2021 - Paul Switzer
Dr. Paul Switzer is a Professor in the Biological Sciences department at EIU. He is the founder and director of the Urban Butterfly Initiative (UBI), a multi-faceted, international community service organization dedicated to creating urban green spaces that are more ecologically functional by intergrating butterfly-friendly landscapes. UBI includes projects throughout Charleston, including on the EIU campus, and has spread internationally as well with sites now in India. Dr. Switzer forged important partnerships with the City of Charleston, IL Department of Natural Resources, Fox Ridge Foundation, EIU student group EIU Earthwise, the Rajana Trust in India, and many other stakeholders in the establishment of butterfly hotspots. Additionally, Dr. Switzer has organized a citizen science project affiliated with UBI, the Charleston Butterfly Blitz, as an annual event with over 40 participants in 2020 and 2021, resulting in 3500 butterfly observations. He serves as the president of the Grand Prairie Butterfly Club, which he created in 2003, and which now has nearly 400 members. Dr. Switzer plans the organization's fieldtrips and maintains their website, which serves as an important outreach endeavor. Dr. Switzer also initiated and developed the Box Turtle Community Project, another citizen science project. He regularly submits observations to iNaturalist and eBird, and he is the coordinator/developer of marine animal educational displays. On top of this intenstive outreach and community service, Dr. Switzer serves on myriad departmental committees, including Biological Science's DPC. Dr. Switzer's exceptional service record both on and off campus, particularly with the UBI, reflects the dedication to service that the Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award exemplifies. Congratulations, Dr. Switzer!
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Faculty Senate, "2021 - Paul Switzer" (2021). Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award. 7.