November 2016
Fun at the Fall Retreats!
2016 California Fellows, and staff, at retreat
Our fall retreats were a terrific mix of learning, introspection, networking, and FUN!  Our new venue in New England, Harvard Forest, offered us the opportunity to check out their forest history dioramas, a large network of trails, and comfortable surroundings in houses dating back to the early 1800's.  In California, we returned to NatureBridge at Golden Gate for the spectacular scenery, the beach, and the trails.  Each retreat featured Friday orientation for new Fellows, a day-long leadership training with Rockwood Leadership Institute, and Sunday networking.  See Lissa's post about the new leadership training elements we included on social identity at the training.  Sunday also featured panel discussions with Fellows with deep experience in environmental justice, and issues of diversity and equity in their work and their lives.  In California, we heard from Fellow Tracey Osborne as she presented her work with Amazon Watch under a Switzer Leadership Grant.  Thanks to all who participated!
2017 Fellowship Applications now being accepted

The application period for 2017 Switzer Fellowships is now open!  Links to the guidelines and the online application are on our website.  The application deadline is January 9, 2017.  Please help spread the word to great candidates!  Feel free to pass along the Call for Applications to potential applicants, and for Fellows based at universities in New England or California, please pass it on to folks in your graduate student offices, diversity offices, and financial aid offices.  This year we are making a concerted effort to attract students of color, those from a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds, and students from traditionally underrepresented groups.  Our commitment to supporting diverse leaders to strengthen the environmental movement is strong, and we want to make sure we are reaching as many potential applicants as possible.  Please note, we are also interested in attracting more masters-level students to the Fellowship, as we've noticed a slight decline in the number of masters students applying.  Thanks for being great ambassadors of our programs and the Foundation!  Please contact Erin if you'd like outreach materials or talking points as you spread the word.
Time to plan some hikes or happy hours!

Yes, it is that time of year (at least here in northern New England) when we start thinking about ways to entertain ourselves in a warm, lighted place!  If you are interested in helping to plan an informal Fellows' gathering in your area, please let Erin know!  We'll be reaching out to Fellows in each of our regions to look for volunteers willing to be the point person to plan a happy hour, a meal, or a hike (or anything you like, really!) with your fellow Fellows.  These are fun and easy.  Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help!
Attention Fellows attending COP22!

And on the subject of Fellow gatherings, most of you probably saw the recent emails about Fellows attending upcoming conferences, including COP 22 in Marrakech.  Lissa will be in Morocco visiting an artist friend during COP and plans to attend part of the conference.  There will be a Fellows' gathering on Monday evening, November 14th in the salon of a private home in Marrakech.  The time and location will be announced shortly.  Fellows attending COP, be sure to let Lissa know you'll be there if you haven't already!
Conference attendance sheet

Thanks to the excellent suggestion by more than one of our Fellows, we have created a Google spreadsheet that all of you can access to let us know when you'll be attending a conference.  If you see other Fellows also attending, we will encourage you to try to get together while you're there!  The link to the spreadsheet is here.  Please use it as often as you attend conferences! 

Upcoming conferences which Fellows are attending:
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning:  11/3 - 11/5/16, Portland, OR
  • American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America international annual meeting:  11/6 - 11/9/16, Phoenix, AZ
  • COP 22:  11/5 - 11/16/16, Marrakech, Morocco
  • Western Society of Naturalists:  11/10 - 11/13/16, Monterey, CA
  • American Water Resources Association annual conference:  11/13 - 11/17/16, Orlando, FL
  • 4th Int'l Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas:  11/13 - 11/17/16, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Bay Delta Science Conference:  11/15 - 11/17/16, Sacramento, CA
So don't forget!  Add your name and conference information to the spreadsheet when you're attending a conference and we'll get you together with other Fellows!
For Fellows engaged in environmental health issues

We recently learned of a new initiative that may be of interest to those of you in the public health arena!  Healthy Babies, Bright Future is an alliance of NGOs, scientists and donors seeking to expand initiatives to reduce exposures to the most serious neurotoxins and chemicals in our environment and homes.  The elements of the initiative include place-based work in several cities, engagement of citizens for actions at all levels, and using evidence-based science to drive reductions in exposures.  The initiative has a deep communications strategy to expand investments in, and policy initiatives for, environmental improvement.  They may be interested in working with a Fellow through a Leadership Grant as they expand their capacity in the coming year.  To learn more, follow the link below and/or contact Jane Houlihan, Research Director (

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The Switzer Foundation's fossil fuel divestment is complete.  Now what?

As of May 2016, the Switzer Foundation has fully (99.98%) divested from the top 200 fossil fuel companies named in the Carbon Underground 200.  The future challenge that remains for us is the investment side of the commitment.  How do we invest in a clean energy future?  How do we sustain returns to maintain our programs?

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Greening cities makes for safer neighborhoods

J. Morgan Grove writes that within some neighborhoods, scientists are documenting a connection between trees and a specific social improvement:  a reduction in crime.  These studies combine modern mapping technology with spatial and economic statistics to compare crime levels between similar urban neighborhoods in the same city.

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Sumit Kadakia:  New Haven start-up turns waste into food

Fellow Sumit Kadakia and his wife have launched a New Haven-based start-up that is turning food production refuse into nutritious, tasty, and environmentally sustainable food.

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Jason Delborne:  Keeping up with the fast-moving science of gene drives

Jason Delborne served on the committee that recently released a report on the state of gene drive science and discussed next steps for scientists, stakeholders, regulatory agencies and the public.  Gene drives are a new approach to injecting new or modified genetic traits into populations of sexually reproducing species, as opposed to GMOs which are essentially new organisms that may be able to survive as a population.

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Getting started with a job in science communication

A job in SciComm involves you communicating science, typically to lay people, but sometimes to other scientists.  Examples include formal science education in a classroom, informal education in a setting like a museum, outreach to various populations, and science writing.

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The 50 most solar-saturated zip codes

Joe Rand says research from the Berkeley Lab, Elevate Energy, and the Center for Sustainable Energy shows that buyers think solar is a desirable feature but that they, realtors and appraisers need more help to find and value solar homes.

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H. Bruce Rinker says ECO-STEAM in education has the potential to help turn our educational institutions, and indeed our everyday lives, into laboratories of discovery and innovation in order to emulate nature.

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Upcoming Events
Switzer Fellows' Gathering at COP-22
Monday evening, November 14, 2016
Exact time to be announced
We will be hosting a gathering for Fellows who are attending COP-22 in Marrakech!  The gathering will be in the salon at the home of a local family with connections to a friend and colleague of Lissa's.  They will open their home to Fellows and other invited colleagues attending COP-22.  We will announce the exact time and location.

Now that Lauren Hertel, our Communications Manager, has returned to work after the birth of two healthy twin babies (Teddy and Natalie!), we will soon be developing the schedule of Switzer Fellows' networking calls for later this fall.  If you have any ideas for networking call topics, please let Lauren or Erin know.  Stay tuned, and welcome back, Lauren!
Fellows in the News
Linwood Pendleton was quoted in the Hollywood Reporter on which L.A. homes will face the consequences of global warming.

Erin McCreless's research finding most island vertebrate extinctions could be averted was widely quoted.

Jasmine Hyman won a $15,000 international women's PEO Scholar Award.  PEO is an international women's philanthropic educational organization.

Leigh Shemitz and SoundWaters were awarded a $10,000 grant to support summer STEM academy for at-risk students.

Keith Parker's work with lampreys in the Klamath River was featured on a local California TV station

Bridie McGreavy and Aram Calhoun have published on designing programs for vernal pool policy innovation.

Brian Beal says closing Maine clam flats is 'akin to doing nothing' about declining clam populations, and he is going town to town with his message.

Kimberley Miner's work on a climate resiliency plan was featured on local Maine television.
Fellow Job News
Candice Kim (2015) is now Senior Organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Glynnis Collins (1994) is now the Director of the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center in Nebraska.
A vibrant community of environmental leaders