CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change, water, and land-use needs. During the 11-month service year, CivicSpark fellows will support the State’s response to climate change and integrated water management by working with local governments to complete research, planning, or implementation projects. At the same time, fellows receive substantial professional development training and access to a network of local, regional, and state sustainability leaders.
AmeriCorps is a community service program created to address the needs of local communities. AmeriCorps engages 80,000 Members annually who complete intensive service to meet community needs in education, health, public safety, security, and the environment Since 1994, AmeriCorps Members have served over 1 billion hours for their communities. CivicSpark fellows work full time AmeriCorps, completing a total of 1700 hours over 11 months, working to support local communities, while gaining valuable experience and training. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov. AmeriCorps is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service
The program offers two fellowship tracks: the CivicSpark: Climate Action Fellowship (48 fellows) and the CivicSpark: Water Action Fellowship (20 fellows). Fellows will spend 1700 hours over 11 months working full time with their regional team or host agency. The eight CivicSpark regions include Southern California, Los Angeles, Central Coast, San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento, Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay Area, and North Coast. Fellows will work on multiple projects during the service year, giving fellows an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in climate change response and integrated water management, while learning technical skills and building a strong network of sustainability professionals.
Climate Action Fellows, organized in regional teams with a Regional Coordinator, work on mitigation and adaptation projects on a range of topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, implementation of climate action plans, and GHG inventories and benchmarks.
Water Action Fellows will be placed in ten pairs of two in regions across the state. Fellows will serve with local leaders responding to statewide priorities in water resources, such as implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the California Water Action Plan.
All CivicSpark fellows will provide support to local governments through the following four-step process:
Topically, CivicSpark fellows are likely to work on a range of areas related to climate change and water management such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, or public health. However, because the program will be supporting a number of different local governments during the service year, fellows are unlikely to work exclusively on any one topic.
I would consider CivicSpark just the program I needed to jumpstart my career and provide me with more possibilities for my future. Additionally, I feel so grateful to have been part of the CivicSpark fellowship program. Beyond the professional development, I have also gained friendships, knowledge and expertise as well as a great community with the Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division.Lauren Lum2015-16 Fellow, Bay Area Region
We are not all ‘kids who just graduated from college’, we are young professionals looking to introduce our skills and talents to a field about which many of us are passionate. We are looking to get a strong foot in that door. The times when CivicSpark helped to foster those kinds of opportunities, such as being able to participate at the California Adaptation Forum or the SEEC Forum or even meeting in professional environments, are the times I appreciated most.Arya Moalemi2015-16 Fellow, Southern California Region
I personally feel that CivicSpark has opened an endless collection of doors into many different sectors of society–certainly within the climate change, environmental and sustainability industries, but also with a variety of social justice movements that are connected in so many ways to the work that we are doing. I truly feel like we are strengthening communities–not singlehandedly, but as a collective group of passionate people working to get things done.Kriselda Bautista2014-15 Fellow, SIerra Nevada Region
CivicSpark has been excellent, because it pairs you with local leaders. It has been a huge professional development experience. It is the ultimate way to dive in head first without hitting your head on the bottom.Trevor Wilson2015-16 Fellow, Central Valley Region
Fellow application opens for the 2016-17 service year!
Extended date for third priority deadline.
Fellow orientation for the 2016-17 cohort takes place.
Local projects get underway!
Projects wrap up and the 2016-17 CivicSpark cohort graduates!
CivicSpark fellows will have completed at least a 4-year degree and will have relevant experience in the sustainability field. An ideal candidate might have the following characteristics:
This is an equal opportunity position and we prefer to place a candidate who already lives in the community being served.
The 2016-17 service year began on October 9th with a week-long orientation, and local projects began in mid-October. The service year will end September of 2017. The fellow application for the 2017-18 service year will open in April of 2017.