within PG&E to help solve the world's most challenging social and environmental problems.
Read more

Switzer Fellows took their messages to policy makers in Washington DC in March, 2016 as part of the Foundation's annual policy communications training for Fellows. Facilitated by our partners at COMPASS, Fellows met with legislative and agency staff, elected officials, and national-level NGOs to share their expertise on current policy issues. 
Foundation News
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Upcoming Events
2016 California Fall Fellows' Retreat
September 30 - October 2, 2016
Registration is now closed but we can still welcome our interviewers, mentors and grantees for the Sunday activities at the retreat.  Please contact Erin if you would like to attend.

2017 Switzer Environmental Fellowship deadlines
October 1, 2016:  Application period opens
January 9, 2017:  Applications due
May, 2017:  Final selection interviews in Boston and San Francisco
Our guidelines have evolved in recent years to reflect our desire to support leaders who possess the self-awareness and personal commitment to developing their leadership skills over the course of their career, and to those who value being a member of an active, vibrant, engaged network of environmental professionals.  We accept applications from both master's- and PhD-level candidates.  We will be especially interested in seeing many applications from leading master's candidates this year, and from people working on issues of environmental justice and equity.

Switzer Fellows Spring Retreat and Policy Communications Workshop
Saturday, March 11 - Monday, March 13, 2017
Washington, D.C.
For more information
A vibrant community of environmental leaders