2017-18 Projects

CivicSpark Fellowship Applicants: Projects with a leaf symbol () are Climate related and projects with a water drop symbol () are Water related. As projects are filled, be sure to check the “Openings” section of each to see if the position is still open (0 of 1 means position has been filled).

Stay updated by liking us on Facebook and subscribing to our monthly CivicSpark newsletter!

North Coast Region

 Community Choice Energy Program Outreach and Analysis

Organization: Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Location: Eureka, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) is a joint powers authority formed in 2003 with the purpose of developing and implementing sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient, and renewable resources available in the region. This project will involve an aspect of community outreach in which the Fellow will help develop and promote Community Choice Energy (CCE) program campaigns as well as targeted outreach efforts for other RCEA initiatives, including promoting electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and local government policies that will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The project will also incorporate an aspect of analysis in which the Fellow will evaluate the costs and benefits of specific energy projects of interest to RCEA programs and member agencies. This will involve economic, environmental, and/or social cost-benefit analyses or projects with the goal of helping the County reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy.

The ideal Fellow will have analytical proficiency and strong interpersonal skills. Analysis and interpretation of data will be a key component of the project. The Fellow should be comfortable speaking in front of a group and articulate details of the project to community members in an easy to understand way.

 Community Choice Energy Program Environmental and Economic Analysis

Organization: Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Location: Eureka, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: RCEA recently launched a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program. Community Choice Energy has proven to be the fastest and most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from household and business energy use. This project will work to determine and evaluate the costs and benefits of specific energy projects of interest to the CCE program. This will involve economic, environmental, and/or social cost-benefit analysis. The project may also include some planning and coordination with researchers and instructors at the local university to help answer technical questions regarding proposed renewable energy project development and customer programs. The Fellow working on planning and analysis for RCEA’s CCE program will contribute to a coordinated effort to access the best information available, and deliver research and analysis of specific questions determined by the CCE team. This may involve tracking the life-cycle of woody debris used in local biomass plants to help determine its carbon intensity and preparing a written summary; or determining the differences in cost of solar infrastructure based on geographical attributes displayed in a layer-map or tabular worksheet. The possible planning and analysis tasks and outcomes for this project are numerous and will largely depend on the skills and interests of the Fellow. However, for the upcoming year RCEA is mostly focused on costs and benefits of local renewable energy sources, including biomass, solar, and wind generation, as well as customer programs and policies that would help the County reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy. Aspects of this project may also involve organizing information in a way that is easily accessible to Board members, City Councils, and the wider public.

The ideal Fellow will be interested in environmental planning, environmental economics, or socioeconomics, and be able to collect and analyze data. A Fellow with GIS mapping skills would fill a significant gap for RCEA and foster data sharing and collaboration with other local government agencies and organizations that use ArcGIS as a planning tool.

Sierra Nevada Region

 Placer County Climate Action Plan

Organization: Placer County Community Development Resource Agency Planning Division
Location: Auburn, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Placer County is located in both the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada regions, in what is known as the Gold Country. The Placer County Planning Division, in partnership with the Placer County Air Pollution Control District (PCAPCD), is currently working to complete its first Climate Action Plan (CAP). The Fellow will assist with the development of the CAP in close collaboration with staff, as well as assist the CAP project manager in research related to GHG emission reduction strategies and adaption programs that may be folded into preliminary CAP policy recommendations.  In addition, the Fellow will help update the County’s GHG Emissions Inventories, as well as work with the project manager on public and stakeholder outreach through workshops and meetings.

The ideal Fellow will have a broad knowledge of the current climate change policies at the state and local government level, and computer skills to apply models for quantifying GHG mitigation strategies. In addition, the Fellow should have knowledge of communication and public outreach.

 Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program

Organization: Sierra Business Council
Location: Truckee, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Sierra Business Council (SBC) pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. Through SBC’s Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (CAMP), the Fellow will have the opportunity to engage in the following activities: 1) engage with Sierra leaders in government, business, academia & community groups to share best practices, identify critical needs and strategies that benefit a broad range of local and downstream constituencies, and conduct research, education and outreach around regional-specific local adaptation strategies towards climate change, 2) engage with other California climate collaborative organizations to build and strengthen connections within downstream cities that rely on rural resource areas, as a means of building a stronger collective voice for investment in community and resource resilience. In addition, the Fellow will have the opportunity to support the City of Sonora and other Sierra jurisdictions in the implementation and advancement of their newly-established Energy/Climate Action Plans through the facilitation of working group meetings, coordinating outreach events, educational activities, and community trainings, assisting with tracking of current plan progress and Beacon Program reporting, among others tasks. The Fellow will also assist two local governments in the Sierra Nevada with the development of their Energy/Climate Action Plans through researching existing codes/ordinances/general plans for energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy actions and opportunities; stakeholder engagement, community outreach, and education; re-inventory community and municipal operations GHG emissions, among others.

The ideal Fellow will have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work independently. The Fellow will be co-leading webinars, conducting outreach, and presenting in front of groups, thus they must be comfortable with communication skills. SBC is a fast-moving environment and a Fellow who can meet with supervisors and then perform the tasks independently will thrive. Experience with climate and energy policy, data analysis and technical report writing a plus.

 Truckee Climate Action

Organization: Town of Truckee
Location: Truckee, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Town of Truckee is at a crossroads; literally as the transportation connection across the northern Sierra and figuratively as the Town grapples with growth, affordability, environmental quality, and community resilience. As a rural mountain town, climate action planning is not explicitly required, but true to its entrepreneurial and progressive spirit, Truckee has embarked on climate change strategies by developing a community-wide GHG inventory, and committing to a comprehensive General Plan update that will incorporate climate change policy and community resilience. By embedding sustainability principles throughout the General Plan, the Town can develop a culture of sustainability. This project will involve extensive public engagement to help design a vision for sustainability and climate action in the community. Research will be conducted to find best practices from other jurisdictions that have gone on a similar path to achieve climate goals. Engagement of stakeholders, including special districts which provide many community services, is a critical piece of Truckee’s sustainability vision. Once the policies and actions are developed, the final piece of this project is to design an implementation and monitoring program in concert with a communications strategy to give transparency and awareness of the Town’s climate action progress. It is anticipated that the Fellow will contribute in all of the above project components, and specific tasks will depend on the background, qualifications, and interest of the selected candidate. Some duties may include drafting content, public outreach, and facilitating public workshops; research best practices of other local governments; and designing a communications platform and strategy. More practical steps the Town is taking in the short term to accompany this effort are updating the baseline GHG inventory and forecasting future emissions. The Fellow would certainly play a fundamental role in this work as well.

The ideal Fellow will have strong analytical proficiency and communication. Analysis and interpretation of data and policy will be a key component of the project, as is the ability to identify a course of action and execute with minimal supervision. The Fellow should be a good listener as well as be comfortable speaking in front of a group and articulate details of the project to community members in an easy to understand way.

Sacramento Region

 Chico Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Initiative / PowerButte: Sustainability Updates

Organization: City of Chico Community Development Department / Butte County Department of Development Services
Location: Chico/Oroville, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: PowerButte is the face of Butte County‘s commitment to encourage renewable energy and GHG reduction. It encompasses County initiatives related to its Climate Action Plan, Utility-Scale Solar Energy Guide, and other programs in support of sustainability. The City of Chico‘s 2020 Climate Action Plan (CAP) outlines strategies for a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that are directly and indirectly generated by local activities. Further, the City is aware of the need to update various City documents to comply with State sustainability legislation. To meet its objectives, the City proposes to initiate updates to its General Plan Safety Element and Local Hazard Mitigation Plan to incorporate strategies for climate adaptation and resiliency. The Fellow will support these updates, which will be featured on the City’s Sustainability website.

The Fellow will work in a collaborative environment that will include interaction with City of Chico and Butte County’s staff, and geography students enrolled in CSU Chico’s fall 2017, GEOG 506 Community Service Practice in Geography class, taught by Dr. Mark Stemen (who is also the Chair of the City’s Sustainability Task Force). Students in the class will be preparing a Draft Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment that identifies the risks climate change poses to the County. In partnership with the students, the Fellow will develop a Draft Climate Change Preparedness Plan that will prepare for the impacts of climate change on the County and City’s economic and natural ecosystems and promote a climate resilient community. The Fellow will act as a liaison between the class and County and City staff, and will also assist the County and City in updating various documents, such as the County’s CAP, to comply with State sustainability initiatives.

The ideal Fellow will possess strong research abilities and writing skills, and a working knowledge of sustainability practices and processes.  They should be comfortable in multi-tasking, prioritizing tasks, and working in a collaborative environment as well as independently with minimal supervision. The Fellow should also be adept at working with a variety of people in a professional and effective manner.

 Automatic Metering Implementation

Organization: Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District
Location: Hidden Valley Lake, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: In the pastoral countryside of Lake County, Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District (HVLCSD) is located in the south, adjacent to Napa and Sonoma Counties. Noted for its clean air and large bodies of water, Lake County’s HVLCSD is committed to providing, maintaining, and protecting its community’s water. The Fellow will assist HVLCSD with their Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project. As Project Coordinator for the AMI Project, the Fellow will gather data on household water consumption, water meters, and billing information. The Fellow will play an active role in helping both HVLCSD and its community members conserve water in accordance with statewide water conservation goals, which will help move the District towards exemplary performance in water conservation – a crucial step towards the concept, One California, One Water.

The ideal Fellow have a strong familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel and Publisher, as well as be skilled both in oral and written communication as the Fellow will be working with multiple staff as well as performing public outreach and education events.

 Stormflow 2017

Organization: Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District
Location: Hidden Valley Lake, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: In the pastoral countryside of Lake County, Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District (HVLCSD) is located in the south, adjacent to Napa and Sonoma Counties. Noted for its clean air and large bodies of water, Lake County’s HVLCSD is committed to providing, maintaining, and protecting its community’s water. HVLCSD, like many municipalities in California, experienced record-setting rainfall events in both January and February of 2017. Now locally dubbed “Stormflow 2017”, these rain events set in motion numerous repair and mitigation project opportunities. The Fellow will participate in the mapping and construction of a viable, resilient wastewater collection system following these events, and will participate in the mapping of the wastewater collection system with in-house ArcGIS tools. The Fellow will also assist with repair projects, such as lift station overhaul, Infiltration and Influent (I & I) mitigation, and filtration media replacement, as well as supporting in-house administration staff. These projects will bring the Fellow out into the field.

The ideal Fellows will have a strong familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel, and be willing and able to travel (driving and walking) through the Hidden Valley Lake community to catalog infrastructure equipment via GIS mapping tools.

 ZEV Readiness and Implementation

Organization: City of Sacramento
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Sacramento is a participant in the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition, and recently worked with other agency and community partners to develop a countywide electric vehicle (EV) readiness and infrastructure plan. The City was hailed in 2015 as the #1 Green Fleet in North America, with 50% alternative fuels and ongoing investments in electrification. Sacramento applied to the US DOTSmart City Challenge, and is currently participating in Transportation for America’s Smart City Collaborative. As the capital of California, the City has prime opportunity to showcase new and innovative zero emission vehicle (ZEV) programs in the heart of California. The Fellow will be responsible for supporting with the implementation of ZEV readiness initiatives, with a priority in conducting research and assisting with the development of new programs for emerging ZEV issues. Primary activities are anticipated to include preparation of processes for curbside EV charging, educational and marketing initiatives, and the expansion of EV infrastructure to underserved areas. Other responsibilities will include general support for other City sustainability initiatives. Tasks may include preparation of reports for climate action monitoring and reporting, awards submissions, and updates to sustainability content on the City website.

The ideal Fellow will have experience working for local governments, or have an education background in public administration, city and regional planning, or a similar field; analytical experience with greenhouse gas emissions inventories and forecasting; knowledge of ZEV or clean transportation technologies, and a foundation in general sustainability topics.

 Food Waste Reduction, Urban-Rural Connection, and Energy Conservation and Reduction

Organization: Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) is a leader in addressing climate change in the Sacramento Region, working with partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support public health and air quality, and build climate resilience. Two Fellows will work across four projects that will enable them to build expertise and skills across a range of topics and collaborate with a regional network of stakeholders. The two main projects will be: 1) Food Waste Reduction – diverting food and organic waste from landfill significantly reduces methane emissions while helping to feed the hungry and generate renewable energy. SMAQMD is working with Sacramento County organizations to increase commercial food waste diversion to an anaerobic digester to generate renewable natural gas. Building on current efforts, Fellows will engage Sacramento businesses, schools, and other food-waste generating facilities to increase their diversion of food waste; 2) Urban Rural Connection – bridging the gap between urban and rural communities on climate change can help build resilience statewide. Investing in Sierra Nevada forests and watersheds can grow jobs for rural communities while improving air quality, water resources, and flood resilience for downstream cities. Fellows will work with the Capital Region and Sierra adaptation collaboratives to help further policymakers’ understanding of the importance of the urban-rural connection and help develop initiatives to support regional climate adaptation. The two smaller projects will be: 1) Energy Conservation – SMAQMD’s Home Energy Conservation Program provides low-income homeowners with free Tier 1 energy efficiency retrofits. Fellows will build on efforts to market this program to community members, focusing on increasing participant diversity, and help build community awareness of climate health impacts; 4) Idle Reduction – Idling your car (running the engine when not in use) wastes fuel and generates GHG emissions and air pollution. Fellows will develop a community program to encourage residents to not idle in places like schools and shopping centers.

The ideal Fellows will be enthusiastic about communicating and engaging with the climate community. They will be working with a wide range of people, from disadvantaged community members, businesses, non-profits, and other climate mitigation and adaptation professionals. The projects will require communication and collaboration with various stakeholders, as well as outreach at the community level to neighborhood associations, businesses, and more. The Fellows should also be able to think holistically across climate and adaptation issues and policies, with the ability to understand and communicate multiple benefits to different stakeholders.

 Cooling California’s Capitol

Organization: Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Sacramento region experiences heat related illness and death rates in excess of the state average. If not addressed, the trend of increasing average day and nighttime temperatures could have a significant negative impact on personal health, quality of life, tree canopy, water supply, worker productivity and overall economic vitality of the region. More integrated and focused planning among local governments, water and energy utilities, the health sector, and private builders, developers and citizens, is required to elevate regional understanding of the problem and mobilize to address current and future excessive heat pollution. Last fall, the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRCRC) members decided to develop an Urban Heat Island (UHI) Initiative to accomplish those objectives via additional research, public and private partnerships, new program development & outreach, and targeted incentives. This Fellowship opportunity, hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) and other members of the CRCRC, will directly tackle excessive heat pollution and assist the region with one of its most critical climate adaptation challenges. The Fellow selected will be the Project Lead and manage multiple aspects of the effort. The Fellow will compile and summarize existing peer-reviewed research findings and identify critical additional research questions specific to the region, research local process and participants involved in classifying heat illness and death, help explore and plan for future research projects with university and government partners, meet with members of the CRCRC to summarize their existing work and identify future options to address heat pollution, refine estimates of energy demand related to temperature increases, coordinate input into regional Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), write summary material and create content applicable to specific sectors (health, built environment, etc.), create fact sheets, web pages and social media posts, conduct outreach to leaders in those sectors and enlist support for the initiative, and plan or help promote special events as appropriate. In addition to supporting the UHI initiative, the Fellow will collaborate with other local agency staff or other Fellows in the CRCRC or Sierra CAMP regions to support short-term efforts that are often formed to address ad-hoc climate resilience planning needs, such as specific issue research, policy memo development, event planning, or new project development.

The ideal Fellow will be a self-starter who has the more typical qualities of an introvert (critical thinking, research; analysis, content to work behind the scenes) with those of an extrovert (enthusiasm, confidence, enjoyment of collaboration and interaction with people to learn and share findings). Coursework, experience and interest in local and regional government, social, physical or health sciences, architecture or design are valuable. Good writing and editing skills and proficiency with standard digital office tools is expected. Project focus and deliverables can be tailored somewhat to fit the best candidate.

 GHG Reduction Strategy Implementation Study

Organization: California Air Resources Board
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) across the state, and as such, endeavors to provide resources that support local governments’ efforts to reduce GHGs and implement sustainable community strategies. ARB staff have identified a need to provide more information and tools for local governments seeking to reduce their carbon footprints. The Fellow would support cities that are updating and implementing Climate Action Plans and General Plans; specifically the Fellow would support an ARB partnership with at least one local government that is updating or implementing a plan containing climate-related strategies. They would use this role to ground-truth information and fine-tune it for use as a “best practice” resource. The Fellow’s tasks would include: (1) identification of priority GHG reduction strategies (from existing lists, e.g., policy documents and ARB’s strategy database) with a focus on strategies that are land use and transportation-related, (2) research on prioritized strategies (e.g., identify the implementation steps for each strategy, inventory relevant city ordinances or other implementation milestones, identify funding to support these strategies, interview city staff about costs/barriers/pros/cons of the milestones), and (3) development of step-by-step guides and case studies for communities that have successfully implemented strategies. This effort will be conducted in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and various local governments and local government organizations.

The ideal Fellow will have the ability to organize information collected through web and phone research, good interpersonal and communication skills including ability to develop and present written and verbal reports to various groups, be detail-oriented and a team player, and be able to multitask. The Fellow should also have experience with data manipulation and analysis, and a general knowledge of climate change, climate change policies, and programs to reduce greenhouse gases.

 Sacramento Regional Ecosystem and Groundwater Management

Organization: Sacramento Water Forum
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 2 of 2

Project Description: The Sacramento Water Forum is a diverse group of business and agricultural leaders, citizen groups, environmentalists, water managers, and local governments working together to balance two co-equal goals: to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region and to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River. The Water Forum achieves these goals through on the ground ecosystem restoration, extensive monitoring of restoration projects, facilitation of stakeholder meetings, development of a more fish-friendly flow regime, and outreach. The Fellows will work side by side with the dynamic team of five on these issues. Some of the primary projects the Fellows will work on are: ensuring maintenance for a 1 mile long naturalized creek, developing and implementing a ‘Friends of Cordova Creek’ community program, geo-referencing and mapping fall-run salmon from aerial photos, supporting outreach and coordination with ongoing groundwater management negotiations, and assisting with fieldwork as needed.

The ideal candidate will have strong written and verbal communication skills and an interest in both office and field-work. Preference for candidates with a background in GIS, WordPress, Adobe, and/or a background in outreach and marketing. Access to a personal vehicle preferred.

San Francisco Bay Area

 Climate Change and Health Equity Capacity Building for Local Health Departments

Organization: California Department of Public Health – Office of Health Equity
Location: Richmond, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The CalBRACE project’s goals are to enhance the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) capability to plan for and reduce health risks associated with climate change. CalBRACE is implementing an adaption planning process that utilizes the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Fellow will play a key role in communicating and providing technical assistance to local county and city health departments, and developing and disseminating materials to increase capacity of local health departments in California to support objectives of the CalBRACE and the Climate Change and Health Equity Program. The Fellow will conduct activities with two specific counties to communicate climate change utilizing the “OutsideIn” Campaign and/or other materials. With support from CDPH staff, the Fellow will schedule and coordinate meetings with counties’ staffs, provide technical assistance in developing and carrying out activities utilizing approved materials, and facilitate engagement with local climate change, civic organizations, multi-sector agency and public health staff.

The ideal Fellow will have an interest in health equity, climate change and public health, as well as an interest and ability in communicate orally and in writing with a variety of stakeholders, and be willing to facilitate and present in meetings with CDPH staff and external stakeholders. They will also have experience and interest in basic research on climate change and health topics, and the ability to analyze and summarize methods and findings.

 San Francisco Green Business Program

Organization: SF Environment
Location: San Francisco, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Housed in the innovative and forward thinking San Francisco Department of Environment (SF Environment), the San Francisco Green Business Program assists, recognizes, and promotes local small to medium-sized companies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. The Fellow’s role with the Green Business Program will be multifaceted, involving working face-to-face with businesses, collecting and analyzing environmental metric data, to marketing and recruiting new businesses to the program. The Fellow will perform environmental assessments (looking at businesses energy, water, waste, and pollution prevention practices), create environmental reports, and assist in organizing the San Francisco Green Business Awards.

The ideal Fellow will be well organized, be able to handle multiple projects at any given time, and be able to complete projects without major oversight or supervision.

 San Francisco Energy Efficiency

Organization: SF Environment
Location: San Francisco, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The San Francisco Department of Environment’s (SF Environment) Energy team needs a Fellow to assist them with programs such as the San Francisco Energy Watch and the BayRENMultifamily program. SF Environment provides site audits, project development, financing, and incentives to most of the City’s buildings, including commercial tenants, small business owners, property managers and building owners. They also use Strategic Energy Resources (SER) funding to pilot ideas and craft innovative future programs. An example of a current SER project is “Energy Efficiency in the Recreational Cannabis Industry”. In 2018, recreational cannabis use will be legal, and San Francisco is expected to become a hub of economic development. Through states with a recreational market, it is known that indoor cultivation results in significant energy loads. San Francisco is preparing to address this through local requirements which may include energy efficiency and renewable energy. The City is also working to better serve with existing energy program, and to understand how to craft a more specific offering. In another project, “Comprehensive Maintenance in the Food & Beverage Sector”, staff address a sector continually challenged with deferred maintenance. Through this project, staff are testing several tools such as energy monitoring, maintenance training, equipment tune-ups and buy-downs, and smartphone apps to empower owners to gain control of their equipment’s energy use. Through the “Microloan” pilot, SF Environment targets sites underserved by financing projects with co-pays of under $2500. This pilot connects potential customers with a local non-profit, zero-percent lender to fund energy efficiency costs. In the project “Investigating and Improving the Distribution of Energy Performance Outcomes from the ECBO” (Distribution Shaping), SF Environment targets high-energy users, as determined by submitted benchmarking data. Interval meter analysis is done to identify potential efficiency measures before on-site follow up. The Fellow will assist with all of these projects in some capacity.

The ideal Fellow will have some technical background, such as science, engineering, or environmental studies, in addition to strong writing and interpersonal skills, and intermediate Excel skills. The Fellow will assist in writing reports for customers, the utility partner (PG&E), and the public. Finally, energy auditing can be physical work, including walking, stair-climbing and working in mechanical rooms and garages, so the Fellow should be comfortable with this aspect of the project.

 Santa Clara CAP Update

Organization: City of Santa Clara – Planning Division
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Santa Clara adopted their Climate Action Plan (CAP), and its electric and water utilities have taken concrete steps towards reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs), including divesting the City’s energy portfolio of coal-fired power. The City is now looking to identify additional actions to reduce GHGs to adjust to changing conditions, and to draft initial strategies to build resilience and adaptation into the CAP. The Fellow will help identify new and novel GHG reduction measures, quantify their net benefit to the City’s CAP, and determine the ability of the City to measure the progress of (existing and proposed) individual reduction measures towards meeting CAP goals. Reporting to the Planning Division, the Fellow would be responsible for coordinating with partner divisions and departments to ensure the ability of the City to monitor the progress towards CAP goals. The Fellow would also be responsible for initial research into climate adaptation and resilience strategies, including responses to sea-level rise, increased climate variability, and more severe weather events, and compile their research and policy recommendations into a report for review by the City’s sustainability committee, the City Planning Commission and City Council. These recommendations would then inform the City’s CAP update, expected to start in late 2017 and be completed by the beginning of 2019.

The ideal Fellow will be able to work with a variety of partner departments and to understand partner departments’ ability to implement and track proposed reduction measures. They should be able to prepare well-organized reports that document their research, and distill and clearly explain potential reduction strategies to City staff and the public. Strong writing and verbal communication skills are a must.

 Hayward Shoreline Master Plan

Organization: Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency
Location: Hayward, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency (HASPA), established in 1970 as a Joint Powers Authority, is made up of the City of Hayward, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), and the East Bay Regional Park District. HASPA’s JPA was renewed in 2015 with the expressed intent of addressing sea level rise. HASPA intends to prepare a Shoreline Master Plan to determine the most appropriate adaptation strategies for different portions of the shoreline. The Fellow will assist with assessing vulnerabilities, outreaching to stakeholders and the community, compiling data and preparing portions of the Shoreline Master Plan.

The ideal Fellow will have strong written and oral communication skills and must be able to collect, compile, analyze and present a variety of data in a meaningful way.

 Sonoma Climate Action Implementation

Organization: Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) published and adopted the Sonoma County Regional Climate Action Plan (CAP) in June 2016. The RCPA CAP includes greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures across six sectors. Each of the ten local jurisdictions and Regional Agency partners have articulated commitments within the plan, but the RCPA has not conducted an update to countywide GHG inventories nor measured implementation progress. Therefore monitoring, evaluation, and reporting are integral components of CAP implementation. The Fellow will evaluate CAP measure progress and work directly with local jurisdictions to track and assess progress. The Fellow will also prepare a GHG Inventory for Sonoma County and nine incorporated cities, and facilitate implementation of the CAP.

The ideal Fellow will have a solid foundation from courses or entry level experience in environmental policy, science, or planning degrees with an emphasis in energy or climate. Data research, management, and analysis skills are essential as is comfort with excel based spreadsheets. The Fellow will also be able to organize and communicate findings effectively.

 San Leandro Climate Action and Adaptation Planning

Organization: City of San Leandro
Location: San Leandro, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of San Leandro will be updating its 2009 Climate Action Plan (CAP) to address the State of California Air Resources Board (CARB) guidelines for new reductions targets. The Fellow will be assisting the City’s effort to update its reductions goals to the new horizon years of 2030 and 2050 and engaging in public outreach efforts to create stakeholder momentum behind climate action. The Fellow will complete the updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory for the City and community, which will enable the City to fulfill its obligations to the Compact of Mayors via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and to measure its progress towards the goal of 25% below 2005 levels by 2020. The Fellow will conduct policy research, coordination of public engagement through social media (through the launch of the City’s first climate-focused social media platform) and community meetings, and assistance with preparing updates to City Council on progress. The CAP will also address the need for the city to prepare for climate hazards already identified and to lay out the steps needed to plan for adaption to climate change.

The ideal Fellow will be a self-starter and be able to work independently and without constant guidance to conduct research and data analysis. They should also be able to manage data in Excel, and be able to distill complex technical ideas and communicate them via writing for public engagement platforms in layperson terms.

 Water Use Efficiency Targets Analysis

Organization: Alameda County Water District
Location: Fremont, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The Alameda County Water District (ACWD) is planning to establish new State required efficiency targets. The Fellows will assist the District to analyze water use data, primarily outdoor water use, including landscape area measurement data and landscape installation information, which will be used to set the targets. The Fellow may also assist with identifying methods to help meet the new targets in the future. Fellows will provide the District with service area-wide landscape area measurements, by year installed, and analysis of efficient water use goals (targets) for these landscaped areas, as well as a preliminary list of methods to achieve more efficient use to meet these targets.

The ideal Fellows will have strong data analysis and database management skills, and GIS experience would be a plus. This position may require some driving to carry out field visits, so a valid Driver’s License is ideal.

 Piedmont Climate Action Plan

Organization: City of Piedmont
Location: Piedmont, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Piedmont is in the process of updating their Climate Action Plan (CAP) to take the City through 2030 and 2050. The Fellow will assist City staff in having the updated CAP publicly vetted and adopted by City Council. Once adopted, the Fellow will choose several items from the new plan to implement, including conversions of post top streelights to LEDs, developing energy assessment disclosure programs, streamlining building permit to provide better and more searchable data, residential education programs, and more. The Fellow will also complete a 2016 greenhouse gas inventory. The plan and inventory should help the Fellow measure the estimated impact in reduced GHG emissions that the programs implemented will accomplish.

The ideal Fellow will have strong writing and analytical skills, is able to meet deadlines in a timely fashion, and is capable of working both in a team and independently. The Fellow will also have a strong grasp of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Other software, such as GIS and Adobe Creative Suite are a plus.

 Hayward Sustainability Metrics

Organization: City of Hayward
Location: Hayward, CA
Openings: 0 of 1 (the Fellow will be split between Hayward and Dublin)

Project Description: The City of Hayward has aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the diversion of solid waste from landfills, and maximizing water conservation. Hayward recently established a goal to achieve zero net energy throughout the portfolio of City facilities. By 2025, Hayward intends to have installed enough renewable energy facilities to produce as much energy as is used throughout all city facilities; currently, the City produces approximately 55% of the energy used. The Fellow will monitor Hayward’s water, electricity and natural gas use; track other sustainability metrics including solid waste diversion, fuel use by City vehicles, and reduction of pollutants in stormwater; clearly and accurately convey sustainability metrics to executive staff, City Council members and the community, among other tasks.

The ideal Fellow will be a team player and be able to work collaboratively with a variety of personalities. The Fellow must have strong analytical skills and be able to present complex data clearly.

 Dublin 2030 2050 Climate Action Plan

Organization: City of Dublin
Location: Dublin, CA
Openings: 0 of 1 (the Fellow will be split between Dublin and Hayward)

Project Description: The City of Dublin has a 2020 Climate Action Plan (CAP) that was originally adopted in 2010 and updated in 2013 outlining 34 initiatives to help achieve the City’s goal of 25% below business-as-usual GHG emissions by 2020. Dublin is a rapidly growing city; the population in 2010 was 46,000, today it is 60,000. This rapid growth was and will be taken into consideration when identifying CAP initiatives. The City of Dublin plans to complete a 2030/2050 CAP in fiscal year 2018 with the help of a Fellow. The Fellow will assist in the completion of a GHG inventory to establish a baseline for the 2030/2050 CAP planning and assess how effective the initiatives from the current CAP have been. New initiatives to achieve aggressive GHG reduction will be created along with an implementation plan. Outreach to the community for input on priorities for the 2030/2050 CAP update will be a component of the Fellow’s work. The Fellow will also be encouraged to provide initiatives for inclusion in the CAP by researching measures implemented in other cities across the country and collaborating with other Fellows or city staff in neighboring jurisdictions. By the completion of the Fellow’s year at Dublin, the City plans to have a completed 2030/2050 CAP with a detailed implementation plan and timeline. If time allows, the Fellow will work on implementation of identified initiatives at City facilities and possibly conduct outreach to the community on elements of 2030 CAP implementation.

The ideal Fellow will be excited to engage in a critical assessment of Dublin’s current CAP implementation and proactively engage with Dublin city staff, residents, business owners and regional neighbors regarding establishing initiatives to achieve 2030/2050 GHG reduction goals. The Fellow will also be familiar with current climate change mitigation strategies, be organized, skilled at research, comfortable working somewhat autonomously, and be a critical thinker. They should also be comfortable with both data gathering and analytics and engaging community for input and participation in planning and action.

 Climate Change Action Plan Development

Organization: Santa Clara Valley Water District
Location: San Jose, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages an integrated water resources system providing water supply, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County’s residents. Since 2008, the District Board has been very engaged in climate change since it presents significant risks to the District’s core services and more. The District has implemented many efforts to both reduce its impact and to develop adaptation strategies, such as a mature Greenhous Gas (GHG) Reduction policy and program, and many areas of the district are implementing projects that will be helpful in adapting to the future impacts of climate change. However, understanding of potential risks and responses is not consistent. The Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) will provide a framework for consistent and comprehensive planning for climate change risks and reducing GHGs district-wide, including identifying risks, gaps, synergies, conflicts and strategies. The Fellow will educate and interview staff across the organization on climate change issues as part of the risk and vulnerability assessments; assist in the development and use of decision making and strategic planning frameworks; conduct research review and document findings; assist in climate change adaptation strategic planning; assist in review and accounting of GHG inventory and Carbon Neutrality objectives; and communicate with internal and external stakeholders. The Fellow will be a key player in the development of the best in class CCAP.

The ideal Fellow will have the ability to conduct research and understand climate change related science and topics. The Fellow should be able to conduct independent research of the current state of the science, summarize information from published papers and reports, and prepare well written summary papers with good documentation of sources, and have good written and oral communication skills and not be afraid to present to small groups. They would also ideally be eager to stretch their existing strengths, be enthusiastic and be flexible to changing direction and priorities.

 Island of Alameda – Ground Zero for Climate Change in the Bay

Organization: City of Alameda
Location: Alameda, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Alameda is an island within the San Francisco Bay Area facing a future of rising seas and neighborhoods permanently under water. At the same time, the City’s infrastructure is well beyond its useful life and designed for a much less threatening past. Alameda seeks a Fellow inspired by the scope of this challenge who is committed a) to reduce Alameda’s greenhouse gas emissions, and b) to prepare Alameda to adapt to the inevitable consequences of sea level rise. The Fellow will help identify what needs to be done to meet Alameda’s GHG emission goal, and recommend Alameda’s next climate change goal. The Fellow will work in depth on issues such as how a city can best prepare and encourage electrification of vehicles, zero waste, bicycling and walking, and carbon neutral power. The Fellow’s work will have immediate consequences, as City Council directed staff to provide a report on the Climate Action Plan update by December 2017. As an island city, Alameda cannot only reduce its greenhouse gas emissions; projections show some of the neighborhoods under water in 50 years. The Fellow will develop a plan for adaption, and a way to fund that plan moving forward. The funding plan includes balloting Alamedans to support a stormwater fee to build critical projects to ameliorate the impacts of sea level rise. The Fellow will require a large dose of creativity and vision to develop a practical, fundable plan that sets Alameda on a course to reduce its emissions and prepare for the inevitable consequences of climate change.

The ideal Fellow will be a generalist who is comfortable with data analysis, adept at communications and presentations, builds relationships quickly, and can see many sides of an issue. A proven commitment to sustainability is a plus, as is demonstrated project management experience. Alameda is a large enough city to require a Fellow to learn how to navigate a municipal bureaucracy, while small enough to ensure that meaningful action can be accomplished within 11 months that will help steer the City for years to come.

 Energy Efficiency Program

Organization: City of San Pablo
Location: San Pablo, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of San Pablo‘s Climate Action Plan (CAP) has specific goals to help the City reach their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction goal. The Fellow will be implementing the City’s CAP Objectives to meet the goal. The Fellow will be working within the Public Works Department and will be directly working with the City’s Environmental Program Analyst. The Fellow will be working on various projects, including 1) Energy Efficiency Outreach, where the Fellow will outreach to local businesses and residents about energy saving opportunities and programs to assist business in getting rebate incentives; 2) Solar Programs, where the Fellow will work with the Sunshares and GRID Alternatives programs to provide assistance to residents for reduced cost and/or free solar panels; 3) New City Hall, where the Fellow will be working with the design team and PG&E to assist in meeting the design goals of LEED Silver and a Zero Net Energy building for the City’s new City Hall; 4) Urban Forest Development, where the Fellow will coordinate tree plantings with a local non-profit to plant an urban forest in one of the City’s parks to assist with carbon sequestering; 5) GHG Inventory, where the Fellow may update the City’s GHG inventory using ICLEI’s GHG Protocols; 6) The Fellow will attend East Bay Energy Watch meetings and coordinate with other local CivicSpark Fellow on regional outreach and goals. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to provide minor assistance and learn about the City’s water quality objectives and solid waste reduction programs.

The ideal Fellow will be fluent in Spanish, as the City of San Pablo is a diverse community and this skill is very helpful. An advanced understanding of Excel programs to assist with energy efficiency computation and GHG reduction targets is desirable.

 CAP Implementation and Evaluation

Organization: City of Antioch
Location: Antioch, CA
Openings: 0 of 1 (the Fellow will be split between Antioch and Martinez)

Project Description: The City of Antioch, as the Gateway to the Delta, enjoys a river shoreline and foothills that back up to Mt. Diablo while still being a part of the San Francisco Bay Area. With climate goals and climate action plans adopted in 2010, the City wants to evaluate its efforts and update of their planned programs. As a municipality, the City is currently working on an evaluation and update of their Climate Action Plans. With their third year of CivicSpark, the work done will be used to guide their energy efficiency and climate protection work moving forward. In addition to the plan updates, the Fellow will develop and implement a municipal vehicle policy, develop an environmental purchasing policy, assist the city with potential municipal energy efficiency upgrades, assist city staff with developing deliverables for the East Bay Energy Watch Marketing, Outreach and Small Business Program Enhancement sub-committee and launch the outreach campaigns developed by this subcommittee to Antioch Businesses, and attend Antioch Chamber of Commerce meetings and mixer to promote environmental programs with an emphasis on Idle Free and Energy Efficiency programs. Additionally, there are several resource conservation programs currently in the works that will provide the Fellow with the opportunity to implement change that will have a lasting effect on the City’s natural resource consumption levels.

The ideal Fellow will be able to work with a variety of partner departments and to understand partner departments’ ability to implement and track proposed reduction measures. They should be able to prepare well-organized reports that document their research, and distill and clearly explain potential reduction strategies to City staff and the public. Antioch is looking for a candidate that is willing to take ownership of their programs and be proactive and willing to come to staff with questions or when assistance is needed. Strong writing and verbal communication skills are a must.

 Advancing Martinez’ Energy Efficiency and Climate Action Plan Goals

Organization: City of Martinez
Location: Martinez, CA
Openings: 0 of 1 (the Fellow will be split between Martinez and Antioch)

Project Description: The City of Martinez has a number of energy-efficiency projects, several of which are key items related to their Climate Action Plan, which was adopted June 2009. The Fellow will work on numerous projects ranging from assisting in the evaluation, selection, procurement and financing of a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system for Martinez City Hall/Police Department and evaluating options for installing solar panels on City facilities to participating and/or representing the City in East Bay Energy Watch (EBEW) Marketing and Outreach subcommittee and/or Strategic Advisory Committee meetings, as necessary and coordinating with Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Martinez to directly promote EBEW programs to businesses. The Fellow will also participate in continuous improvement of the City website as a first tier sustainability resource for residents and businesses on numerous energy efficiency programs and assist with implementation and utilization tracking of PACE programs in Martinez, among other tasks.

The ideal Fellow will have research proficiency, in terms of having the ability to research new opportunities and provide concise summary information to management regarding options, pros/cons, costs and staff time required to pursue them. They will also have the ability to regularly update the City’s website to include effective public relations/educational information regarding the City’s Climate Action Plan programs, projects, and progress.

 CAP 2.0 Planning and Community Outreach

Organization: City of Albany
Location: Albany, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Albany is a small City with big sustainability goals. The City aims for 65% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2050. The Fellow will report to the Sustainability Coordinator, who manages the Environmental Resources Division, including Climate Action Planning (CAP), Solid Waste & Recycling, Stormwater, Open Space Planning, and more. Due to the breadth of topics, the Fellow will have a chance to be exposed to many City functions and will have the flexibility to dive into topics of personal interest. The Fellow will have the chance to take on a lot of responsibility for the Climate Action Program. The main project is assistance with Climate Action Planning for CAP 2.0. The City of Albany is embarking on a planning process to develop a new climate mitigation and adaptation plan for 2035 and 2050 targets. The plan will include an implementation and funding strategy for feasible local initiatives. The Fellow will assist with research, plan development, and community engagement throughout the planning process. The Fellow will also assist on projects such as supporting East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) program development and outreach; develop alternative transportation initiatives, including policies that encourage electric vehicles; develop energy assessment pilot program offering free energy audits to Albany homeowners; assist in adaptation, resilience, and disaster management planning; assist with many other projects and programs, based on personal interests and department needs, among others.

The ideal Fellow will have a demonstrated interest in sustainability. Coursework in environmental science, especially climate science, is a plus. The Fellow must possess excellent written and oral communication skills. Community outreach is a key component of the project, so the Fellow should have an interest in working with people and familiarity with social media. As a small City, Albany is looking for an individual who can take initiative and work independently. This includes working on multiple projects and deadlines, and being able to manage time effectively.

 Strategic Energy Plan and Assessment

Organization: City of El Cerrito
Location: El Cerrito, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of El Cerrito‘s Fellow will assist in researching, analyzing, and implementing a number of projects related to climate action. Most significantly, the Fellow will prepare a Strategic Energy Plan (SEP) with assistance from the East Bay Energy Watch (EBEW). The plan will support City staff, in the Operations and Environmental Services Division, to identify facilities and practices that need more attention to decrease energy use and achieve the City’s GHG reduction targets. In addition, the plan will help staff communicate with the City Council on specific areas in which the City should focus to reduce energy use moving forward. Preparing the SEP will require a significant amount of research and analysis; as a result, the project will also offer the Fellow with an opportunity to manage a project while collaborating with others and managing a timeline. In conjunction with the SEP, the Fellow will prepare an assessment of problem utility accounts in the City. This intensive data analysis will help the City to identify the exact facilities and accounts that are most costly and if they should be targeted for improvements. This analysis will help the City ensure that it is using its finite resources efficiently in trying to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2035. Working out of El Cerrito’s Recycling and Environmental Resource Center, the Fellow will also have the opportunity to work directly with the staff members that manage projects on topics including: solid waste and recycling, energy efficiency, stormwater pollution, urban forestry, and more. While the Fellow’s focus will be on energy efficiency, smaller tasks and projects in these areas will help further the overall environmental goals of the City and deepen the Fellow’s knowledge on a variety of urban environmental issues.

The ideal Fellow should be skilled in Microsoft Office and should be comfortable working with data and spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel. Most importantly, the Fellow should be able to conduct research independently and have a strong interest in completing projects related to energy efficiency, climate action, and other environmental topics. In addition, the ideal Fellow should have an interest in working directly with the public and collaborating with other staff members at the fast paced environment of the El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center, a LEED Platinum Facility and one of the premier community recycling centers in the country.

 Advancing Climate Equity and Deep Decarbonization in Oakland

Organization: City of Oakland
Location: Oakland, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Oakland has an ambitious Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) that includes goals related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and community engagement. The City takes a consumption-based approach to climate change, as one of the few cities in the world that has conducted a consumption-based GHG emissions inventory. The City’s climate goals include a 36% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 relative to 2005 levels. In 2018, the City will begin the process of outlining its post-2020 climate action strategy. Oakland’s Fellow will work on a variety of high-level projects that fall within the Sustainability program’s two overlapping focus areas: climate equity and deep decarbonization, both of which are guided by the ECAP. Projects will vary depending on the Fellow’s skill set and professional interests and immediate needs of the City’s Sustainability Program, and may include the following: decarbonization of thermal systems in buildings; greenhouse gas emissions inventory analysis and reporting; assisting with design and implementation of environmental justice community engagement strategies; implementing a new multifamily building electric vehicle infrastructure focus group; preparing comparative financial analyses of potential GHG emission reduction and sequestration strategies; researching sea level rise mitigation strategies; conducting research and preparing policy documents to set the foundation for a post-2020 climate action strategy; and more. The Fellow will gain experience in analytical and policy writing, and interact with multiple other teams within the City’s Environmental Services Division, other Divisions and Departments within the City, and community and industry stakeholders.

The ideal Fellow should have a keen interest and educational background in at least one deep area of sustainability and a basic understanding of how various aspects of sustainability interconnect (buildings, transportation, land use, consumption, waste, etc). Ideally, the Fellow will have some experience (work or educational) in key influence points for sustainability and resilience (i.e. the roles of the private vs. public vs. nonprofit sectors) and the specialized roles of the various levels of government. Some background in environmental justice is also helpful. The Fellow should be detail-oriented, able to juggle multiple high-level projects and deadlines, able to follow direction yet work with minimal supervision, and willing to speak up and offer suggestions and analysis after considering the matter at hand.

 Pinole Sustainability Projects

Organization: City of Pinole
Location: Pinole, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Pinole is a small city of approximately 19,000 residents located in the East Bay of California, in West Contra Costa County. The City is at the beginning of its sustainability journey, and is initiating new public works projects that aim to address climate and sustainability concerns. The Fellow will participate on 3 projects: a) Energy Efficiency Opportunities Evaluation: the Fellow will review City accounting to determine which City assets cost the City most in terms of utility expenditures. The Fellow will research “low hanging fruit” in terms of water and will coordinate an energy efficiency audit through East Bay Energy Watch. The Fellow will prepare a report describing energy efficiency measures the City can invest in and see near-term return-of-investment (ROI), and will research and include in the report methods of financing such energy and water efficiency technology; b) Sustainable Transportation Evaluation: the Fellow will evaluate opportunities and projects that could reduce the use of personal occupancy vehicles in the City of Pinole. This analysis will include a consideration of possible sites for a “Park and Ride” to facilitate increased bus utilization; c) Carbon audit: the Fellow will update the City’s data in regard to its carbon output, and will quantify and report on the City’s carbon impact.

The ideal Fellow will have an in depth knowledge of energy efficiency and sustainable transit, a facility with accounting and data analysis, and an ability to read financial statements. The Fellow should be flexible and have a humble attitude, as well as a strong work ethic and determination to accomplish the identified tasks.

 Richmond Sustainability Specialist

Organization: City of Richmond
Location: Richmond, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Richmond community continues to engage in local climate change prevention efforts, and initiatives to better prepare the community for the future impacts of climate change. The City of Richmond is committed to improving safety, sustainability and health for all Richmond residents, and recognizes that the environment is an important determinant of community health. The Richmond Climate Action Plan provides a framework of policies and programs to achieve the City’s health and environmental goals, operationalizing the community-driven vision set forth by the Richmond General Plan 2030. The Fellow will assist the City in furthering implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan with a focus on clean energy, zero net energy, and zero waste initiatives. As part of the Environmental and Health Initiatives Division within the City Manager’s Office, the Fellow is expected to work as a team member in activities including community outreach, program development, project management, and administration.

The ideal Fellow will be able to engage with businesses, and be comfortable with community engagement and public speaking.

 Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, and Climate Action Implementation

Organization: County of Sonoma
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The County of Sonoma‘s Energy and Sustainability Division has multiple programs designed to assist local homeowners and property owners with making energy and water upgrades to their buildings. Additionally, they offer property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to help building owners afford these upgrades, as well as green business certification services for local sustainability-minded organizations. The County has recently completed an effort to integrate their sustainability services to offer a more customer-focused model for future initiatives. The Division also works very closely with the Regional Climate Protection Authority and other local government agencies to facilitate climate action measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from internal municipal operations. The Division offers a comprehensive portfolio of resources to assist customers with the initiation and completion of building efficiency upgrades, installation of renewable energy systems and storage, implementing sustainable practices, and efforts to retire fossil fuel vehicles. Services include: the evaluation and analysis of building energy and technology; benchmarking building energy; and reviewing project bids and providing project consultation on the selection of project upgrades, rebate and incentive information, listings of participating contractors, and identifying funding for project upgrades. The Fellow will assist the Division on a number of these initiatives, including outreach and marketing to the local community, tracking and analyzing the greenhouse gas impacts that result from our programs, and assisting the Regional Climate Protection Authority in evaluation of climate action plan measures being implemented by the County as part of Climate Action 2020.

The ideal Fellow will be interested in communicating and engaging with the local community, developing and implementing energy and water projects, and tracking the impacts of these efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Familiarity and expertise with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint is required. The Fellow should also be skilled in both oral and written communication as they will be working with multiple staff as well as performing public outreach and education events. This individual will have the opportunity to engage in all aspects of our division’s workflow and will be collaborating with a wide range of people, including community members, businesses, non-profits, and other climate mitigation and adaptation professionals.

 Fremont Climate Action Engagement and Deep Decarbonization Planning

Organization: City of Fremont
Location: Fremont, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Fremont’s General Plan establishes a vision for Fremont to serve as a model of how an auto-oriented suburb can transition to a sustainable, strategically urban, modern city. Fremont’s Climate Action Plan sets a roadmap for reducing GHG emissions 25% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. The Fellow will assist in the gathering and reporting of energy, transportation, water, and waste data related to the City’s ongoing Climate Action Plan initiatives, helping the City in evaluating its progress toward achieving the goals set forth in its Climate Action Plan, as well as help in the development of new strategies for future deep decarbonization planning. This analysis will help to inform the City’s upcoming Climate Action Plan update process, which will focus on strategies such as distributed generation, energy storage, electrification, and zero waste. In addition, the Fellow will help with the implementation of ongoing climate action implementation initiatives, including conducting marketing, education, and outreach to encourage widespread community engagement with the City’s sustainability goals. One strategy will be to promote the Fremont Green Challenge residential climate action engagement platform through coordination with educational institutions, community-based organizations, and other key community stakeholder groups.

The ideal Fellow will have knowledge and skills in stakeholder engagement, public speaking, and data analysis, and professional writing. Experience specifically with the principles of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) or the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance Framework for Long-Term Deep Carbon Reduction Planning are major bonuses.

Berkeley’s Building Energy Savings Ordinance

Organization: City of Berkeley
Location: Berkeley, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development is looking for a Fellow to help implement their award-winning Climate Action Plan by working with owners and managers of large buildings, as well as business associations, to help them comply with the Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO). The innovative BESO program, recently awarded the Department of Energy’s Better Building Program Excellence Award, helps building owners compare their buildings energy use, discover the most cost effective energy efficiency measures and access financing and incentive programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Fellow will help with outreach and training building owners on how to use on-line resources, such as the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager and the City of Berkeley‘s Community Portal to comply with the ordinance and use information to accelerate energy savings. The project will also seek to register qualified energy assessors and train them on how to help building owners comply with the program. This will require hosting several workshops for building owners and energy assessors, and developing compliance guides and web materials.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent communication and customer service skills, be comfortable with working excel spreadsheets and databases, and willing to learn how to use and train people on the City’s on-line compliance and data management system.

San Joaquin Valley Region

 Energize Fresno

Organization: Local Government Commission
Location: Fresno, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: As part of the California Energy Commission‘s EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities (AEC) program, the Local Government Commission (LGC) is developing an Integrated Community Resource Market (ICRM) that includes a funding platform, a pipeline of projects, a resource verification toolkit, and a Fresno Master Community Design. The ICRM will be applied to Fresno’s Blackstone Corridor and downtown-specific plan areas to identify projects, funding, and a pathway towards becoming an AEC. The Fellow will assist LGC on the ground in Fresno with research, act as a liaison with local partners and the City of Fresno, as well as spearhead community engagement around the program and specific projects. The Fellow will also provide research, analysis, coordination, outreach and engagement support for all project tasks, including the development and deployment of the Fresno Master Community Design, community stakeholder engagement, and all associated memos and reports. The Fellow will work closely with all project partners, including the LGC, Tierra Resource Consultants, City of Fresno, Fresno Metro Ministries, and CALSTART.

The ideal Fellow will be highly organized and be able to build and maintain relationships with community members, partners, and local government officials.

 Water Loss Detection Implementation and GIS Infrastructure Plans

Organization: City of Ceres
Location: Ceres, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The City of Ceres is a thriving community with approximately 45,000 residents located in the Central Valley of California, in Stanislaus County. The City currently is a sole source groundwater system working on numerous regional efforts to develop a basin-wide groundwater management plan to meet compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). This includes partnerships with neighboring City of Turlock to form the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SRWA) to develop a future potable water supply from the Turlock Irrigation District, active memberships in the Turlock Groundwater Basin Association (TGBA) and Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP). The City is currently looking to prepare both a water loss detection and water audit program. This will require implementing community programs and developing policies. The Fellows will work on all aspects of the project ranging from the project development, design, implementation, and identifying funding for proposed projects. The Fellows will help pioneer water reliability and efficiency through the following projects: 1) Water loss detection and GIS mapping: the Fellows’ role will be both design and implementation of a water loss program to meet upcoming legislature requirements on the City’s water production loss with a GIS mapping program to create various maps showing water sheds, storm drain infrastructure, Disadvantaged Communities (DACs), street flooding locations, planning land use, and potential recharge locations. 2) Water Efficiency Opportunity Evaluation: the Fellows’ role will be to review City accounting to determine ways to reduce internal water usage. The Fellows will assist the City to analyze water use data, both indoor and outdoor including landscape area measurement data and landscape installation information, which will be used to set water audit targets for the City and businesses within our district.

The ideal Fellows will be self-starters and be able to work independently and without constant guidance to conduct research and data analysis with a passion for sustainable water resources. They should be able to manage data in Excel, and be able to gather complex technical ideas and communicate them via writing for public engagement platforms in layman terms to staff and external stakeholders. Geographic Information System (GIS) experience would be a plus.

Central Coast Region

 City of Salinas Water Projects

Organization: City of Salinas
Location: Salinas, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The City of Salinas has multiple water projects, which the Fellow will assist with. These include 1) implementation and management of the City’s MS4 Storm Water Permit Program, 2) Pure Water Monterey, a project that recycles Salinas storm water run-off and Ag produce processing washwater, 3) implementation of Ground Water Sustainability legislation through the County-wide stakeholder process, and 4) the purchase and land use planning of Carr Lake, in the center of Salinas, that will include planning for habitat restoration and recreational uses. The City’s goal is to continue to bring these projects together into a “One Water” concept that acknowledges the interconnectedness of the entire aquascape. This goal will be realized by the Fellow becoming involved in facets of each of these projects in a way where they will support the connectedness of this work. The Fellow will gain experience in MS4 stormwater program implementation, grant program management, community engagement and networking, and inter-agency collaboration.

The ideal Fellow will have a passion for learning and participating in various regulatory programs and projects that address water resource conservation, capture & re-use, and protection of water quality and waterbody beneficial uses. They will also have good project management and good interpersonal skills, as these projects have a significant community engagement aspect.

 Energy Efficiency and Climate Initiatives

Organization: County of San Luis Obispo Energy Watch Partnership
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The San Luis Obispo County Energy Watch Partnership has several energy efficiency initiatives that will benefit the seven incorporated cities in the County, as well as their businesses and residents. These initiatives include: conducting benchmarking analysis for all seven cities in the County; assisting with small to medium business customer targeting for the Commercial Direct Install program; planning and coordinating outreach events; creating content for a quarterly local government energy newsletter; and coordinating an ongoing quarterly Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Group meeting. Additionally, the County has a number of climate change related initiatives, which include: a sea level rise study; a social vulnerability study in support of the Safety Element of the General Plan; an update to the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, forecast, and target; and general outreach including a countywide climate summit. In addition, the County will be undertaking a study to identify the feasibility of retrofitting a local neighborhood to integrate various distributed energy resources. The Fellows will assist County staff on these various initiatives and projects.

The ideal Fellows will have an awareness of state climate change and energy policy framework, with a willingness to research and keep appraised of this highly dynamic landscape. Technical skills should include graphic design, content management, and data visualization skills, along with advanced Excel skills. Fellows should be able to interpret and report complex data in an effective and efficient manner to a wide variety of audiences, as well as have meeting coordination and organization skills. Energy data analysis skills are ideal, with EnergyStar Portfolio Manager experience a plus.

 Water Sustainability Planning

Organization: County of San Luis Obispo Public Works
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The County of San Luis Obispo‘s Water Resources Division implements and updates the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan. The IRWM Plan update will take place during the fiscal year 2017-2018. Water sustainability planning will be the focus of tasks for the Fellow. Some the tasks involved are: 1) Update the descriptions of the watersheds and the water systems, natural and anthropogenic, including major water-related infrastructure, flood management infrastructure, and major land-use divisions, as well as including a description of the quality and quantity of water resources within the region (i.e. surface waters, groundwater, reclaimed water, imported water, and desalinated water). These description could also include areas and species of special biological significance and other sensitive habitats, such as marine protected areas and impaired water bodies within the region; 2) Update the description of water supplies and demands for a minimum 20-year planning horizon. These include a discussion of important ecological processes and environmental resources within the regional boundaries and the associated water demands to support environmental needs. This includes a description of the potential effects of climate change on the region as determined from the IRWM Plan vulnerability assessment; 3) Update the descriptive comparison of current and future (or proposed) water quality conditions in the region. This includes any water quality protection and improvement needs or requirements within the area of the Plan. If the IRWM region has areas of nitrate, arsenic, perchlorate, or hexavalent chromium contamination, the Plan must include a description of location, extent, and impacts of the contamination; actions undertaken to address the contamination, and a description of any additional actions needed to address the contamination. The Fellow will collaborate with the County’s partnering agencies throughout the County and also various experts in their respective fields to complete these tasks.

The ideal Fellow will have good communication skills and a desire to collaborate, as well as good database type skills, mainly utilizing GIS and Excel.

 Energy Benchmarking and Green Business Certification

Organization: County of Santa Barbara
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Santa Barbara County Sustainability Committee – comprised of staff from most County departments who are responsible for implementing and reporting progress on the County’s Energy & Climate Action Plan – raised the idea of County-wide green business certification as a way to spark sustainability awareness and action among County employees and lead by example for the community. The Fellow will spearhead a project to seek green business certification of all applicable County facilities. While the local green business program typically targets private sector businesses, the activities that are required to receive certification are applicable to government operations.  Certification would include working closely with staff throughout the County, especially the two “landlords” for County facilities: General Services and Parks, to document completion of key greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and sustainability activities. Many of these activities overlap with the County’s Energy & Climate Action Plan – for example, to achieve a 25% reduction in County electricity use and 20% reduction in County indoor water use by 2020 – and support the state’s energy performance benchmarking (AB 802) and GHG reduction (SB 32) goals. The Fellow will be hosted by the County’s Energy & Sustainability Initiatives division; participate in the County Sustainability Committee; and work hand-in-hand with Frank Chen, 2015-16 CivicSpark alum.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent interpersonal skills and be comfortable engaging with experts across multiple fields, being persistent and firm in requests for information, and sufficient analytical ability to determine whether the appropriate information/documentation has been received. The Fellow should also be comfortable asking for and receiving help. The Fellow will also have a high attention to detail; they will be the overall project manager for the green business certification process for County facilities, which will require keeping tabs on a large amount of data and documentation in systematic way. This project management function will require keen attention to detail to keep everything organized and on track.

Greater Los Angeles Region

 Santa Monica Climate Action

Organization: City of Santa Monica
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The City of Santa Monica is preparing a Climate Action & Adaptation Plan seeking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. This will require implementing community programs and developing policies. The City will implement an Electric Vehicle (EV) Action Plan that is expected to be adopted in Summer 2017. The City is also exploring several pathways to become a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). The Fellows will have an integral role in coordination, research, writing and program development as many of these plans and projects are rolled out. The Fellows will also provide support in communicating these activities while the City continues to report on their various other efforts in their annual data collection.

The ideal Fellows will have a high level of comfort with data (collection, entry, analysis, visualization, communication) and good writing skills for technical reports and community-facing outreach.

 Ventura County Energy Action Plans

Organization: Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance
Location: Ventura, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: In 2003, the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance (VCREA) formed a Joint Powers Authority composed of public agencies working in collaboration to address good energy stewardship in the Ventura County Region. Currently, VCREA has funding to develop Community and Municipal Energy Action Plans (EAPs) for jurisdictions within Ventura County. The Fellow, along with VCREA staff, will work with these jurisdictions to develop city specific EAPs, in addition to developing an EAP template that can be used by other cities within the County. The Fellow may also be responsible for updating or creating energy based greenhouse gas inventories for the cities in Ventura County and the County of Ventura using ClearPath. VCREA also has funding to benchmark municipal facilities as well as develop a Business Energy Efficiency Pilot Program. The Fellow will work with City staff to benchmark appropriate municipal facilities using Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and help develop criteria for selecting multi-family and commercial buildings to benchmark. 

The ideal Fellow will have good communication skills and be able to work in a group setting as well as independently.  They should also have a basic understanding or the willingness to learn how to collect and analyze data and a willingness to learn how to use software tools and platforms that help with collecting and analyzing data.

 Ventura County Coastal Resiliency and Local Coastal Program Update

Organization: County of Ventura, Planning Division
Location: Ventura, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Nestled on the Pacific Coast, Ventura County offers a spectacular natural setting and was recently rated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the most desirable place to live in the nation. The County’s Planning Division is currently engaged in Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendments that address sea level rise, water efficient landscaping, tree protection, and environmentally sensitive habitat areas. The Fellow will assist with the implementation of these amendments to mitigate climate change through the conservation of natural resources. The Fellow will coordinate and participate in public outreach meetings, and will gather and respond to comments from the public, other agencies, and various organizations. The Fellow will also gather and summarize information from examples of local and state-wide adaptation strategies, and provide recommendations on which strategies are best suited to the specific conditions, development patterns, and resources of the Ventura County coastal zone. The selected strategies will be evaluated and eventually presented to the Ventura County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. On an as-needed basis, the Fellow will provide assistance with implementation of the other LCP amendments that are natural-resource oriented and may include, but are not limited to, review of water efficient landscaping regulations, and the preparation of informational materials for tree protection and environmentally sensitive habitat areas.

The ideal Fellow will possess a strong ability to synthesize and summarize complex information for the public and decision-makers, and be skilled in research methods, GIS spatial analysis, and the design of graphically rich work-products. The Fellow will be working with the complex technical nature of the analysis that will be based on Excel spreadsheets, GIS layers, and computer modeling software, and they should be able to convey this information in graphically appealing work products for audiences who are not subject-matter experts. It is anticipated that the Fellow will provide assistance to facilitate public workshops, and prepare and revise the regulatory amendments based on decision-maker input.

 Disadvantaged Communities Involvement Program

Organization: Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
Location: Riverside, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) is a joint-powers authority, and a leader in the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) process, with its One Water One Watershed (OWOW) plans having earned recognition nationwide for their innovative approach. In 2017, the California Department of Water Resources awarded SAWPA $6.3 million for a three-year program to engage people in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities in the region and include their voices in water management planning. The 1.7 million Santa Ana River Watershed residents that the Disadvantaged Communities Involvement (DCI) Program includes have diverse economic and environmental burdens, and the program requires ongoing, proactive engagement strategies that help build partnerships and involve stakeholders in environmental justice issues. The Fellows will work on the Strength and Needs Assessment and the Community Engagement and Education elements of the DCI Program by identifying community leaders and effective agency programs, and by leading a cohort of interns from California State University and community college campuses. With supervision, Fellows will outreach and start new relationships between SAWPA and interested stakeholders, and they will work with the CSU to support interns with training on IRWM topics, cohort coordination, and mentorship. They will also assist with other specific program elements, such as the completion of community listening workshops and a community water ethnography report on the cultural, social, and water-related strengths and needs of watershed communities.

The ideal Fellows will have strong interpersonal skills, including listening, verbal communication, team-working, and problem-solving. They will also have the ability to set and meet deadlines, create and vet the internship training agenda, and work independently. Previous leadership experience or experience working with other students or peers is preferred, as Fellows may often need to plan their own schedules and keep track of ongoing projects running parallel to other work as part of the DCI Program.

 Water Outreach Development

Organization: Eastern Municipal Water District
Location: Perris, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) provides water, wastewater, and recycled water services to a population of more than 800,000 people in Western Riverside County. EMWD’s “Water Outreach Enhancement” project builds on public relations programs such as the District’s Water Leaders Academy, Youth Ecology Corps, and School Garden Program, assessing, proposing, and implementing approved refinements suggested by previous participants’ feedback. These efforts promote key water management messages to an expanded audience, preparing them to be informed, effective liaisons for the District. The Fellow will assist in refining the Water Leaders Academy to have it provide a systematic approach to expanding and sustaining a diverse network of influential individuals, primarily from EMWD’s service area, who are knowledgeable about key water issues and regional programs and strategies, and who are willing to help expand that knowledge by serving as outreach ambassadors and by referring/nominating others to future academy classes. The program is geared toward future and emerging leaders, interested in learning about critical water issues in the region.

The ideal Fellow will have a background and education in public relations, communications or similar area of study; knowledge of and experience in program development and implementation is a plus. Proficiency with Microsoft Office is required, and knowledge of and experience in graphic design is a plus. The Fellow will be self-motivated, have coordination skills, and be a people person. They should also be able to communicate effectively orally, visually, and in writing, with EMWD staff and external stakeholders.

 Water Conservation Innovation Project

Organization: Eastern Municipal Water District
Location: Perris, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) is a leading innovator in the One Water approach, and is actively engaged in every form of water efficiency, storage, treatment, and reuse for residential, commercial, environmental and agricultural applications. The Fellow will help pioneer water reliability and efficiency for over 600,000 water customers in the Inland Empire of southern California. The Fellow’s role will be to design and implement customer outreach tools to evaluate issues of importance, and to pursue ways to inspire diverse community sectors to embrace water as an essential resource in their everyday life. The result of the Fellow’s work will inform the direction of district programs so they become more effective at serving the synergistic needs of customers, the environment, and the public agency.

The ideal Fellow will possess a strong interest in learning about how social and environmental needs interact, and ways that water fits into our everyday lives. They will also possess excellent teamwork skills and enjoy working in a dynamic environment that requires attention to detail and the ability to deliver quality work in a timely manner. Skills in education, marketing, and a technical understanding of water/conservation would be ideal. The Fellow will also be able to communicate effectively orally, visually, and in writing, with EMWD staff and external stakeholders.

 Ballona Creek Revitalization Project

Organization: City of Culver City
Location: Culver City, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: In November 2016, the Culver City City Council adopted a Strategic Plan to respond to Culver City’s changing environment. One of the goals identified was to revitalize Ballona Creek and make it a more sustainable, walkable, bikeable and connected recreational attraction. Once a natural stream, Ballona Creek is now a concrete lined flood control channel, nine miles in length, that drains 130 square miles of the Los Angeles Basin. The project aims to explore opportunities to reconfigure and “naturalize” the Creek, create a wider channel that will support storm water management and habitat enhancement, and increase open space areas to further connect Culver City to itself and to the Santa Monica Bay. The project will be managed by the Community Development Department working in coordination with a task force comprised of Council members, staff and community stakeholders. Fellows will partner with the task force to assess opportunities for creek revitalization, completing task such as parcel and survey research for properties adjacent to Ballona Creek; data collection and mapping of Ballona Creek jurisdictions for circulation improvements; public outreach and assistance for the General Plan Update relative to the Ballona Creek Revitalization; implementation of Enhanced Watershed Management Programs for the Ballona Creek as they may relate to creek revitalization, among others.

The ideal Fellows will have strong communication and writing skills, knowledge of research methods and analysis, spatial mapping utilizing GIS or similar program, evaluation methods, design/graphic development in Illustrator or similar program, and creativity to assist with the visioning process.

 Housing Authority Sustainability Coordinator

Organization: City of San Buenaventura Housing Authority
Location: Ventura, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura has committed to reducing energy consumption across its housing portfolio of approximately 800,000 square feet by 20%. The Fellow, through the role of Sustainability Coordinator, will work across departments within the agency to ensure that this goal is met. Within the Agency, the Fellow will promote sustainability practices amongst maintenance and operations departments, train staff to project and control operations expenditures related to utility costs, as well as develop user friendly training materials on healthy homes practices for residents and community stakeholders. The Fellow will also be asked to participate as needed in Housing Development strategies that support energy and water resource conservation strategies, as well as sustainable development practices. At the community level, the Sustainability Coordinator will serve as a community champion and will organize 2-3 community events throughout the program year co-hosted with community partners on the topics of climate change and water.

The ideal Fellow will have strong writing, communication and presentation skills, be able to communicate effectively with all levels of the population served, demonstrated leadership abilities, be able to work independently, and be able to work with a diverse workforce and tenant population.

 Green Region Initiative

Organization: Southern California Association of Governments
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 3 (One Fellow will be split between SCAG and Rancho Cucamonga)

Project Description: The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities, and more than 18 million residents. Three Fellows will be dividing their time between the Green Region Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Indicators project, assisting in providing technical assistance for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant program and possibly other Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) programs, and assisting in SCAG’s adaptation planning work. The GRI is the leading example in the State for monitoring sustainability progress. Fellows will spend 75% of their time on the GRI project, where they will be continuing the collection of performance data on cities in the SCAG region, and the other 25% of time will be split between working closely with SCAG and the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) staff to provide outreach, mapping, and other technical assistance to cities participating, or interested, in the AHSC/GGRF programs, and working on adaptation planning. 

The ideal Fellows will be able to thrive in an environment of autonomy and self-directed research and writing. Since they will be interacting wit SCAG staff and city staff they should be confident in their communication skills, both oral and written.

 Sustainable Community Action Plan Metrics

Organization: City of Rancho Cucamonga
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Openings: 0 of 1 (The Fellow will be split between Rancho Cucamonga and SCAG)

Project Description: The City of Rancho Cucamonga adopted a Sustainable Community Action Plan (Plan) in April 2017, which contains six key topic areas including Transportation + Mobility, Land Use + Open Space, Energy Efficiency + Renewables, Green Building Performance, Water + Wastewater, and Waste + Recycling.  Each of the topic areas also integrates Economic Development and Public Health. A Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report was completed, in partnership with San Bernardino Council of Governments, which was incorporated as part of the Plan. In addition, the City received the Platinum Level Beacon Spotlight Award for Sustainability Best Practices from the Institute for Local Government, was named as a Cool California City, received the Red Tape to Red Carpet Awards for our solar streamlining efforts, and was designated as an Electric Vehicle-Friendly Community. The Fellow will work with the city on establishing metrics and tracking tools to track progress in implementing of the Sustainable Community Action Plan.

The ideal Fellows will have technical / policy skills, be a self-starter, and be able to work independently. Ideally, they will be interested in metrics and quantification topics, and be able to do research.

 Equitable Transit-Oriented Development and Capacity-Building Technical Assistance

Organization: Climate Resolve
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Transportation, and the land use that drives transportation behavior, remains the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Southern California. In Los Angeles County, significant investments are being made in alternative modes of transportation, yet investments in affordable housing lag behind, creating significant displacement pressures, especially near transit. As part of a technical assistance team assembled by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), Climate Resolve will develop useful resources, conduct direct outreach, and devise new methods for building capacity within the SCAG region for advancing equitable transit-oriented development (TOD). A primary objective of the project is to assist jurisdictions and their partner organizations in becoming more competitive at securing State cap-and-trade dollars (officially known as California Climate Investments (CCI)) from the Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program as well as other funding programs that support communities in becoming more climate resilient and equitable. The Fellow will draft and refine outreach materials that are used to communicate the purpose and parameters of various CCI programs, including web-based interfaces, slides for workshops, and handout worksheets. They will also review information provided to the technical assistance team by potential CCI program applicants and offer feedback on ways that the project scope and/or narrative descriptions can be modified to better appeal to the funding program. The efforts center around making complex funding programs more accessible to local jurisdictions, with a strong emphasis on benefiting disadvantaged communities. The tools and tips developed will provide guidance on how progressive policy instruments and performance standards can be integrated into and improve upon existing institutional structures.

The ideal Fellows will have strong writing skills, and the ability to synthesize and make complex information more accessible to stakeholders. The Fellow should be tact and have the confidence to do outreach to jurisdictions, as well as have the dedication to conduct thorough yet strategically targeted research.

 Climate and Health Initiative

Organization: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Climate change presents many public health challenges related to extreme heat, worsening air quality, and changing incidences of vector-borne disease. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has launched a comprehensive effort to address the impacts of climate on public health. The Climate & Health Initiative project brings together all branches of the Department of Public Health to work together on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Through this initiative, the Department’s divisions have been exploring how their activities currently relate to climate change and how they may further the Department’s climate change objectives. The potential benefits of this effort are enormous; with its approximately 4,000 staff serving nearly 10 million residents, the Department is larger than many state health departments. The Fellow will work with the Climate & Health Initiative workgroup to facilitate the implementation of strategies and actions identified in the workgroup’s action plan. Specifically, the Fellow will work with the workgroup to (a) conduct background research to inform decision-making and implementation; (b) track progress towards meeting goals; (c) facilitate communication between different divisions and programs; (d) plan meetings of the workgroup. The Fellow will also be responsible for spearheading the implementation of projects in the action plan, and keeping programs on track with meeting expected goals. The project involves working across public health disciplines such as environmental health, chronic disease, injury prevention, health assessment and epidemiology, and maternal and child health, as well as learning and applying best practices in health communication.

The ideal Fellow for this project will be highly self-motivated and have strong writing skills.

 Urban Heat Island Reduction

Organization: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Climate change is expected to bring more frequent and severe heat waves to the Los Angeles region. This project aims to protect the public from the impacts of extreme heat by implementing urban heat island reduction strategies such as increasing tree canopy and green space, and promoting the adoption of cool roofs and cool and permeable pavements. The Fellow will work with an interdepartmental County committee – led by Public Health and comprised of Public Works, Regional Planning, Parks and Recreation, Internal Services, Fire, and others – to facilitate the implementation of urban heat island strategies outlined in the County’s Urban Heat Island Reduction Plan. Through this project, the Fellow will have the opportunity to work with high-level staff at various County departments, as well as other key players working on climate change in Los Angeles County. The Fellow will work with the Climate Committee to (a) conduct background research to inform decision-making and implementation; (b) track progress towards meeting goals; (c) facilitate communication between departments working on elements of the Urban Heat Island Reduction Plan; (d) plan and facilitate outreach to internal and external stakeholders regarding elements of the Urban Heat Island Reduction Plan; (e) plan meetings of the Climate Committee. The Fellow will be responsible for spearheading the implementation of the Urban Heat Island Reduction Plan and guiding the process of the Plan’s integration into the overarching County Sustainability Plan, which is currently under development. Both aspects of the project will involve working closely with other County departments, such as Public Works and Regional Planning, as well as with the County CEO’s Chief Sustainability Officer. Potential deliverables include: 1) a fully drafted cool roofs ordinance for County unincorporated areas. The ordinance is expected to mandate cool (reflective) roofs on new and significantly retrofitted buildings in order to reduce building energy use and the urban heat island effect; 2) an expanded public tree giveaway program that involves collaborations with other entities such as City Plants on efforts to give free trees to unincorporated County residents.

The ideal Fellow for this project will be highly self-motivated and have strong writing skills.

 California Agua – Local Latino Leadership Support

Organization: Water Education for Latino Leaders
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) is a non-profit initiative founded in 2012 that is dedicated to educating local elected officials throughout California on water issues. This year, WELL hosted two successful regional roundtables, its 5th annual conference in San Diego, CA, and launched the UnTapped Fellowship, a selective, year-long program for local elected leaders. Through education, WELL aspires to promote timely and equitable actions that ensure a robust economy, healthy communities, and a resilient environment for all Californians. At WELL, the Fellows will learn how to identify, engage, and recruit local elected officials to attend the annual conference and the regional capacity building workshops. In addition to their planning and outreach efforts, the Fellows will work in collaboration with sixteen WELL UnTapped Fellows to evaluate ongoing water issues throughout the state and engage in local water sustainability efforts. UnTapped aims to help participants make an impact on California water policy while addressing community water challenges through monthly sessions that explore history, governance, public policy, geography, and economics and their relationship to human rights, climate change, and water. Fellows will participate in these sessions, and support the development of a WELL Toolkit containing resources that can assist UnTapped Fellows and other local elected officials when making decisions on water policy throughout the state. Fellows will engage in research and planning for legislative briefings on the Human Right to Water.

The ideal Fellows will have excellent verbal & written communication skills with a keen attention to detail, and possess a strong computer aptitude and high level of proficiency with Google Docs and Microsoft Office software. They should also have good customer service skills with a professional demeanor, and be able to work independently.

 Oakview Advanced Energy Community

Organization: City of Huntington Beach
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: The Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), is collaboratively teamed with the City of Huntington Beach, a built environment technology developer (Altura Associates, Inc., Altura), utilities (Southern California Edison, SCE, and Southern California Gas, SCG), and a national laboratory (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL), to address the EPIC challenge of accelerating the deployment of Advanced Energy Communities (AEC). The proposed master community design approaches and the integration of the innovative energy technologies in this project will advance development and establish technical and economic readiness for accelerating the deployment of AEC throughout the State. The design will be replicable to other communities throughout California with transferable knowledge and technologies. The Fellow will work with community groups and property owners to educate them about the importance of creating advanced energy communities, especially in disadvantaged communities.

The ideal Fellow will be bilingual (Spanish) and be outgoing as they will need to be able to speak to a wide variety of people (residents, tenants, property owners, non-profit employees, etc.). Additionally, the applicant must be able to walk through neighborhoods.

 Water-Efficient Landscape Survey/Certified Blue Restaurant Program

Organization: Long Beach Water Department
Location: Long Beach, CA
Openings: 0 of 2

Project Description: The Long Beach Water Department has two projects for Fellows to engage in; 1) Water-Efficient Landscape Survey and Community Based Social Marketing: Long Beach is committed to the transition of landscapes from water-thirsty turf lawns to beautiful water-efficient gardens. Fellows will serve as project managers for a survey developed by The California Water Efficiency Partnership (CalWEP) and East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) to identify barriers to and motivations for replacing turf with water-efficient landscapes. The survey will help the Long Beach Water Department to more effectively promote the adoption of water-efficient landscapes. Fellows will organize and coordinate a group of volunteers to perform surveys. After surveys have been conducted, the Fellows will then work with social and behavior science professionals to analyze the survey responses and develop a community based social marketing approach to influence landscape design and management behaviors. Findings from the survey will also be compared with surveys conducted by other water agencies to see if responses vary between regions. 2) Certified Blue Restaurant Program: The Long Beach Water Department is launching a new Certified Blue Restaurant Program to encourage water-efficiency in restaurants. The Fellows’ role with the program will be multifaceted: developing marketing campaigns to recruit new restaurants to the program, working face-to-face with restaurant owners to help them better understand their water use and water savings opportunities, and identifying and implementing changes to improve a newly launched program. The Fellows will also work with the City of Long Beach Office of Sustainability to coordinate the integration of the Certified Blue Restaurant Program with the Long Beach Green Business Recognition Program, a program targeted to launch next year to encourage businesses to implement sustainable practices in addition to water-efficiency, such as energy-efficiency, waste reduction, recycling, and green purchasing.

The ideal Fellows will have strong interpersonal and customer service skills as well as an understanding of or interest in water-efficiency. Education or experience in landscaping, the restaurant industry, public outreach, or marketing are a plus. The Fellows must be self-motivated, organized, creative, and able to work effectively both independently and within a group.

 Energy Efficiency Projects & Climate Action Planning Framework

Organization: Gateway Cities Energy Partnership / Gateway Cities Council of Governments
Location: Lynwood, CA
Openings: 0 of 1

Project Description: Through the Gateway Cities Energy Leader Partnership, a Fellow will be working on two projects; one with the City of Lynwood and one with the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG). The City of Lynwood is part of the Gateway Cities region, in southeastern LA County. The goals of this project will focus on supporting the multiple cities within the GCCOG on completing their climate action plans, implementing projects to help cities be able to benchmark, and the cities’ completion of GHG analysis through ClearPath. The Fellow will help cities develop and implement their Energy Action Plans; encourage cities within the COG to participate in the Beacon program; train and provide support to local agencies for GHG emissions and energy analysis through the ClearPath software and help to transfer that knowledge to other local government staff; and assist in educating local officials and staff more broadly about climate action planning and GHG analysis. The ideal Fellow will have some experience working for local governments, or have an education background in public administration and be interested in environmental and public communications, with strong written and verbal communication skills. An essential skill for this role is familiarity with or willingness to research and learn various software platforms to create digital media communications. Some knowledge of outreach strategies, and/or marketing best practices would be helpful.

The project with the GCCOG is funded by an Energy Commission grant with additional funds from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The Fellow will support the COG staff in this effort, with the key to success being engagement by the city staff. In their work with the COG, the 2016-17 Fellow has been instrumental in collating information from the cities in a chart, and the new Fellow will continue to keep this chart up to date as the Climate Action Plan (CAP) Framework comes into focus. The ideal Fellow will be curious and an open learner; someone with good people skills, and is comfortable working with numbers, models and spreadsheets; and a good communicator.

Menu