Professional Development Grants

This small grant program is designed to provide direct support for professional development for Switzer Fellows. This program recognizes that funding for professional development is not readily available in the public sector and that environmental leaders benefit from new skills and opportunities to broaden their networks.

Switzer Fellows may request funds for training in nonprofit management, communications, leadership, or other relevant professional skills or for attendance at a conference or other professional activity that will clearly advance the fellow's career goals. Past grants have funded fellows to attend conferences that offered key networking opportunities or a chance to present their work to colleagues; participate in specific skills trainings like negotiation, facilitation, etc.; and to participate in leadership development programs for executive directors and other senior public sector staff.

Awards of up to $500 are made on a rolling basis. Please see How to Apply and contact Erin Lloyd, Program Director, for more information. Grants will be made at the discretion of the executive director or program director. Requests will be considered monthly to ensure rapid response time for requests. Grants are occasionally made at the foundation's discretion to other environmental leadership development programs that directly serve one or more Switzer Fellows.

Spotlight on Leadership

Bringing field ecology online
If outdoor learning were a religion, Erika Zavaleta would be among its foremost acolytes. An online ecology course, she realized, could attract students who would never consider taking a class requiring live field trips. By bringing field biology to a broader range of people, Zavaleta hopes the course will help broaden racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity in ecology and environmental studies. “I’m interested in making more ways for people to have an entry point to get interested in conservation, an internship at a reserve, or taking a class with a field component.”Read more >

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