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CEPB Students Win Awards and Fellowships

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By Mark Lubell - Posted on 29 July 2010

CEPB graduate students are highly encouraged (indeed, required) to apply for relevant fellowships and awards until they run out of eligibility. We have a pretty good track record of winning awards, and even those students who don't succeed in a particular year learn a lot of valuable grant writing skills (even they will tell you this is true, even though the process can be painful on top of classes and other duties). In 2010, Meredith Niles won a prestigous National Science Foundation graduate fellowship and Matt Hamilton was awarded the highly competitive Switzer Fellowship. Below is the announcement from Switzer, which went straight to the Dean of the Colleage of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and was accompanied by a widely broadcast press release. I'm not even listing all the students who have won awards, but congrats to those who have and keep trucking to those whose time is yet to come.

"Dear Dean Van Alfen,

We are writing to share the news with you that one of your graduate students, Matthew Hamilton, has achieved the high honor of being selected as a Switzer Environmental Fellow by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.

This year, the Switzer Foundation awarded 21 fellowships for emerging environmental leaders who are pursuing graduate degrees and are dedicated to positive environmental change in their careers. A brief description of Matthew's work is as follows:
Matthew Hamilton is an M.S. student in International Agricultural Development at the University of California, Davis, where he is advised by Dr. Mark Lubell and Dr. Richard Plant. He is interested in environmental and humanitarian applications of emerging geospatial technologies. At present, Matthew is leading a team of specialists from several Central American countries to develop a low-cost technique for gathering environmental and social data on water resources using high-resolution satellite imagery as base layers in participatory mapping exercises. By involving community members in the information-gathering process, these mapping exercises serve both to gather rich datasets and at the same time build social capital critical for improving land-use practices. His work is helping to improve the effectiveness of integrated water resource management projects carried out by the Global Water Initiative, a partnership of local and international NGOs. Before beginning his studies at UC Davis, Matthew was Developing Regions Program Coordinator at the Association of American Geographers. Earlier, he spent several years in Latin America working with local stakeholders to improve conservation of natural resources and ecosystem services, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay and later as an agroforestry extension volunteer with the Golden Lion Tamarin Association in Brazil. He has also worked for the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth in the U.S. He has a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

We hope that you will join us in congratulating Matthew. A full press release is attached. We urge you to use this in university publications and local media. We would ask that you copy us on any press this announcement receives.
Also attached is a brief description of the entire 2010 Switzer Fellowship class.

Please visit our website for more information about the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, our current and past awardees, and to view Switzer Network News as an example of the caliber of work our Fellows are doing. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Lissa Widoff, Executive Director
Erin Lloyd, Program Officer"