Stanford University
A picture of Cassandra Brooks in the snow next to a picture of Daniel Swain

Cassandra Brooks (left) and Daniel Swain (right). Images courtesy of Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation.

2015 Switzer Environmental Fellowship Awardees

ClockDecember 10, 2015

Cassandra Brooks and Daniel Swain are among twenty-two environmental scholars who received this year's Switzer Environmental Fellowship, a program of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation that recognizes the achievements of environmental leaders and their potential to drive positive change.  Brooks 

Brooks is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Brook's research focuses on international ocean policy, particularly marine protection in the Antarctic.  She has experience studying fish species in the Ross Sea (the most remote fishery on Earth), and has worked with New England groundfish boats as a federal fisheries observer.  She plans to work at the intersection of science and policy on sustainable oceans management.

Swain, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Earth System Science, examines the role of persistent atmospheric patterns in driving droughts and floods in western North America.  Swain is actively engaged in science communication, including authoring the California Weather Blog.  In his career, he will inform climate policy by communicating important information about the character, extent, and timing of changes to the Earth’s climate system due to human activities.

The 22 Switzer Environmental Fellowships total $330,000 in awards, each one for $15,000.  The Switzer Environmental Fellowship is the hallmark of Switzer Foundation programs and this year’s Fellows embody the spirit of creative and collaborative leadership.  In addition to these Fellowships, $85,000 has been awarded in 2015 under other related Switzer grant programs, including our Leadership Grant ProgramSwitzer Network Innovation Grant program, and our Professional Development Program, all of which support the environmental leadership careers of Switzer Fellows.

Each year, at least 20 promising environmental leaders are awarded $15,000 each to complete masters and doctoral degrees to advance their skills and develop their expertise to address critical environmental challenges.  Nearly $15 million in grants has been invested in Switzer Fellows over a 29-year period.  The Switzer Foundation identifies, supports and nurtures emerging environmental leaders. “This year’s Switzer Fellows are innovators and are dedicated to bringing their research and academic scholarship to real world environmental issues,” says Lissa Widoff, Switzer Foundation Executive Director.  “We are thrilled to see the range of schools and professional fields of study in this year’s cohort.  We know they will benefit not only from our funding, but also from the leadership training and convenings we offer.  This will position them for leadership in the nonprofit, government, business and academic sectors in the near future.”  Fellowships are merit-based and rigorously competitive.  Candidates must be recognized for their leadership capacity by their academic institution or by environmental experts.

Past Stanford Earth awardees of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship include Frances Moore (2009)Amy Luers (2000), and Patrick Archie (2000).

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