In August, the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation announced the winners of its half-million dollars worth of environmental fellowships and grants for 2011. There were 20 of them around the United States, master’s and Ph.D. students. Four — a fifth of the total — are pursuing studies at Berkeley.
Five more are students at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Santa Barbara, meaning the UC system accounts for just shy of half of all of this year’s Switzer awards, which, the foundation says, are “merit-based and rigorously competitive.”
“The heart of the Switzer Foundation,” said its board chair, Jen Sokolove, “is about supporting environmental leaders who are able to think across traditional disciplinary boundaries and shape the future of environmental science, policy, and study.”
At Berkeley, each receiving $15,000 to complete their degrees and advance their skills, are four after the foundation’s heart:
The application deadline these winners met was back in January 2011. Details on the next competition cycle will be announced in GradNews.
The Switzer Fellowships were created by a Cal alumnus, Bob Switzer, who came here on a Scaife Foundation scholarship to study chemistry, aiming at a career in medicine. His recovery from a severe head injury led to the invention, with his brother Joe, of the world’s first fluorescent paint, and a successful company, based on what Bob called Day-Glo colors. A lifelong environmentalist who also happened to be an executive in a regulated industry, Bob Switzer became concerned about a growing dearth of scientific expertise, so when the company sold in 1985, he used some of the proceeds to start the Switzer Foundation in order to help graduate students interested in solving environmental problems and to encourage them to become future environmental leaders.Explore article tags: Biology, Energy & Resource Management, ESPM, Graduate Fellowship, Law, Switzer Foundation