September 2017
Still time to register
for fall retreats!
Join Switzer staff, 2017 Fellows, and alumni at the fall retreats! The registration deadline for the New England retreat has passed, but we'd really like to see more alumni attending that retreat so if you're interested in attending, even if it's just for Sunday, please contact Erin as soon as possible. We're excited to have Sherri Mitchell, Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation and a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, speak to Fellows and invited colleagues about her experience as an activist and lawyer protecting indigenous rights.  The deadline for registering for the California retreat  is September 13th. We look forward to seeing many of you soon!
On Leadership: Advancing Equity

Executive Director Lissa Widoff writes this month about how the Switzer Foundation is working to better integrate equity into our vision of environmental leadership. As we aim to contribute to a pipeline of environmental leaders who are reflective of the changing demographics of the country, we are examining our own implicit biases and working with Fellows and alumni to learn how we can bridge diverse perspectives, backgrounds and leadership styles so that we can all forge a positive future.

Announcing a change to our Network Innovation Grant Program

We are in the process of updating all of our grant program guidelines for the coming fiscal year. We anticipate no major changes to any of them, with the exception of a new maximum amount available for Network Innovation grants. Formerly, the maximum amount considered for these grants was $40,000. However, in looking at demand for the program and our available grants budget, we will consider requests of $10,000 or less for now. This new limit allows us to continue making seed and small project grants under this program without impacting the amount available for Leadership Grants, which continues to be a very popular program. Please contact Erin with any questions about any of our grant programs.

Fellows at upcoming conferences?

If you will be attending any of the following conferences, please add your name to the Google spreadsheet available to all Fellows! We can help facilitate a Fellows' gathering if we know who will be there. Please also feel free to add any other large national or regional conferences that you think might attract other Fellows.  

  • 32nd annual WateReuse Symposium - Sept 10-13th, Phoenix, AZ
  • Bioneers 2017: Food and Farming - Oct 20-22nd, San Rafael, CA
  • Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Annual Meeting - Oct 25-27th, Chico, CA
  • Rally 2017: National Land Conservation Conference - Oct 26-28th, Denver, CO
  • Water Quality and Technology Conference - Nov 12-16th, Portland, OR
Becky Cushing: A birder who oversees protected land

Fellow Becky Cushing, Mass Audubon's Berkshire Sanctuaries director, is soaring. She is supervising six properties, hosting bird walks and organizing concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She says of her new home, "I feel like the Berkshires has all these hidden places to explore that make you feel like the first person to have found them."

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Shaye Wolf: Before Hurricane Harvey, Trump canceled coastal flood protections

Hurricane Harvey has unleashed heart-breaking devastation in South Texas. But the troubling truth is that even more damage is in store in the years ahead as climate change worsens - and our federal government is now on track to be less prepared, writes Fellow Shaye Wolf.

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Kim Smaczniak: Building up to a bailout

The Department of Energy (DoE) released a study of our nation's energy grid that attempts, but ultimately fails, to lay the groundwork for the coal industry to get a bailout, writes Fellow Kim Smaczniak.

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Up your #scicomm game anytime, anywhere with new online workbook from COMPASS

Our communications training partner, COMPASS, has released an online version of the Message Box Workbook, designed to help you change the way you think and talk about your work.

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Jessica Shade: Know the facts about organic agriculture... then form your perceptions

Studies show that organic farming practices can reduce negative environmental impacts and also can be applied within conventional operations to improve sustainability. Let's be aware of the facts and use that knowledge to work together to produce food in a way that does not stress our environment, but that nourishes and fosters the health of our world and of our world's population, writes Fellow Jessica Shade.

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Rachel Golden: Your gas appliance is making climate change worse

Fellow Rachel Golden writes for California to achieve its goals, it must address a source of climate pollution that is largely unchecked and literally hits close to home: the buildings where we live and work. Gas-powered appliances such as space and water heaters produce massive amounts of climate-damaging pollution. In fact, gas burned for heating is responsible for nearly as much carbon pollution as all of the state's power plants combined.

Nancy Steele: Rat poison is killing the wrong animals in Los Angeles

Living on the edge of urban sprawl in Los Angeles inevitably means dealing with the wild creatures who have lived there for thousands of years before homes were built, including rodents. But using anticoagulant rodenticide to control the rat and mouse population around homes can expose pets and local wildlife to this deadly poison, writes Fellow Nancy Steele.

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Upcoming Events
Network Call:  Natural Resource Management
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 12:30 pm ET

New England Fellows Fall Retreat
Friday, September 15 - Sunday, September 17, 2017
Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA

Network Call:  Environmental & Public Health
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 12:30 pm ET

California Fall Fellows Retreat
Friday, October 13 - Sunday, October 15, 2017
NatureBridge at Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA
Network Call:  Environmental Policy & Law
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 12:30 pm ET
Fellows in the News
Lara Cushing was quoted in Grist on why resistance to California's air pollution law is a sign of progress.

Jessica Shade presented to the UN's Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Development.

John Andrew was appointed to the new California Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group.

Jennifer Bowen's Facebook post, on how she was advised by the US Department of Energy to reword her grant proposal so as to avoid mentions of "climate change" or "global warming" was picked up by several media outlets including The Scientist.
Job News
Reed Schuler is a  Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, where he focuses on climate change issues.


Leslie Abramson recently accepted  a job as a full time adjunct instructor in environmental science and policy at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

Laura Bozzi will be the new Climate Change Program Manager at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Beverly Craig is now Senior Project Manager, Low & Moderate Income Programs, for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
A vibrant community of environmental leaders