Our Projects

2019-20 CivicSpark Projects

Below is the list of CivicSpark projects for the 2019-20 service year. *We will continue to update this list as projects are filled, so be sure to check back on a weekly basis to see what projects are still available.*

To help identify where specific projects are located, they are grouped by region, roughly following California’s Fourth Climate Assessment geographical regions. Listed under the region are the counties included within their area. To the right is a map that shows the general regions for the program.

*This map is for general reference – some projects may not necessarily fall within the regional distributions shown here.

**As positions begin to be filled, the “Openings” section will indicate the amount of spots available within that project (e.g. 1 of 2 means 1 spot of 2 is left, 0 of 1 means the position has already been filled).**

Each project section includes the project name, organization name, the placement city, the number of Fellows that will be serving in the project, the focus areas (primary focus listed first), and desired skills (primary skill listed first) for the project. To view a full description of the project, click on the “Project Description” under the projects you are interested in.

Sierra Nevada

Counties Included: Nevada, El Dorado, & Eastern Placer

Energy Action Planning and Regional Resilience Building in the Sierra Nevada

Organization: Sierra Business Council
Location: Truckee, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Sierra Nevada communities are already facing wildfire, flooding, declining snowpack, drought, tree mortality, and other climate related impacts. The lack of funding and technical resources in many of the rural local governments in the region poses a challenge for these communities in preparing to face these risks. SBC is seeking an enthusiastic and passionate Fellow to support SBC’s two climate change programs working with local governments and public agencies in the Sierra Nevada. The Fellow will support both climate preparedness/adaptation activities, and energy/greenhouse gas reduction activities both throughout the 22-county region and in greater depth within a few specific jurisdictions.

Through SBC’s two climate change programs, Climate Planning and the Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP), the Fellow will have the opportunity to engage in the following activities: 1) Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategy – support the development of local and regional vulnerability assessments, adaptation strategies and resources; 2) Capacity Building – engage with Sierra leaders in government, business, academia and community groups to share best practices, identify critical needs, and conduct research, education, and outreach around regional-specific climate action; 3) Climate Action Planning – support public involvement in local government planning processes; and 4) Climate Action Plan Implementation – the opportunity to support Nevada County and other Sierra jurisdictions in the development and implementation of their newly-established Energy/Climate Action Plans through the facilitation of working group meetings, coordination of outreach events, educational activities, community trainings, progress tracking, and other activities.

The ideal Fellow will have strong written and oral communication skills as they will be co-leading webinars, conducting outreach, and presenting in front of groups.  They will also have experience with both grassroots and grasstops community engagement – a strong understanding of how to identify and communicate common goals, inspire the motivation to take action, and balance diverse perspectives is key to the success of these projects.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Sierra Business Council (SBC) is a community-based non-profit located in Truckee, California; a vibrant outdoor recreation hub in the central Sierra Nevada, a 22-county forested mountain region, with close proximity to outdoor attractions like world-renowned ski destinations, Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, and the Pacific Crest Trail. SBC staff embody a workplace culture to support a region and a lifestyle that is based on a deep passion for the environment, recreation, and the close-knit small-town communities that characterize the region. SBC pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada.

Lake Tahoe and Truckee Regional Climate Assessment and Inventory

Organization: Sierra Nevada Alliance
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA and/or Truckee, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Technical Writing, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Lake Tahoe has long been a leader in environmental protection, and as they move into the future, mobilizing their long history to face the challenges of climate change is critical. The Sierra Nevada Alliance and its many partners must act as one to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation practices to meet regional goals. This includes updating greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and moving toward renewable energy goals. It also may include advancing projects that modify existing resource and infrastructure management to function under a changed climate. This project will directly benefit several California agencies, both state and local, including the City of South Lake Tahoe, local school and utility districts, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and the California Tahoe Conservancy.

The Fellows would work across the region with multiple agencies to coordinate climate change actions and build capacity for each agency to implement solutions. One deliverable will be the creation of a Climate Action Plan for the City of South Lake Tahoe. The Fellows would also work on 100% renewable energy goals set by the city of South Lake Tahoe and Truckee. Fellows will work with the Sierra Nevada Alliance to help coordinate climate/sustainability efforts in Tahoe/Truckee working with several partners. This coordination also includes the California Tahoe Conservancy in their climate adaptation process for the Tahoe Basin and the Town of Truckee.

The ideal Fellows will have a knowledge of sustainability/climate action planning and a knowledge of community engagement and facilitation.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at 6,225 ft, it straddles the state line between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and with a depth of 1,645 ft, it is the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake in Oregon. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. More than 75% of the lake’s watershed is national forest land, comprising the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the United States Forest Service. Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and scenery enjoyed throughout the year. Snow and ski resorts are a significant part of the area’s economy and reputation.

Keep Truckee Green

Organization: Town of Truckee
Location: Truckee, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach/Education, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Town of Truckee is at a crossroads; literally as the transportation connection across the northern Sierra and figuratively as Truckee grapples with growth, affordability, environmental quality, and community resilience. As a rural mountain town, climate action planning is not explicitly required, but Truckee has embarked on climate change strategies by adopting 100% renewable energy and 80% GHG emissions reduction goals, new recycling and waste reduction programs, and a comprehensive General Plan update which will embed climate and resiliency policies to foster a culture of equitable sustainability. The Town is proposing dedicated sustainability resources within the FY 2019/20 budget for the first time, and the Fellow will be a key asset in helping to shape what sustainability looks like in Truckee, along with meeting ambitious goals.

The Fellow will split their time between the Planning Division and the Solid Waste and Recycling Division. Within the Planning Division, the Fellow will build capacity in various sustainability initiatives related to climate action planning, energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicle charging, and equitable community engagement. Projects will involve municipal renewable energy; evaluating climate policies within the General Plan Update context; monitoring of sustainability activities; and extensive public engagement to design a vision for sustainability in the community. Within the Solid Waste and Recycling Division (aka Keep Truckee Green), the Fellow will build capacity in new organics programs and waste reduction. There is no residential food waste collection, and commercial food waste programs are in fledgling stages, so the Fellow will help build capacity by researching BMP’s, making recommendations for program implementation, and providing outreach and education to the community. Other Fellow involvement will be expanding the source reduction efforts of the Town, including a pilot reusable to-go box program, reducing single-use items, and developing the messaging and metrics design used to measure and communicate the Town’s sustainability efforts on its website.

The ideal Fellow will be adaptable, with good communication and prioritization skills as they will be working with both the Town’s Solid Waste and Recycling and Planning Divisions, and will be reporting to two supervisors. Ideally, the Fellow will be bilingual in Spanish to support the outreach and engagement with vulnerable populations and community stakeholders.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Truckee is a destination resort town situated in a high alpine valley containing the Truckee River, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Pacific Crest, and is the northern gateway to Lake Tahoe. Truckee embraces its natural surroundings and promotes itself as a destination for outdoor recreation, an industry on which the local economy largely relies. Since incorporation, Town staff and decision-makers have embraced a set of operating principles known colloquially as “The Truckee Way.” The following provides the essence of this philosophy: We will treat everyone, and their point of view, with respect, courtesy, and fairness. We will approach issues with creativity and innovation. We will conduct ourselves, and the Town’s business, according to the highest ethical standards. We will encourage the free exchange of ideas and information by open and honest communication. We believe that non-adversarial dispute resolution results in the most effective community, decision-maker and employee involvement in the Town and its future.

Sacramento Valley

Counties Included: Sacramento, Yolo, Butte, western Placer, Lake, Siskiyou

Cooling the Community through Urban Heat Island Solutions and Zero-Emissions Mobility

Organization: Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Alternative/Multimodal Transportation
Desired Skills: GIS/Mapping, Environmental Justice/Equity

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) works to improve public health, air quality, and the environment through innovative programs, community engagement, and collaborative partnerships. SMAQMD is leading an SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant Project to model the urban heat island effect for the six-county Sacramento region, identify areas at risk from extreme heat, and develop cooling solutions that can also help improve mobility, resilience, and health benefits for communities. This project is co-led by the Local Government Commission and also brings in other partners such as the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative and SMUD, our local utility. The Fellow will provide assistance across all aspects of the project, which will bring together unique disciplines including urban heat island modeling, transportation planning, climate adaptation, community outreach and engagement, and developing heat mitigation solutions for communities and transportation projects. The Fellow will help identify opportunities in transportation plans and projects into which urban heat island solutions can be incorporated, and work with local jurisdictions and communities to develop tailored community-level mitigation for urban heat. The Fellow will also help to engage and outreach with communities, particularly disadvantaged and under-resourced communities, on heat risks and mitigation solutions, and help organize workshops and events.

The Fellow will also assist the Air District’s expanding portfolio of work to accelerate zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) deployment in the region, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities. Expanding from its previous work, the SMAQMD is developing various new zero-emissions transportation solutions, such as mobility hubs that will be located in low-income neighborhoods to multiple electric mobility modes, and a program to help low-income residents finance zero-emissions vehicle purchases or leases. Both of these programs are new and have not launched yet. To support these initiatives, SMAQMD will need capacity to help provide education, outreach, and assistance to community members.  Activities may include providing community engagement, education, and training, preparing for workshops, public speaking, and providing assistance directly to community members. The goal will be to help increase community access to ZEVs and low-carbon transportation. The Fellow will work collaboratively with a range of agencies, private sector companies, non-profits, and community groups, and gain broad experience in climate adaptation, transportation, zero-emissions mobility, community engagement, and sustainability.

The ideal Fellow will have a strong interest in and experience with transportation planning and urban design, including transportation infrastructure, electric vehicles, urban heat island effects, and urban forestry. The Fellow will be analyzing transportation plans and projects of local agencies in the Sacramento area, and should ideally possess strong technical and analytic skills, including GIS and database/Excel skills.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Sacramento is the Baby Bear’s porridge of cities. It’s not too big to get around, but not too small that nothing is happening – it’s got a little bit of something for everyone. It’s close enough to the Bay Area for daytrips to San Francisco, Berkeley, or Oakland. It’s also just a few hours away from amazing hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains or the redwoods and beaches of Marin. Sacramento is very walkable and bikeable. The Sacramento Air District is a friendly and relaxed workplace. The Air District’s downtown location also makes it convenient for attending speaker events and seminars at nearby state agencies and other venues. During the warmer months, Fellows often enjoy their lunch break at the park around the State Capitol, or visit the nearby weekly farmers’ market in Cesar Chavez park. The Fellow will be working very closely staff at the Air District. Because of how collaborative the Air District is, the position will offer many opportunities to attend meetings and work with our many partners, which range from climate change collaboratives to tech and consulting companies developing new mobility solutions. This will offer important professional development opportunities to meet and work with multiple agencies and leaders.

Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan

Organization: City of Winters
Location: Winters, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Project Management, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Winters‘ has made significant progress towards drafting a Climate Action Plan (CAP) and is working towards becoming a more resilient community. However, with a small staff, efforts to complete Climate Change projects in the City have been limited. The Fellow will support the City’s climate issues and assist the City in making great strides in their efforts to move programs forward.

The Fellow will assist City staff in finalizing the CAP, which will include the additional elements of Climate Resiliency, update the GHG inventory, and assist staff in the creation of a Community Action Committee to engage the community in the CAP implementation. The Fellow will also assist in the development of a Climate Resiliency Plan, working with City and regional staff.

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

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Winters is a small rural community of 700 located in the southwestern portion of Yolo County, and is known as the “Family City”. Winters is nestled at the foot of the beautiful Vaca Hills. Natural beauty, excellent schools, safety, history and activities make Winters a delightful place to work, live, and play. The small staff a the City will enable a Fellow to interact with many departments while working on our Climate Impact projects, such Planning and Community Development, Finance, City Manager, Public Works, Police and Fire Departments.

CAP 2.0 – Taking the Effort to the Next Level

Organization: City of Chico – Community Development Resources
Location: Chico, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, General GHG Mitigation
Desired Skills: Research, Facilitation

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

In 2012, the City of Chico‘s City Council adopted a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that identified actions to be taken by the City and the community to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 25% below 2005 levels by 2020 (consistent with State efforts). In 2013, Council appointed a Sustainability Task Force (STF) to function as a “working committee” to lead the City’s implementation of the CAP. The STF has been meeting regularly over the past five years to review and prioritize CAP actions and other opportunities that might reduce GHG emissions for implementation. A majority of the CAP’s actions have been implemented, are underway, or are ongoing. Last year, the STF conducted a comprehensive review of the CAP to identify any deficiencies, determine if additional measures are needed to meet the City’s GHG emissions reduction goal, and to provide recommendations to Council on actions that should be pursued.

The results from the analysis show a decrease in overall GHG emissions of approximately 23% from the baseline year of 2005 to 2017 (consistent with the City’s goal). Meanwhile, the State has adopted new GHG emission reduction target. In response, the City Council directed that the City adopt a new GHG target of at least 40% below the 1990 level of emissions by 2030, and that the City prepare a new CAP to achieve the new GHG emissions reduction goal. The Fellow would hit the ground running, taking the baton from the 2018-19 Fellow, and aid in the development of a new CAP. The effort would include close coordination with the City’s STF, coordinating community listening sessions, and serving as the City support to the consultant developing the CAP.  The Fellow would also have an opportunity to pick up the “under construction” Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan that was delayed due to Butte County staff constraints associated with responding to California’s most destructive wildfire – The Camp Fire.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent research and writing skills, have the ability to work both independently and with others, and who can project manage and coordinate with individuals at other agencies and organizations in developing a plan.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Chico’s workplace culture mimics the community’s spirit. Located Downtown in the central gathering place for many community events, employees engage with community residents and visitors to help provide a Beautiful, Clean, and Safe Chico. With a short walk to community events such as Thursday night and Saturday morning farmers’ markets, Friday night concerts, Taste of Chico, and parades, it’s hard not to pick-up on the city’s vibe – even when at work. Chico’s Downtown is adjacent to the Chico State, and provides a food and drinking hub with College “specials” available to all.

Promoting Energy Equity in California Communities

Organization: California Energy Commission
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Environmental Justice
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Environmental Justice/Equity

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Energy Commission‘s Energy Research and Development Division supports energy research and development innovation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced clean energy generation, energy-related environmental protection, advanced energy systems, and transportation. The Energy Commission encourages underrepresented communities to engage in and benefit from these research programs by having funding opportunities scoped to address challenges or barriers affecting California’s most vulnerable communities, and encouraging researchers and technology developers to seek clean energy projects that are located in and will directly benefit these communities.

To better connect research projects with the critical needs of these communities, the Energy Commission initiated a Community Engagement Strategy, working with community based organizations and local governments throughout the state to conduct a series of town hall meetings with local residents and clean energy stakeholders. These meetings allow communities and local governments to start conceptualizing clean energy projects and connect with possible project partners, and allow Energy Commission staff to hear from residents about the most pressing energy issues in their communities. The Fellow will help Energy Commission staff identify and partner with local governments and community organizations in select regions in California, to further the connection between the Energy Commission’s research programs and the energy policy goals of the local governments and communities. The Fellow will also assist in the production of various public-facing resources and tools, documenting the critical energy needs of the partner communities and the available resources and organizations that can assist the communities to reach their energy goals. The completed resources and tools will be shared with Energy Commission management and Commissioners, researchers, developers, and public stakeholders.

The ideal Fellow will have the ability to effectively work with community organizations to plan community meetings and engage with community residents, document the energy and environmental needs of the communities, and assist with the creation of long-term strategic plans and resource tools. The Fellow will also have excellent written and verbal communication skills, project management experience, and database skills. Graphic design skills for creating community flyers and program brochures is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The California Energy Commission’s Research and Development Division is a place where tomorrow’s energy technology is imagined and invested in. The office is located in Sacramento – the capital of California – and is the fastest growing major city in California. The city has a new arena and downtown commons shopping district, the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River, and plenty of places to explore by bike and public transit.

Community-Scale CAP Implementation

Organization: City of Woodland
Location: Woodland, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Woodland adopted its Climate Action Plan (CAP) in May 2017 which provides community-generated strategies to guide Woodland in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in six focus areas: energy, transportation and land use, urban forest and open space, water and waste, public involvement, and municipal operations. In March 2019, the City Council established a formal Sustainability Advisory Committee to provide policy advice and program assistance and to support community-scale implementation of the CAP.

The Fellow will support two key capacity-building efforts: 1) continuing efforts to develop a system for tracking CAP implementation progress and integrate the information as an interactive and automated dashboard with the City’s CAP web pages and 2) assisting the new Sustainability Advisory Committee to develop programs for engaging the public in community scale CAP implementation. Additionally, the Fellow may assist with early thinking about the development of adaptation and resiliency planning for the City, based in part on the City’s collaboration through the Yolo Resiliency Collaborative. Serving within the City’s Environmental Services Division provides opportunities to interact with every city department as well as the public. The Fellow will gain a broad understanding of a wide range of sustainability issues and develop their communication skills through engaging with different audiences. In supporting the city’s new Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Fellow will have the opportunity to play an important role in creating the foundation for a successful committee.

The ideal Fellow will have strong research, data analysis, and communication skills, along with an understanding of the role local governments can play in promoting climate change-related priorities. The ability to simply and clearly explain the results of thorough, well-documented research will be key, as will the ability to work with a wide range of staff and engaged members of the public.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Woodland is located 20 miles northwest of Sacramento, and combines a strong historic heritage in its downtown, neighborhoods, and identity as a traditional agricultural hub with increasing importance as a manufacturing and distribution center supported by its proximity to major transportation nodes and regional population centers. The City has approximately 275 employees serving a community of approximately 60,000 residents. The City fosters a collaborative environment where city employees frequently work together within and between departments to assist each other in supporting the success of programs, projects, and services to meet the needs of the community.

Risk and Vulnerability Assessment and Sustainability Action Plan for Carbon Neutrality

Organization: City of Sacramento – Department of Utilities
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Climate Risk/Vulnerability, Water Supply Reliability
Desired Skills: Project Management, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Originally named Sacramento City Water Works, the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities (DOU) has been providing high quality water, storm drainage and wastewater services to the City of Sacramento residents since 1873. The City has been moving towards sustainability and livability through the adoption of the Sustainability Master Plan in 2007, the 2030 general plan in 2009, and a Climate Action Plan in 2012. The DOU is ramping up its sustainability initiatives and programs and is seeking two energetic and passionate Fellows to help kick-off two key initiatives. The Fellows will assist the sustainability team with the development of (1) Climate Change Infrastructure Risk and Vulnerability Assessment and (2) Sustainability Action Plan Preparation.

Through the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, the Fellows will research the current national and regional climate change projections and assessments, conducting risk assessment utilizing EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) as well as helping with vulnerability assessments. They will also adopt an associated decision-support framework to increase climate change resiliency of City’s water infrastructure and operations. The Fellows will assist with the development of a roadmap for the Sustainability Action Plan and for the DOU to achieve Carbon Neutrality consistent with the Mayor’s goal of Carbon Zero by 2045. Efforts will include researching sustainability policies, ordinances, codes on drinking water infrastructure, energy efficiency, identifying best practices to reduce GHG emissions and prioritizing future actions as well as coordinating and managing the plan development with multiple stakeholders.

The ideal Fellows will be highly motivated and proactive, with strong written and verbal communication and project management skills. Knowledge of climate change policies, GHG inventories, general sustainability principles, concepts and practices is desirable. Key tasks will require research and collaboration with multiple units and departments; facilitating meetings, presentations and workshops to guide discussions; identifying roadblocks and challenges; and the ability to prioritize tasks to accomplish the projects in determined timelines.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Home to 500,000 residents and known as the River City or City of Trees, Sacramento has a long-standing commitment to fostering sustainability in government operations and community activities. It is said that living in Sacramento can feel like living in a park as Sacramento is the greenest city in the States and ranks third in the world on tree canopy coverage. The DOU’s objectives focus on resource stewardship, community involvement, employee and trust development, and innovation in the utility field. The Department values collaboration, transparency and accountability to the community it serves. The Fellow will be situated with the 12-person Sustainability and Water Conservation team. The diverse and deeply committed team prides itself in serving, helping and educating City residents to address climate change impacts, sustainability, and water efficiency.

Delta Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Organization: Delta Stewardship Council
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Delta Stewardship Council (Council) is responsible for furthering the State’s co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and restoring the Delta ecosystem in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place through the development and implementation of the Delta Plan. The Council works with interests in the Delta to provide a strategic vision for the Delta and the tools and mechanisms to implement that vision. The Council is in the process of developing a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategy for the Delta. The assessment will involve the use of the best available science and the application of that science to quantify and describe potential impacts to local communities and resources. Adaptation strategies will provide direction for federal, state, and local government authorities to make investments in the Delta that are consistent with the Delta Plan, robust in the face of climate changes, and provide increased protection and resilience to future changes.

The Fellow will support collaboration between the Council and local and regional governments in the Delta region on climate change awareness and adaptation, and support the Council through engagement of local agencies on the Council’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategy. The Fellow will support Council staff in reaching out to local government agencies with the objective to collectively identify adaptation strategies that advance state goals for the Delta while improving regional resilience. The Fellow will work directly with representatives of local government agencies in building awareness of local climate change vulnerabilities and in gathering information on what management needs, data, or tools are of most importance to improve the agency’s ability to incorporate climate change risks into their planning processes, what adaptation strategies each agency is starting to consider, what adaptation management and authority gaps exist, and what role the Council can provide in supporting regional resilience.

The ideal Fellow will be able to communicate effectively as they will be working with local agencies on the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan, and be able to perform research as the Fellow will be seeing what type of adaptation management activities the jurisdictions in the Delta are already implementing and where the gaps are. Experience and skills in GIS/mapping are a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Council office is located in Downtown Sacramento, a vibrant and exciting place to work, live and play. Downtown Sacramento has a variety of entertainment venues that include the Golden One Center, museums, theaters, restaurants, and home to farmer’s markets and festivals. Our office is just a few blocks from the State Capitol. It is in close proximity to natural amenities that include the rivers and hiking trails, the foothills, and the Sierras. Sacramento is an authentic place with a mix of urban, suburban and rural settings – a little something for everyone. The office culture is professional yet relaxed. It’s an exciting time to be at the Council given the emphasis on the Delta in local and State politics, the impacts we are already experiencing with climate change, and the opportunity to help manage and mitigate those impacts.

Post-Camp Fire Climate Change Sustainability and Adaptation Updates

Organization: County of Butte
Location: Oroville, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Facilitation, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Butte County completed a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment with the assistance of a Civicspark Fellow during the 2017-18 program year in support of SB 379, which followed up the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) approved in 2014. In the wake of the Camp Fire and the tragic events that took place in the unincorporated portions of Butte County and the Town of Paradise, climate change adaptation and community resilience to the devastating effects of wildfire, and in the wildland-urban interface, has become a major priority.  

The Fellow will develop a set of adaptation and resiliency goals, guidelines, objectives, and a set of feasible implementation measures in accordance with SB 379. This information will be used to update the adaptation section of the CAP, and the General Plan’s Health and Safety Element. The Fellow will research best practices developed by other jurisdictions and other state resources in response to devastating wildfires and other adaptation measures. The Fellow will also coordinate with the Butte County Fire Safe Council as they undertake efforts to develop landscape level community fire safe resiliency plans. In addition to service in support of SB 379, the Fellow will assist the County in developing a work program in support of SB 32 (2030 GHG Emissions Target). The Fellow will scope best practices and legal requirements necessary to prepare an updated Climate Action Plan.

The ideal Fellow will possess strong research abilities, writing skills and a working knowledge of sustainability practices and processes. The Fellow should be comfortable in multi-tasking and setting work priorities and working in a collaborative environment, as well as independently with minimal supervision. An interest in the professional discipline and process of planning, especially in working with the General Plan and implementation measures, and technical understanding of the nature and science behind Climate Action Planning is desirable as well, as is an interest in how a post-disaster community can respond to the rebuilding process using the best available techniques and programs.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Butte County encompasses both rural and urban environments; although it emphasizes an agricultural lifestyle and economy, it is also home to academic institutions such as Butte College and CSU Chico. Oroville is the County seat and is where the Fellow will be placed. Butte County is made up of a variety of landscapes including the Sacramento Valley, Foothills, and higher areas in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Many recreational opportunities are available including Bidwell Park in Chico, and Feather Falls and Lake Oroville near Oroville. The City of Chico is home to the Sierra Nevada Brewery, known for its sustainable practices, taproom and restaurant. Local creeks and rivers include Butte Creek and the Sacramento River, which provide opportunities for rafting, swimming and cooling off in the summer. The Fellow’s office will reside in the Planning Division where they will have the opportunity to interact with professional planners and participate in department-wide staff meetings and informal discussions. The Department of Development Services provides a supportive professional environment and opportunities for exposure to Planning Division work will be made available. 

Moving Toward Implementation of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plans

Organization: County of Placer
Location: Auburn, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Active Transportation, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Research, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The geographical reaches of Placer County span the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada regions, including the suburban areas of the Sacramento Region and Lake Tahoe. The county has a diverse environmental, social, and economic landscape. Placer County faces a number of challenges over the coming years as it aims to reach targets for GHG emissions reduction and enhance efforts to develop its multi-modal and active transportation networks. The challenges vary from ambitious state-mandated GHG reduction targets to new CEQA guidelines that analyze projects for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) thresholds rather than thresholds that measure congestion.

Placer County Planning Division and the Department of Public Works are seeking a Fellow that will serve within a dynamic team of transportation and land use planners, and traffic engineers to shape the direction of Placer County’s vision for land development. The Fellow will be primarily assisting with implementation of SB 743 through the Resort Triangle Transportation Plan and the VMT Metric Implementation Plan. The Fellow will provide critical community outreach and engagement, conduct research and data collection, implement the Placer County Sustainability Plan, and support programs that address local and regional prosperity and sustainability.

The ideal Fellow will have strong analytical skills and communication skills. The Fellow will need to be a creative and collaborative thinker who can work in a team environment. Prior outreach and community engagement experience is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Placer County is comprised of over 1,400 square miles of beautiful and diverse geography, ranging from the residential and commercial areas of South Placer, westward through the historic foothill areas of Auburn, Foresthill, and Colfax, and to the County’s jewel of the North Lake Tahoe basin. The Fellow will be serving with both the Planning Department and Public Works Transportation team on implementation and will be placed within the Planning Department’s Long Range Planning Team. The Long Range Planning Team is made up of a progressive group of planners who focus on shaping the County with good land use practices and policy. The team believes in close collaboration, empowering peers, and having fun in the workplace.

Resiliency Planners’ Toolbox Development and Outreach

Organization: Yolo Resiliency Collaborative
Location: Woodland, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Research, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Yolo Resiliency Collaborative is a group of staff from jurisdictions throughout Yolo County working collaboratively to increase resilience in their communities. Yolo County has a strong, positive history of people acting together to face challenges, to protect their resources, and to improve their collective well-being. Designing a response to climate change impacts is another opportunity to work together to meet challenges that are daunting to face alone. Based on an initial county-wide workshop, the Group has started its efforts with an initial focus on increased heat effects and extreme heat events, understanding that most of the likely effects of climate change in Yolo County will stem from increased heat. The group has focused initially on a strategy of building capacity for local jurisdictions by developing a Planners’ Toolbox, which includes templates for addressing climate change impacts of extreme heat in key local planning documents. The Group intends to move to other impacts such as flooding, wildfires, and air quality, that have historically affected the region and are all likely to be exacerbated by climate change.

The Fellow will build capacity in jurisdictions in Yolo County to help them address the broad range of environmental challenges associated with climate change. The Fellow will provide support on the Planners’ Toolbox templates, focusing on dissemination of the toolbox resources. Additionally, the Fellow will assist with planning and convening a new regional workshop in early Winter 2020 to facilitate this dissemination and inform the Group’s next set of priorities and projects. From this workshop, the Fellow will develop a work plan, and begin Toolbox template support on the next priority climate change impact as identified in the workshop.

The ideal Fellow will be highly organized, willing to take ownership of project goals, and be comfortable coordinating busy people with competing priorities. As a collaborative, the Yolo Resiliency Collaborative envisions this project to be inclusive, engaging, and transparent. The Group expects that a significant portion of the Fellow’s service will involve communication, both verbally and in writing, with a wide range of local agencies and stakeholder groups in order to facilitate participation.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

While the Fellow will support all of the stakeholders of the Yolo Resiliency Collaborative, the Fellow will be placed within Yolo County Housing. Through the Yolo Resiliency Collaborative, the Fellow will interact with a highly collaborative group of officials representing a variety of types of jurisdictions, and have an opportunity to learn about the wide range of issues they work on. If the Fellow chooses to live in Davis, they will enjoy a friendly, established, and accessible community that is also home to a large student population and has a wide variety of activities and experiences available. Yolo County includes a mix of sub/ex-urban and rural/agricultural environments, and is close to the larger, more urban population of Sacramento. Additionally, mountains and ocean are only modest distances away, along with the Bay Area’s larger population centers.

Surface and Groundwater Management in Yolo County using Policy and Technology Tools

Organization: Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
Location: Woodland, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Land Use Planning for Water Resources, Groundwater
Desired Skills: Project Management, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District is looking for 2 Fellows to support 2 projects for the region. Depending on the candidates fit and interests, both could support the first project, or one could be assigned to each project.

Project #1: Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan

The Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency (YSGA) is a new organization formed in 2017 to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in Yolo County. Yolo County is west of Sacramento and contains the Cities of Woodland, Winters, Davis, and West Sacramento. YSGA is in the process of developing the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) which is funded by a $1M grant from the California Department of Water Resources. The main goal of the GSP is to create a governance structure that preserves Yolo County’s groundwater resources in perpetuity.

A CivicSpark Fellow will help develop and implement the YSGA Groundwater Sustainability Plan, defining the activities that the YSGA will perform to protect and preserve the groundwater resources in Yolo County. These activities include avoiding overdraft, protecting water quality, avoiding subsidence, and protecting groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Several components of the plan include improvements to the groundwater well monitoring network, assisting with groundwater models, communicating with stakeholder groups, and providing support for GIS and database management systems. Outdoor field work visiting wells on rural farms and ranches will be required.

The ideal Fellow will have a technical/engineering/scientific background. This position would benefit Fellows who are interested in developing both their technical and interpersonal skills and gaining fieldwork experience. Fellows will assist with GIS and mapping, web site management, computer simulation development, flow measurement, water quality testing, surveying, newsletter content development, a citizen science program management, stakeholder engagement, land use planning, and local agency coordination.

Project #2: Remote Environmental Monitoring and Water System Control with SCADA

The Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (the District) was formed in 1967 and has offices in the same building as the YSGA. The District serves irrigation water to farms in its 200,000 acre service area in western Yolo County. The District manages 165 miles of canals, 3 dams, and a small hydroelectric power plant. The District also has groundwater monitoring and management responsibilities. The District’s SCADA system (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is used for remote monitoring and control using a high bandwidth Ethernet radio system with more than 500 nodes.

The CivicSpark Fellows will assist the SCADA Operations Supervisor to develop the District’s SCADA system. Activities include database programming and management of time-series data, configuring and troubleshooting various sensors and radios, maintaining industrial computer hardware and solar power systems, constructing conduit and sensor networks, and performing water flow measurement. Outdoor field work in hot and cold weather will be required.

The ideal Fellow will have a technical/engineering/scientific or electrical/construction background. This position would benefit Fellows who are interested in developing technical skills and gaining fieldwork experience. Fellows will get a mix of high tech industrial computer experience and outdoor construction tasks such as installing radio masts and maintaining hydraulically powered canal gates. There are many diverse activities available for the Fellow in this position, depending on skills and inclination.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The YSGA is a joint powers authority between 24 water agencies in Yolo County. These agencies range from irrigation districts, small community water systems, the UC Davis campus, cities, Reclamation Districts, the Yocha Dehe tribe, environmental interests, and the County of Yolo. This coalition of urban and rural interests provides a dynamic environment for the Fellow to explore and serve within. The Fellows would likely have an office at the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District headquarters, 4 miles west of Woodland. Yolo County is largely rural, with 95% of groundwater being used outside of the four cities. However, a world class university, UC Davis, and nearby Sacramento provide amenities of larger urban areas. The SF Bay area and Lake Tahoe are also nearby, only a few hours drive away.

ArcGIS-based Asset Management System Development

Organization: Lake County Special Districts
Location: Lakeport, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Infrastructure, Disaster Response/Emergency Management
Desired Skills: GIS/Mapping, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Lake County Special Districts is responsible for water, street lighting and wastewater features throughout Lake County. Many of these features have been GPS’d for display in GIS, but additional support is needed to enable asset management capabilities using ArcGIS. The various features such as manholes, sewer mains, cleanouts, etc. need to be cataloged using ArcGIS. This ArcGIS asset management project will provide documentation for short and long term improvement planning that will reduce sewer spills, protecting Clear Lake, groundwater and the environment.

The Fellows will help the district be more proactive and mitigate the effects of the many natural disasters that have occurred in the county over the last five years. The Fellows will identify and prioritize needs within the sanitation district that will enable the district to reduce sanitary sewer overflows during peak rain storms. With prioritized short and long term planning, the Fellows will support the County in addressing needs and improvements which will result in lower operation and maintenance costs for the district, helping lower the user fees for the economically-challenged community. Some of the Fellows’ support will be identifying problem areas and focused “hot spots” needing on-going maintenance, logging line cleaning in the GIS program, and adding line video inspections for sewer mains.

The ideal Fellows will be customer and community oriented. The most important skills are ArcGIS and GPS knowledge and experience. The Fellows would also be self motivated individuals who can read As-Built Maps and recognize features that must be included in an asset management plan.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Special Districts Administration is a public health and safety department that manages water, wastewater and street lighting districts for the County of Lake. Special Districts employs 48 professional, certified staff to provide customer service, operations and maintenance of water and wastewater systems, and the planning and management of improvement projects. They strive to be proactive and a leader in advanced technology; in 2010, their solar arrays were the largest county owned solar facilities in the State of California, and in 2018, they installed the first public-owned floating solar power system in California. Since 1997, Lake County has led the nation in recycling wastewater for environmental and geothermal energy benefits.

Conservation and Hazard Mitigation Plan

Organization: Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District
Location: Hidden Valley Lake, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Wastewater Quality, Hazard Mitigation
Desired Skills: Project Management, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District (HVLCSD) provides Water and Wastewater services to the community of Hidden Valley Lake. The robust aquifer of Coyote Valley and the adjacency of Putah Creek both provide a water source for this community. HVLCSD is committed to providing a safe, affordable, and resilient water supply to its customers. HVLCSD has been identifying and repairing Infiltration and Inflow issues that would otherwise compromise its ability to meet its discharge requirements.

HVLCSD is looking to build upon the successes achieved thus far from previous Fellows, while helping the new CivicSpark Fellows enhance their GIS, project management, public outreach, reporting, and writing skills in a professional environment. Fellows will support HVLCSD in protecting the community and essential infrastructure from the dangers of wildfires and flood. The Fellows will support the development of an asset management database. This database will be pivotal in the success of the pending Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. Hazard Mitigation has far reaching benefits. Wildfires and floods, for example, are blind to city, county, or even state boundaries, so building a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan will provide tangible benefits to HVLCSD as well as county neighbors, specifically Lake County Special Districts.

The ideal Fellows will be dedicated and flexible, and have an interest in local government operations. Ideally, the Fellows will have enthusiasm to learn all aspects of operations and the willingness to manage projects to improve operations. Skills such as Microsoft Office Excel and formal writing for correspondence with local, state and federal agencies will be key. Experience with ArcGIS for desktop and ArcPRO is preferred. 

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Lake County’s rolling hills and valleys belie a complex system of unique geography, rocks and soils, and lots of water! HVLCSD takes its stewardship of this bountiful area seriously and works hard to keep up its infrastructure to maintain the highest quality of water and wastewater services possible. It is a staff of twelve, working in two departments. The CivicSpark Fellows will support both departments in building capacity, by serving outside, geo-locating infrastructure (GNSS, and ESRI Collector), replacing infrastructure (manhole lid replacement project), as well as inside, coordinating the data collection (ArcGIS PRO, Excel spreadsheet and pivot tables, Wonderware Historian) and developing reporting and trends from that data. The best of both worlds is offered to the CivicSpark Fellows to help leverage existing tools and goals of the District. You will transform the Water Resources from a department of one, to three!

Stormflow Analysis and Capacity Assessment

Organization: City of Lakeport
Location: Lakeport, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Water Conservation/Water Use Efficiency, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Lakeport is a small community in beautiful Northern California. Located on the northern shore of Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in the state. It has a hometown feel with a population of 5,200. The community is disadvantaged and struggles to maintain and replace an aging utility infrastructure. This results in excessive load in the collection system and impacts overall capacity.  

The Fellow will assist with identifying and analyzing deficiencies in the City’s aging utility infrastructure by utilizing various tools recently acquired for this purpose. The goal is to determine the impacts of Infiltration and Inflow and how improvements can be implemented to establish sustained capacity. The Fellow will analyze the historical data over the past several years to determine remaining capacity for both water and sewer. There are many factors that have to be considered in the equation that include current connections, permits and growth projections, and this is vital information for the City as a whole to determine our ability to sustain future development.

The ideal Fellow will have experience using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for preparing worksheets and graphs. The Fellow will be self motivated to complete delegated tasks and take initiative with analysis and presentation.  Familiarity with water/sewer processes is preferred.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Lake County is a beautiful place to live and work. The mountainous terrain with the lake provides a beautiful landscape from almost anywhere in the County. It has plenty to see and do for having a total population of about 75,000. It is also conveniently located to explore many other beautiful areas located in Northern California. The State Capital, Pacific coast, redwoods, ski resorts, or SF Bay area are all within a 2 hour radius. The City of Lakeport consists of about 50 employees. It is a professional organization that prides itself on working together as a team. Work schedules consists of a 9/80 which equates to every other Friday off.

Stormwater Master Plan and Vulnerability Assessment

Organization: City of Mt. Shasta
Location: Mt. Shasta, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Stormwater Quality/Green Infrastructure/LID
Desired Skills: GIS/Mapping, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Mt. Shasta is a small, rural community situated at the base of Mount Shasta and the headwaters of the Sacramento River. The City serves as a gateway for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and its unique natural setting creates strong cultural identity and supports the tourism and recreation economy. The City contains many wetlands, parks, springs and greenways, and the “wild” feeling spaces are a point of local pride. However, climate change and aging infrastructure threaten the economic livelihood and natural setting of the community. Historically, the City has missed opportunities to integrate natural systems into the urban environment and preserve surrounding wild lands to increase outdoor recreation and ecosystem services derived from wetlands, surface waters, and streams.

The project has two distinct parts. First, the CivicSpark Fellows will build off previous mapping efforts of the City’s stormwater and drainage infrastructure to create an updated GIS database and Stormwater Master Plan. The Stormwater Master Plan would integrate green infrastructure and stormwater resource planning into the City’s urban system to integrate natural landscapes for ecosystem services and recreation opportunities. The Fellows will assist in research, communicating, and applying stormwater management practices to update the Stormwater Master Plan for future projects and funding. For the second part of the project, the Fellows will assess the vulnerability of surrounding water-based recreational opportunities for the impacts of increased tourism and climate change. The increasing number of visitors to the area and the increased prevalence of rain-snow events has degraded the landscape causing low quality surface waters and overall decreased recreation opportunities. The assessment would identify at-risk wetland, surface waters, and streams in need of maintenance, protection, and restoration and would include a map of areas prone to high visitor numbers, high wildfire risk, and illegal encampments. Fellows would conduct research on stormwater and recreation management options and incorporate suggestions for improvement into the updated Master Plan and City’s General Plan under the direction of the City Planner.

The ideal Fellows will have skills in Geographic Information System (GIS), Microsoft Excel, or comparable database software. Ideally, the Fellow will have some understanding of stormwater and green infrastructure planning and development and have the ability and willingness to walk the city infrastructure for cataloging. Good written and verbal communication skills and a curiosity and willingness to explore new techniques and technology around water systems is essential.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Mt. Shasta is a small, rural community with approximately 3300 people inside City Limits. It is subject to hot summers and snowy winters. The City is situated in an area of Northern California that has unlimited outdoor experiences and beautiful natural landscapes. The headwaters of the Sacramento River, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and Mount Shasta are world-class hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and recreation areas. If bigger city amenities are desired, the City of Mt. Shasta is about one hour away from Medford, Oregon and Redding, California which host retail and social opportunities. The City of Mt. Shasta is an inclusive, active, and laid back atmosphere. The employees are typically dressed ready to work in the outdoors and help other departments with projects. The Planning and Public Works Departments are both small departments, and they are supportive and encourage self-development through training and educational opportunities. Outside of the office, employees frequently help each other out with personal projects, volunteering, and enjoy the natural recreation opportunities.

Building Capacity and Water Resiliency for Tribal Governments and Disadvantaged Communities in California

Organization: CA Department of Water Resources – Office of the Tribal Policy Advisor – Executive Division
Location: Sacramento, CA
This project has two placements; one in Sacramento and another in the San Joaquin Valley region.
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Environmental Justice, Water Supply Reliability
Desired Skills: Research, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Department of Water Resource’s (DWR) Office of the Tribal Policy Advisor coordinates communication and consultation with California Native American tribes to ensure proactive and meaningful consultation. The Tribal Policy Advisor works with Tribal governments and Tribal communities to identify areas of mutual concern, develop partnerships, and consensus in water management. DWR’s Division of Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Financial Assistance Branch provides financial and technical assistance to 48 established IRWM regions in the State — working closely with the Tribal Policy Advisor, Sustainable Groundwater Management Office, Division of Flood Management, and other DWR groups. DWR is implementing a program to build capacity with Tribes and Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) to ensure more meaningful involvement in the overall IRWM program, including access to technical and financial assistance.

The Fellow will have the opportunity to assist Tribes and DACs to participate in regional IRWM programs that build water resiliency and sustainability. The Fellow will assist DWR to: establish and convene a CA Tribal Roundtable of Regions that will foster tribal collaboration and provide policy input into State programs; plan meetings of the new Tribal Advisory Council for the Governor’s Water Resiliency Portfolio; organize a 2019 Tribal Summit; build a database of Tribes in California linked to our GIS interactive mapping tool; facilitate bimonthly DAC Involvement (DACI) Working Group meetings with the 12 DACI grantees; and develop a statewide needs assessment with recommendations for policy and other actions, and present the findings to DWR Executive, Legislative Analyst’s Office, and others. The statewide report will compile regional water/sanitation needs assessments being developed now by individual groups throughout the state. The Fellow will see his or her efforts succeed with the inaugural year of the Tribal Roundtable of Regions, and completion of the statewide Needs Assessment report. In this unique opportunity to serve in the State Capitol with DWR, Tribes and DACs, the Fellow will learn about statewide water management challenges, such as: sustainable groundwater management and regional water balance, climate change adaptation, drought and flood preparedness and response, water conservation and supply, and fiscal challenges. The Fellow and DWR Staff will visit rural and suburban areas to interact with the two demographics throughout the service project.

The ideal Fellow will have an interest in assisting underrepresented demographics, ability to connect people and topics, desire to learn and research, excellent communication skills (verbal and written), enjoy organizing outreach and educational events, and ability to work effectively as part of a team. The Fellow will spend about 70% of their time in an office environment and attending meetings, and about 30% of their time in travel to various parts of the State with other DWR managers and staff. The Fellow should have strong organizational, project management, database and presentation skills.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Being in the Department of Water Resources will provide the Fellows with a statewide view of issues and the demographics affected by water management issues. In addition to Tribal and DAC work, DWR provides essential information to legislation and policy issues, for many water resources topics such as water management and water supply, power and infrastructure, dam safety and flood management, emergency response and education. DWR is headquartered in California’s capitol city of Sacramento. The area is known as the City of Trees and as a Farm-to-Fork Capitol. It is rich in fresh produce with nearby agriculture, an abundance of natural recreation areas for hiking, camping, and boating, and also 2-3 hours away from Napa/Sonoma, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the Santa Cruz/Monterey Peninsula. The two Fellows will be a welcome addition to DWR’s 35-person Financial Assistance Branch team, comprised of environmental scientists, engineers, analysts and program managers. There will be many opportunities for developing new friendships with colleagues, getting coaching and mentorship, interacting with other DWR divisions and groups, and participating in monthly Branch meetings and teambuilding activities.

Energy Benchmarking and Vehicle Electrification

Organization: City of Sacramento – Public Works
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Energy Efficiency / Zero Net Energy, Alternative or Multimodal Transportation
Desired Skills: Data Collection / Analysis, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

In late 2018, the Mayors of Sacramento and West Sacramento jointly convened the Mayor’s Commission on Climate Change to develop a common vision and set of strategies for both cities to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, referred to as Carbon Zero, by 2045. Sacramento is currently undertaking a climate action plan update, and recently completed its first EV Strategy. Sacramento is also in the midst of implementing a myriad of advanced zero-emission mobility initiatives, including the nation’s largest all-electric free-floating car share program. To date, the City has attained a 24% reduction in municipal greenhouse gas emissions since 2005. However, more work is needed to identify ongoing strategies for attainment of community-wide climate targets. The City of Sacramento owns over 400 buildings, with distinct databases for buildings statistics and energy usage. While total municipal electricity use has declined by 23% since 2005, total costs have increased by 32%.

The Fellow will be responsible for evaluating building data and creating a scorecard system to track and compare building energy performance. A key priority for the role is to develop a turnkey process for annual reports. In addition, the Fellow will support with analysis of projects completed to date and prepare a report of outcomes, accounting for projects such as the City’s on-site solar photovoltaics, energy efficiency retrofits, and vehicle electrification efforts. Additional activities will include support for sustainability initiative implementation, including implementation of the City’s curbside EV charging pilots. Tasks may include data collection for the City’s climate action plan update, awards submissions, and updates to City content. The Fellow can aid in identifying and recommending options for optimizing energy use and preparing for higher costs with greater uncertainties.

The ideal Fellow will be able to work in a fast-paced environment, with strong analytical, writing, and interpersonal skills. Proficiency with Microsoft Excel is required, as much of the work related to stablishing energy baselines and scorecards for public buildings owned by the City of Sacramento will require independent and complex work in excel to process, analyze, develop reports and communicate data and insights. The Fellow will also need strong communication skills (verbal and written), as they will have to communicate with a range of partners and stakeholders, potentially including senior leadership, elected officials, City staff/other departments, and community members.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Sacramento is located in the heart of California’s Central Valley at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers. Sacramento is the cultural and economic center of its six-county metropolitan area (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties) and the largest city in the Central Valley. The greater Sacramento area has been cited as one of the five “most livable” regions in America, and the city has been touted as one of America’s most diverse cities. Sacramento is located roughly halfway between San Francisco to the west and Lake Tahoe to the east. Sacramento is the seventh most populous city in California with a 2014 estimated population of 475,122. Sacramento has a Mediterranean climate that is characterized by mild winters and dry, hot summers.

As headquarters of state government, Sacramento is widely regarded as the center of policy-making in the state. Sacramento is currently one of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the country. Construction of new high-rise buildings in the Central Business District, retention and expansion of new employment centers in business parks, and the revitalization of older commercial corridors highlight the changes Sacramento is making to become a true urban environment. Sacramento is the regional cultural and recreational destination, with an orchestra, professional opera and ballet companies, numerous performing arts venues, a lively museum community including the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River, professional sports, and endless opportunities for sporting and recreational activities. Sacramento has been an agricultural powerhouse for centuries, boasting a year-round growing season, ideal climate and a mouth-watering bounty of crops – truly making it a farm to fork destination for foodies.  

This position will be embedded within the City’s Department of Public Works, sitting within the Office of the Director’s Sustainability Team. The Department of Public Works has more than 700 employees and manages a $200+ million budget with 7 divisions delivering critical services that keep the City functioning, including: Engineering Services, Facilities and Real Property Management, Fleet Management, Maintenance Services, Parking Services, Recycling and Solid Waste, and Transportation.

Outreach and Planning to Promote Equitable and Affordable Housing Supply

Organization: California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Equity
Desired Skills: Outreach / Community Engagement, Data Collection / Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) promotes safe, affordable homes and strong vibrant communities throughout California. The Department consists of three major divisions: (1) Division of Codes and Standards, (2) Division of Financial Assistance and (3) Division of Housing Policy Development (HPD). HPD, who will lead this project, serves as the planning and policy function for the Department and tackles a variety of functions and housing related topics. California faces some of the most extreme housing challenges in the state such as housing supply shortages, lack of affordability, cost burdens on lower income households and special needs populations, ownership, job housing relationships, inequitable socio-economic patterns and persons experiencing homelessness. In response to the housing crisis, the legislature and administration has taken landmark steps in policy and program development including unprecedented land use laws and planning programs. HCD will be hosting three Fellows in three different locations; this position is for the Fellow within Sacramento. Fellows will have the opportunity to be involved in the implementation of California’s recent advances at multiple levels of government addressing issues such as housing supply and affordability and affirmatively furthering fair housing.

The Department is implementing a $125 million planning grant program with local and regional governments to accelerate housing production. Part of the program involved coordination with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and providing technical assistance to regional and local governments related to the planning grants. The technical assistance is regionally tailored to local needs to promote access to the program which includes building capacity to prepare and implement planning documents such as general plans, zoning codes, specific plans and environmental reviews. The Fellow will be engaged with local and regional governments and focus on at least one local or regional government. The Fellow will help conduct outreach, provide technical assistance, support interagency coordination, conduct research and data collection, and support policy and program development and planning document preparation.

The ideal Fellow should have an interest in learning about state land use, zoning and housing laws, and development at a local level and commitment to equity in pursuing innovative policy solutions. The ideal Fellow will have previous work experience with research and evaluation and GIS/spatial data analysis. Strong written and verbal communication skills as well as project management is key.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

HCD’s Housing Policy Development division is a relatively fast paced, dynamic, collaborative and provides a range of opportunities to build skills and knowledge. Variety, innovation and a safe place to grow are key themes and the Fellow will have the opportunity to support smaller short term and longer term projects. The Fellow will also experience a large scale perspective, being able to engage in state level to regional and local level policy and planning processes. Skill and knowledge development will include research, data collection and analysis, and other related policy activities for preparation of reports, papers, briefs, analyses, data summaries, and other products related to housing, land use and community development.

Addressing Housing Insecurity for California’s Community College Students

Organization: California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Location: Sacramento, CA
This project has two placements; one in Sacramento and another in the LA Region.
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Education
Desired Skills: Project Management, Data Collection / Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Community Colleges serve more than 2.1 million students at 115 campuses across the state. The vast majority of California’s students‚ including first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color‚ begin their higher education journey at one of the colleges. More than four in ten are 25 years old or older, with one in five 35 years old or older. Although tuition has remained low, it is still difficult for low-income students to achieve their educational goals due to the state’s high cost of living and the lack of financial aid to cover non-tuition expenses, including housing, food, and transportation. The state has led the nation with innovations like the California College Promise Grant, which waives tuition for students, but those other non-tuition costs constitute the greatest obstacle to college completion and, therefore, social and economic mobility. Policymakers, college leaders, and others are interested in a range of options, including widely-discussed legislation intending to make parking lots available overnight, and many local college leaders are interested in opportunities to support their students.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, as the state agency responsible for the colleges, is planning to work with community college districts to make affordable housing more available to students, possibly through the expansion of on-campus housing, as relatively few campuses maintain facilities today. The Fellow would be responsible for research and planning related to college-specific options, with the potential to implement given identification of funding sources. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office is specifically interested in alternatives related to expansion of student housing. The Fellow will work with colleges to analyze the feasibility of expanding on-campus housing or other supports that could be provided to address housing instability among community college students. The Fellow would support the leadership in a community college district, or group of community college districts, evaluate related options, including work involving research and planning on financial sustainability.

The ideal Fellow will be skilled in data collection, and policy and financial analysis. Strong communication skills are important for the facilitation of discussions and presentation of information to college leaders.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The California Community Colleges are in the midst of an ambitious change agenda aimed at meeting California’s needs for an educated population. As part of the largest system of higher education in the nation, the colleges are uniquely positioned to help residents of all backgrounds improve their social and economic mobility and build a better future for themselves and their families. The North Star guiding the California Community Colleges is the Vision for Success, adopted by the Board of Governors in 2017. The Vision calls for eliminating achievement gaps, increasing by 35 percent the number of students transferring to a University of California or California State University campus and increasing by at least 20 percent annually the number of students who earn a degree, credential, or certificate preparing them for in-demand jobs. Because districts are located in all regions of the state, one opportunity could be work across several community college districts in a given region, which would give the fellow an opportunity to understand capacity-building in the context of several local governments.

Placer County Housing Strategy and Development Plan

Organization: California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), in partnership with the County of Placer
Location: Auburn, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Technical Writing, Outreach / Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Placer County, in conjunction with a variety of stakeholders, is actively developing and executing a comprehensive approach to addressing housing needs. This approach includes revising standards and regulations to minimize barriers to housing, creating an investment strategy for achieving affordable housing, utilizing publicly-owned properties for housing projects, and creating public-private partnerships for affordable housing construction. Placer County is seeking a Fellow with an interest in housing policy, funding, and development to assist in developing and implementing a County Housing Strategy and Development Plan in collaboration with staff and HCD. HCD will be hosting three Fellows in three different locations; this position is for the Fellow within Auburn. Fellows will have the opportunity to be involved in the implementation of California’s recent advances at multiple levels of government addressing issues such as housing supply and affordability and affirmatively furthering fair housing.

The Fellow will support the development and implementation of the Housing Strategy and Development Plan through tasks that may include: collecting and analyzing relevant housing reports, policies, plans, codes, ordinances, design standards and other background materials; supporting staff with the development of an existing conditions assessment; assisting with the preparation of proposed amendments to County related housing ordinances and design standards; assisting with a Public Participation Outreach Strategy including the coordination and presentation at local municipal advisory councils, key stakeholder meetings; virtual town hall meetings; and other community workshops on affordable housing needs and solutions; assisting with the implementation of the County’s Site Evaluation Tool developed to assess indicators pertaining to the likely feasibility (market demand, profitability) of developing profitable and marketable housing opportunity sites; supporting the maintenance of a Land Supply Assessment utilizing parcel database and ArcGIS; assisting with the implementation of State housing resource programs including CDBG, HOME and other funding programs including but not limited to anticipated funds from the 2017 passage of SB2, and developing a regional collaborative approach to sharing knowledge such as models, successes and challenges related to the overall project in coordination with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and HCD.

The ideal Fellow will be interested in learning about state land use, zoning and housing laws and housing/economic development at a local level. Desired traits include being detail-oriented, having the desire to learn communication and public outreach skills, and having a willingness to jump in and join staff in developing a new approach for housing development.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Placer County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state of California. From the majesty of North Lake Tahoe to the rich heritage of the Gold Rush era, Placer County offers a wealth of opportunities and experiences. Placer County strives to be a county government known for providing exceptional local and regional leadership, that works in partnership with the community to develop creative solutions to the diverse issues facing our region, and bestows to current and future generations even better communities in which to live, raise families, work, vacation, and conduct business. The Long Range Planning team is responsible for helping the Board of Supervisors develop plans, policies, ordinances and programs. Long range planning involves highly complex and diverse land use decisions that require a careful balancing of competing economic, social and environmental interests.

Addressing Children and Youth in Disaster

Organization: California Office of Emergency Services – Youth
Location: Oroville, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Public Health, Disaster Response / Emergency Management
Desired Skills: Outreach / Community Engagement, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is analyzing unmet needs and gaps in long-term community disaster recovery. Northern California has experienced a series of devastating wildfires, culminating in the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive fire in California’s history. The Camp Fire has affected all aspects of life in impacted jurisdictions, particularly the lives of children and youth. Over 5,000 students were displaced following the Camp Fire. Four schools were destroyed, 16 schools were severely damaged, and there are untold mental health impacts for the thousands of children affected.

Cal OES’s Fellow will serve with the long-term recovery unit and other partners to support Butte County’s Office of Education to build capacity related to Child and Youth in Disaster, including but not limited to developing a Task Force. The Child and Youth Task Force is based on a national model that promotes effective coordination of diverse systems and agencies. It focuses on bringing government, nonprofit organizations, and communities impacted by disaster to work together to solve issues that affect children and youth. The Child and Youth Task Force that is being formed in Butte County to support Camp Fire recovery efforts is establishing processes and precedents that will be utilized on future disaster recovery efforts across the State of California. The Fellow will play an important role in the development of this task force, including building partnerships, authoring white papers and procedures, conducting research to support local recovery projects, and addressing unmet needs with innovative solutions.

The ideal Fellow will value teamwork, have community organizing experience, and will be able to maintain a flexible attitude regarding their work schedule and a strong commitment to public service. An interest or experience with mental health resilience would be a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Cal OES Recovery Framework Unit Fellow will be working in a fast-paced, interdisciplinary co-working environment working out of the Butte County Office of Education in Oroville, CA. On a given day, the Fellow might interact with high-ranking government officials, disaster survivors (including children, youth, and families), non-profit workers, first responders, and civil servants from across government agencies and all levels of government. Cal OES collaborates with a variety of partners on urgent and complex problems that will impact communities immediately as well as for many years to come. Cal OES will support the Fellow in making diverse and meaningful connections to experts and thought leaders in a variety of areas.

Linking Climate Mitigation and Adaptation to Emergency Management Services

Organization: California Office of Emergency Services – Adaptation
Location: Mather, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Outreach / Community Engagement, Data Collection / Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is the state agency responsible for overseeing and coordinating emergency preparedness, response, recovery and homeland security activities within the state of California. Cal OES is actively working to better integrate climate change within the agency’s programs to enhance the State’s overall resiliency through assisting local jurisdictions apply best practices to their planning activities. This project is designed to support the ongoing efforts to promote the agency’s two planning documents: the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SMHP) and Adaptation Planning Guide (APG) while also integrating other planning requirements at the local level efficiently. Both of these resources were created to guide local jurisdictions’ in proactively planning for the unavoidable consequences of climate change as well as responding effectively to disasters.

With the SMHP published in September 2018 and the APG to be published in March 2020, the Fellow will assist in public engagement to socialize the two documents, help finalize the APG based on beneficiary experiences, and ideally share these results as a contribution to a statewide ‘user guide’ for the APG that other local jurisdictions may use. Fellow will also develop creative ways to engage communities and assist end-users with utilizing these tools for their planning and implementation efforts. The Fellow will collaborate with three rural jurisdictions at different periods during the project period, using information provided in the SMHP and APG, to identify where current plans can be updated and/or if a new plan should be created.

The ideal Fellow will have strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to research and identify climate vulnerabilities using existing data. Cultural competency/social awareness is also desired and something the Fellow will gain throughout the project.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Cal OES is a dynamic state agency that values its dedicated workforce and supports training, development, and innovating thinking. Climate change is a new and quickly growing policy area where the Fellow can be at the front end of a critical new program development.

Fighting Fire with Tech – Support the Development of Californias Wildfire Watch Capabilities

Organization: California Office of Emergency Services – Warning Center
Location: Mather, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Risk / Vulnerability, Risk Communication
Desired Skills: Project Management, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is the state agency responsible for overseeing and coordinating emergency preparedness, response, recovery and homeland security activities within the state of California. In the last two years, California has faced an unprecedented series of devastating wildfires, culminating in the Camp Fire in November 2018, the deadliest and most destructive fire in California’s history. Cal OES is looking to enhance the state’s capabilities around fire weather forecasting, monitoring, threat assessment, and alert and warning.

As Cal OES continues to enhance its fire warning resources, the Fellow will provide valuable research and recommendations that will inform the technology and methods Cal OES can use for assessing risk and better predicting fire behavior. The Fellow will interview fire science experts from around the world, including, but not limited to, academic and research institutions, scientists, meteorologists, utilities providers, and private sector partners, to identify best practices and innovations in fire forecasting. The Fellow might research opportunities touching on social media, drone technology, big data analytics, real-time modeling, project management tools, utilities management, and other innovations that are at the cutting edge of fire science, predictive technology, and risk communication. The Fellow will collaborate with specific communities in high risk areas to identify considerations, strategies, and best practices for establishing a local wildfire warning system to provide local residents with timely and accurate information about potential and imminent fire threats.

The ideal Fellow will have a positive, flexible can-do attitude and advanced analytical skills.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Cal OES Wildfire Warning Fellow will be serving out of the California State Warning Center (CSWC), a 24/7 statewide emergency communication center located at Cal OES headquarters in Mather, near Sacramento. The CWSC is a fast-paced environment that handled over 74,000 calls and 96,000 actionable emails, and made over 1,155,000 notifications due to weather related warnings, fires, seismic incidents, and other significant and potentially significant incidents that did or could have emergency management impacts to California last year. Working effectively in the CSWC requires a flexible, can-do attitude, as the transition from steady-state to major disaster can happen very quickly. Cal OES makes frequent trips to fire-affected communities, and the Fellow will be invited to join staff for meetings, site visits, and presentations. Sacramento is a vibrant city, with affordable housing options, a thriving cultural scene, striking architecture, and world-class dining. The City is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts; Lake Tahoe, the Pacific Crest Trail, Napa Valley, and Yosemite National Park are short drives away. Cal OES is a 15 minute drive from downtown Sacramento and is also accessible by bus, light rail, and bike trail.

Groundwater Sustainability Planning for Vulnerable Communities and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems

Organization: The Freshwater Trust
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Human Right to Water / Water & Equity, Groundwater
Desired Skills: Outreach / Community Engagement, Marketing / Communication 

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Freshwater Trust (TFT) is a non-profit leader in watershed-scale analysis and river restoration. They are headquartered in Portland, OR and have offices across Oregon, in Boise, ID and in Sacramento. Their California work focuses on water resource management, planning, and agricultural programs with partners throughout the Sacramento Valley, with a geographic focus in the Solano Subbasin. 

The Fellow will support the Sacramento-based team on multiple groundwater planning and implementation projects. Specifically, the Fellow will be primarily responsible for engaging stakeholders and the public in water resource planning and decision making, with a focus on engaging traditionally under-resourced and underrepresented communities through the following activities: planning, coordinating, and conducting outreach for workshops, focus group meetings, and/or events; developing and distributing external communication materials, both print and digital, for a wide range of audience types; reporting and synthesizing community feedback and workshop findings; and supporting tasks such as contact database management and packet preparation.

The ideal Fellow will be passionate about environmental justice issues and equitable access to clean drinking water in rural communities and designing and implementing engagement strategies. Bilingual speakers (English and Spanish) are preferred to translate outreach materials and support interpretation at events. They will also have an interest and/or experience with conducting surveys, analyzing data, and reporting results and interest in learning about regional water policy and natural resources management.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Fellow will join the small but mighty TFT team in their office conveniently located in Midtown Sacramento, just a short walk away from the Capitol and other state offices. Sacramento is an exciting place for young professionals, with many professional development and networking opportunities at seminars, symposia, and mixers. The City has many public transit options, including lightrails, bikes, scooters, and car shares, making it a viable city to live and work in without a vehicle. 

Accelerating Design Thinking and Innovative Project Planning into Sacramento Regional Projects

Organization: Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)
Location: Sacramento, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Technical Assistance, Multimodal / Autonomous Transportation
Desired Skills: Project Management, Research 

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

SACOG works to reduce vehicle miles traveled and increase infill housing in the Sacramento region by matching SACOG’s 28 member jurisdictions with resources (partners, grant opportunities or funding, training, technical assistance) and helping to advance and test options by serving as a test bed at the state level for new mobility and infill projects. SACOG is the both the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Council of Governments for the six-county Sacramento region and develops the region’s long-term transportation plan and land use forecast. SACOG also works with member jurisdictions on solving regional challenges.

The Fellow will support SACOG and its member jurisdictions to build capacity in two ways: through the Civic Lab program, and by developing a process that enables SACOG to better deliver and measure the technical assistance it provides to its 28 member jurisdictions. SACOG’s Civic Lab program is a nationally recognized government accelerator that works with project teams to develop and launch pilot projects that solve regional challenges. Civic Lab’s projects include the Olli autonomous shuttle at Sac State and on-demand microtransit in Citrus Heights and on Franklin Blvd., and now works with 12 project teams focused on transforming commercial corridors in the region. The Fellow will develop case studies of implemented/past projects, support SACOG in the development of a “playbook” of the program that can be used as a template by other jurisdictions (or regions around the country), work with current project teams to develop and measure projects, and plan for and develop the future of the program with SACOG staff. Through the Technical Assistance piece, the Fellow will research current projects and programs in the Sacramento region, learn about its member jurisdictions and current technical assistance provided by SACOG, then use best practices and innovative planning to develop ways to deliver and measure technical assistance. The Fellow will implement this work by testing it in the Civic Lab, and adjust the process. This work will better enable SACOG to provide more consistent services to its member jurisdictions.

The ideal Fellow will be responsible and self-motivated to deliver on commitments and expectations. They will also be creative and interested in finding and developing solutions that are unique and innovative in concept and application. Self-awareness is also important for them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and to work around their weaknesses without being afraid to talk about them.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

SACOG values diversity and believes that a range of backgrounds brings a variety of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that contribute to an innovative and collaborative environment in which talents are fully utilized, uniqueness is valued, and SACOG’s objectives are met. SACOG is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace. Living and working in Sacramento is very unique. While housing costs are increasing with the flood of Bay Area workers, it is still generally ‘affordable’. Living car-free in the urban core of West Sacramento or Sacramento is easy. It is also possible in some areas 3+ miles outside of the urban core. There is a vibrant arts and culture scene that includes mainstream broadway tours and more underground venues like the Red Museum and Sofar Sounds. Notable programs and events include Wide Open Walls, Sac Open Studios, Crocker Art Museum, Farm-to-Form Festival, MLK Jr. Volunteer Day and March, Sac Republic Soccer, Sacramento Kings, May is Bike Month, Concerts in the Park, year-round farmers market in Sacramento and over 150 seasonal farmers markets (May-October) and much much more!

San Joaquin Valley

Counties Included: Fresno, Tulare

Building Capacity and Water Resiliency for Tribal Governments and Disadvantaged Communities in California

Organization: CA Department of Water Resources: Financial Assistance Branch – Division of Regional Assistance; and the Office of the Tribal Policy Advisor – Executive Division
Location: Visalia, CA
This project has two placements; one in the San Joaquin Valley (focused mainly on Disadvantaged Communities) and another in the Sacramento region (focused mainly on Tribal Governments).
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Environmental Justice, Water Supply Reliability
Desired Skills: Research, Outreach / Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Department of Water Resource’s (DWR) Office of the Tribal Policy Advisor coordinates communication and consultation with California Native American tribes to ensure proactive and meaningful consultation. The Tribal Policy Advisor works with Tribal governments and Tribal communities to identify areas of mutual concern, develop partnerships, and consensus in water management. DWR’s Division of Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Financial Assistance Branch provides financial and technical assistance to 48 established IRWM regions in the State — working closely with the Tribal Policy Advisor, Sustainable Groundwater Management Office, Division of Flood Management, and other DWR groups. DWR is implementing a program to build capacity with Tribes and Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) to ensure more meaningful involvement in the overall IRWM program, including access to technical and financial assistance.

The Fellow will have the opportunity to assist Tribes and DACs to participate in regional IRWM programs that build water resiliency and sustainability. The Fellow will assist DWR to: establish and convene a CA Tribal Roundtable of Regions that will foster tribal collaboration and provide policy input into State programs; plan meetings of the new Tribal Advisory Council for the Governor’s Water Resiliency Portfolio; organize a 2019 Tribal Summit; build a database of Tribes in California linked to our GIS interactive mapping tool; facilitate bimonthly DAC Involvement (DACI) Working Group meetings with the 12 DACI grantees; and develop a statewide needs assessment with recommendations for policy and other actions, and present the findings to DWR Executive, Legislative Analyst’s Office, and others. The statewide report will compile regional water/sanitation needs assessments being developed now by individual groups throughout the state. The Fellow will see his or her efforts succeed with the inaugural year of the Tribal Roundtable of Regions, and completion of the statewide Needs Assessment report. In this unique opportunity to serve in the State Capitol with DWR, Tribes and DACs, the Fellow will learn about statewide water management challenges, such as: sustainable groundwater management and regional water balance, climate change adaptation, drought and flood preparedness and response, water conservation and supply, and fiscal challenges. The Fellow and DWR Staff will visit rural and suburban areas to interact with the two demographics throughout the service project.

The ideal Fellow will have an interest in assisting underrepresented demographics, the ability to connect people and topics, a desire to learn and research, enjoy organizing outreach and educational events, and the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team. The Fellow should have strong organizational, project management, and database skills, as well as excellent communication skills (verbal/presentation and written).

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Being in the Department of Water Resources will provide the Fellows with a statewide view of issues and the demographics affected by water management issues. In addition to Tribal and DAC work, DWR provides essential information to legislation and policy issues, for many water resources topics such as water management and water supply, power and infrastructure, dam safety and flood management, emergency response and education. DWR is headquartered in California’s capitol city of Sacramento, which the DAC Fellow will visit, but will be mainly located at the Tulare County Administrative Office in Visalia The City of Visalia is part of Tulare County, California, located in the San Joaquin Valley, approximately 220 miles south of San Francisco and 185 miles north of Los Angeles. Visalia serves as the economic and governmental center to one of the most productive agricultural counties in the country. Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks are located in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains. Downtown Visalia was voted locally as one of the top three places to bring visitors.

Promoting Safe Communities through Development of an Environmental Justice Element

Organization: California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), in partnership with the Tulare County Resource Management Agency
Location: Visalia, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Environmental Justice
Desired Skills: Data Collection / Analysis, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Currently there are three times the amount of zoned land available in Tulare County for commercial purpose within existing larger communities (25,617 units worth) to meet the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) required number of 7,081 units allocated on non-project or mapped land. Only 3,231 (half of the RHNA number) have adequate infrastructure, and that is only true if each study stands true under existing capacity issues and moratorium problems associated with the drought and water quality issues and inadequate waste water systems. Additional challenges are also presented in the implementation of the Local Agency Management Programs (LAMPs) for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems and the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). At the projected growth rate applied to the existing 25,116-unit adequate sites, inventory indicates that there will only be a net increase of just over 3,000 homes built out within the Urban Development Boundaries over the next 13 years (if there is adequate infrastructure). However, there has only been an annual average of approximately 250 housing units built in Tulare County since 2005. Therefore, the reality is that even with expanding mixed-use zones, providing greater flexibility in conditional permitting requirements and creating Community Plans that promote job to housing balance and VMT reduction, the ability to accommodate adequate population growth to meet the California Department of Finance projected population estimates including meeting RHNA housing projections is not currently feasible due to the constraints indicated above.

The Fellow will support the County of Tulare Resource Management Agency in inter and intra-regional approaches to address these issues through a variety of activities including, public outreach, support in the preparation of the General Plan Environmental Justice Element (SB 1000) and other planning documents to promote housing choices, safe and decent communities and economic development; and making connections into SB 2 (Preparation of Funding Plans and Infrastructure Financing). The successful completion of the Environmental Justice Element will also include a funding plan as prescribed in SB 2 (Building Homes and Jobs Act) to link available SB 2 funding and the needs and deficiencies identified in the 2017 Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure and Planning Policy Study as applicable and feasible.

The ideal Fellow will have an interest in learning about land use, zoning and housing laws. The Fellow should also have an interest in housing and economic development at a local level. The Fellow will ideally have previous work experience and skills in project management, research, technical writing, data collection/analysis, environmental justice, and GIS.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The purpose of the Resource Management Agency (RMA) is to provide efficient and effective public service in the areas of planning, engineering, development, construction and building through its three branches: Economic Development and Planning, Public Works, and Fiscal Services. RMA’s vision is to serve as a model of customer service and expeditious project processing through collaborative team-based management, employee empowerment, continuous business process improvement, technological innovation, professional competence, multi-level communication, mutual respect, integrity, and an agency-wide commitment to professional excellence. RMA’s mission is to support Tulare County’s economic well-being and quality of life initiative by being “Open for Business”; by effectively managing natural and developing resources, and by committing to delivery of timely and cost-effective public services. Centrally located within the State of California, Tulare County is situated in a geographically-diverse region. The County includes an area of 4,863 square miles. Mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevada range rise to more than 14,000 feet in its Eastern half. Meanwhile, the extensively cultivated and very fertile valley floor in the Western half, has allowed Tulare County to become the second-leading producer of agricultural commodities in the United States.

San Francisco Bay Area

Counties Included: San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma, San Mateo, Marin

San Francisco Climate Action Strategy

Organization: San Francisco Department of the Environment – CAP
Location: San Francisco, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) is the steward of climate action in San Francisco and is tasked with leading efforts to meet City greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. Understanding the emissions reductions trends and opportunities by sector is critical for staying on track towards the city’s ambitious carbon reduction targets of 40% by 2025 and 100% by 2050.

The CivicSpark Fellow will provide support SFE’s Climate and Sustainability Analysts to collect, process, analyze and visualize citywide and municipal data to maintain and improve the City’s annual GHG inventory. Through these efforts, the Fellow will help SFE continue to build capacity by investigating new analytical tools and approaches and by engaging with local, regional and global climate practitioners to continue improving the city’s capacity to understand and address its emissions. The Fellow will also support the city’s GHG emissions pathways analysis, which will entail building internal capacity to gather the data and information needed to understand how each mitigation action will impact GHG emissions as well as the broader and inclusive benefits of taking action. This project will be cross-cutting as actions must reduce emissions across the municipal, commercial and residential building sectors.

The ideal Fellow will have enthusiasm for and education in sustainability, climate action and/or green building; demonstrated ability to self-start and initiate projects; be responsible, motivated, and able to work independently and in a team; have intermediate to advanced knowledge of Excel; experience researching and analyzing data; excellent writing, time management, and organizational skills; proficiency with word processing, database management, Google and Microsoft products.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

SFE provides solutions that advance climate protection and enhance quality of life for all San Franciscans. SFE consists of nine programs, including Climate Change, Green Building, Energy, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction and Integrated Pest Management, Environmental Justice, Clean Air Transportation, Urban Forest and Public Information. SFE’s cross-functional Climate Program engages a variety of partners and stakeholders, other City departments, community-based organizations, private sector and the general public to mitigate climate change impacts, green the built environment, and enhance equitable access to services in San Francisco.

Building Materials Management and Embodied Carbon Reductions

Organization: San Francisco Department of the Environment – Materials
Location: San Francisco, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Green Building, Waste Reduction/Composting
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) is the steward of the City’s zero waste goals. They are tasked with leading efforts to meet the Advancing Toward Zero Waste Commitment, a rigorous declaration from the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit that was instigated by San Francisco with more than two dozen city signatories globally. Since about 25% of San Francisco’s landfill is comprised of discarded building materials, the construction and demolition sector will play a significant role in meeting this Zero Waste Commitment. San Francisco’s Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Ordinance (No. 27-06) took effect in 2006. After much success and local market transformation, SFE is now researching discarded material reduction, recovery, and markets and policy options to address changes in markets and industry practices, including upstream practices that improve recovery efforts.

The Fellow will support the City by conducting research on local, regional, state and national policy as well as industry best practices; assisting with efforts to create new and evolve existing policy recommendations; coordinating special projects and communications with stakeholders; and preparing written project materials. The Fellow will play a critical role by helping to bridge materials management strategies that support the City’s zero waste and green building commitments. The Fellow will gain a distinct perspective about material use and discarded urban resources, embodied carbon and avoidance of landfilled organics, construction and demolition practices, and the policies and industries that inform these areas of impact. 

The ideal Fellow will have an enthusiasm for and an educational background in sustainability, climate action and/or green building. They will have a demonstrated ability to self-start and initiate projects and will be responsible, motivated, and able to work both independently and in a team. Experience in research and analyzing data and excellent writing, time management, and organizational skills is key. Knowledge and experience working with Excel and word processing database management is preferred.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

SFE provides solutions that advance climate protection and enhance quality of life for all San Franciscans. SFE consists of nine programs, including Climate Change, Green Building, Energy, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction and Integrated Pest Management, Environmental Justice, Clean Air Transportation, Urban Forest and Public Information. SFE’s cross-functional Climate Program engages a variety of partners and stakeholders, other City departments, community-based organizations, private sector and the general public to mitigate climate change impacts, green the built environment, and enhance equitable access to services in San Francisco.

Advancing Equitable Climate Solutions

Organization: City of Berkeley – Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
Location: Berkeley, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach/Education, General GHG Mitigation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Berkeley’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development (OESD) leads the City’s sustainability efforts to reach the ambitious Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals of 80% greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions by 2050. OESD strives to help Berkeley residents, businesses and the city government create a healthy, equitable, and safe community. OESD coordinates with multiple city departments to monitor and track CAP implementation and metrics, and focuses its efforts on energy, electric vehicles, and green building related policies, strategies, and programs.

The Fellow’s efforts will directly benefit the OESD, building the office’s capacity to engage and educate a broad swath of the community on climate mitigation solutions. The Fellow will identify contacts, develop curriculum and implement an outreach plan, with a focus on hard-to-reach populations. The Fellow’s outreach will increase residents’ knowledge and awareness of both climate change problems and solutions, and identify ways for residents to meaningfully participate in mitigation efforts. This engagement will lay the groundwork for successful implementation of various climate initiatives. The resources created by the Fellow will be used to replicate efforts after the Fellow’s term of service ends, and will be shared with other cities and community organizations interested in undertaking similar outreach initiatives.

The ideal Fellow will be passionate about climate change and equity, have strong outreach, public speaking and organizational skills, and an ability and desire to work with diverse populations.  The Fellow need not have content expertise, but rather the desire to learn about topics such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, community choice energy, sustainable transportation, electric vehicles and building electrification.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Berkeley, located in the East Bay across from San Francisco, is famous for its progressive politics and environmental leadership. Berkeley is home to the University of California, which was the birthplace of the 1960’s Free Speech Movement, as well as many other educational institutions. Berkeley’s community is diverse – racially, ethnically and socioeconomically – and includes many foreign born residents. With both a high concentration of academics and homeless, the disparities in educational attainment, wealth, transportation and housing and are striking. Yet, much of the community is engaged and eager to explore bold solutions to a range of social and environmental problems.

Climate Action Plan Update and Community Engagement for Mobility Hubs and Affordable Housing Projects

Organization: City of Walnut Creek
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, Affordable Housing & Alternative/Multimodal Transportation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Walnut Creek is recognized as a regional leader on the environment, transportation, and affordable housing. The City will be supported by a CivicSpark Fellow on a combination of climate, mobility, and affordable housing projects. One project will include the Fellow assisting in the implementation of the existing Climate Action Plan (CAP) measures by supporting new initiatives to engage City employees on sustainability, conducting outreach on an online platform called the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge to help residents reduce their carbon footprints, and will assist with the development of a new Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. 

The City’s Transportation Planning Division received a grant to enhance existing bus stops and create an environment that is more of a Mobility Hub rather than a traditional bus stop/shelter. The Mobility Hubs project will provide the Fellow with experience in taking a project from the design concept to actual built infrastructure. The City will be removing and replacing non-ADA compliant bus shelters with new, solar-powered ADA accessible bus shelters, making sidewalk improvements, creating pedestrian amenities, and more. Downtown shelters will also be public art pieces and therefore require outreach on the design. The Fellow will assist with implementation for the new bus/mobility shelters by conducting community outreach, creating and analyzing surveys, and more. The Fellow will also help the City to analyze and present housing data by researching Census data, creating GIS maps of housing projects and accessory dwelling units, and creating a database to track affordable housing developments and units. In addition, the Fellow will support projects to prevent housing discrimination and support fair housing, such as researching policies and conducting landlord education and outreach.

The ideal Fellow will be a strong communicator and comfortable with conducting outreach and community engagement. The Fellow will also be analytical and able to analyze numbers or create maps to help visualize data. While it will be helpful to have some background in using software like Access or GIS, it is not required so long as the Fellow is generally comfortable with computers and is confident they can quickly learn new programs.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Walnut Creek is located in Contra Costa County, one of the nine counties in the Bay Area. It’s a suburban city with a walkable, urban downtown and a population of about 70,000 residents. Walnut Creek is known for being a regional center for shopping, dining, and recreation. In addition to great parks and open space, there’s an active arts community. The City has one of the highest per capita rates of open space as a result of a citizen initiative in the 1960s to purchase and protect open space.

Walnut Creek has a unique workplace culture that celebrates collaboration, achievement, innovation, and service. City staff routinely cite working with their coworkers as one of the main reasons they enjoy their jobs. As a medium sized City, there is an opportunity for the Fellow to get to know people by name in other departments, learn about different jobs, and have an opportunity to work on a variety of projects. The City works collaboratively with other jurisdictions in the area, and the Fellow also has an opportunity to attend regional meetings and participate in groups like the East Bay Energy Watch, a local government partnership with our energy utility. The Fellow will work at City Hall, which is a 10 minute walk from the BART station.

Recovery and Resiliency Framework Implementation

Organization: County of Sonoma – Office of Recovery and Resiliency
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach/Education, Disaster Response/Emergency Management
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Marketing/Communication

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

In October of 2017, the County of Sonoma experienced multiple severe and deadly wildfires, known collectively as the “Sonoma Complex Fires.” These fires destroyed 5,300 homes, burned 110,000 acres, and claimed 24 lives. The County Board of Supervisors saw these fires (that followed a record drought and flooding earlier in the year) as a call to action to make the County more resilient in the face of climate change and the “new normal”. They created the Office of Recovery and Resiliency and tasked it with creating a plan to bring the County to full recovery and become more resilient in the future.

The newly formed office embarked on a year long community engagement and planning campaign to learn from the community how they wanted to see the County become more resilient. Through this process, which included meetings with residents, special interest groups, and subject matter experts staff identified over 250 potential actions and created the “Recovery and Resiliency Framework.”  The Board identified 10 top priorities out of the framework and staff have been hyperfocused on making progress on those priorities.  Continued community engagement is an important part of implementation and needs to be part and parcel to all future activities. The Fellow will support the team on implementing these resiliency and capacity building actions in the plan as well as developing an ongoing community engagement program. While the project will broadly target these 10 priorities, the final scope and details will be determined based on the particular Fellow interest and skills.

The ideal Fellow will be flexibility and to be a team player, and will be able to to effectively do outreach and community engagement. Spanish speaking is a strong plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Sonoma County is located in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area with a population of approximately 500,000 residents. There are nine incorporated cities in the County, including Santa Rosa (the County Seat) which has close to 180,000 residents, making it the fifth largest city in the Bay Area and the largest city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. It offers a rare and compelling array of scenic, recreational, and geographic characteristics, including over 200 award-winning wineries, inspiring coastlines and beaches, the Russian River, and majestic redwoods. The County encompasses over one million acres of land and water, rich with agriculture, parks, outdoor recreation, lakes, and open space. Sonoma County is also home to a wide variety of art and music festivals, farmers’ markets, and concert venues.

Climate Action Plan 2.0 Implementation

Organization: City of Piedmont
Location: Piedmont, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Project Management, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Piedmont is moving into the second year of implementation of the Climate Action Plan 2.0 with an aim to reach the City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below the 2005 baseline emissions by 2030. The first year of implementation taught the City how to: best engage and do effective climate outreach within the community, while working within the dynamics of existing groups, creating new connections, and reviving old ones; keep itself updated in the latest climate solutions and resources, while quickly discerning and identifying which of these are relevant to the community; and to get accurate data to update emissions inventory and translate that into specific and doable actions.

The Fellow will support the implementation of the CAP by continuing some public engagement efforts to reduce transportation and building energy emissions (which make up the vast majority of emissions in Piedmont), as well as those from consumption. The City would also like to draft incentive programs and code modifications, with the intent of reducing building energy and increase electrification of appliances. Other tasks might include EV infrastructure (public charging stations) and water use reduction (volunteer, incentives, and possibly regulations). The Fellow will partner with local and regional agencies to gather data to update the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and subsequently, enter and translate that data to create the inventory and shed light into important sectors that the city needs to concentrate on. The Fellow may also support the implementation of programs and actions as part of the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan that would help the city reach its sustainability goals. Another potential project would be to expand the Safe Routes to School program, and organizing walking school buses, working with the Public Works department to identify potential opportunities to improve or expand the city’s bike and sidewalk network.

The ideal Fellow will have strong writing and analytical skills to contribute towards effective written community engagement materials, preparing an emissions inventory and staff reports/presentations to the City Council and community; effective public engagement skills, as community engagement will continue being a key element of the City’s climate action efforts. An outgoing personality that facilitates public speaking and interaction with strangers is highly valued, as is an active imagination used towards developing effective public engagement. Other skills include initiative and flexibility, as the Fellow will need to be comfortable working with different levels of direction and interaction with staff.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Close to public transportation hubs, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, Piedmont is a tranquil community nested in the Oakland Hills. Piedmont is mainly comprised by residences, schools, and some commercial services, and takes great pride in keeping its beautiful open spaces, natural resources and architectural traditions well protected and kept. Working directly with Planning Staff within the Public Works Department, the Fellow will be able to interact with other city departments, getting exposure to municipal project management from an interdisciplinary standpoint.

Getting to Zero – Carbon Neutrality and Community Resilience

Organization: City of Albany
Location: Albany, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, Disaster Response/Emergency Management
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Albany is a small city with big sustainability goals – the City aims for 60% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2050. Despite its size and density, Albany is home to a diverse natural environment, which includes 5,000 publicly owned trees, 5 creeks, 104 acres of research farmland, a sandy beach and wetlands, as well as 112 acres of parkland, including Albany Hill and the Bulb. The Sustainability Division strives to protect this critical habitat from the effects of climate change, while also ensuring social equity, a resilient community, and a thriving local economy. Rising sea levels and hotter summers threaten the very identity of this small village by the bay. Albany is challenged with the momentous responsibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to stabilize the global climate, while preparing for its effects, which have already arrived.

With Albany’s limited staff capacity and varied projects, the Fellow’s service is crucial to move climate action and community resilience efforts forward, so that the City can meet its climate action and sustainability goals. The Fellow will be responsible for implementing measures from the recently updated Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) and engaging with the public on matters related to the CAAP. The Fellow will also leverage the Climate Action Committee and various Albany community groups, as well as the Carbon-Free Albany online social engagement platform, to engage the community in greenhouse gas reduction and climate adaptation efforts. The Fellow will support the Fire Department to organize and empower the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers to build their own capacity to organize and mobilize on their own, and make Albany a more resilient community.

The ideal Fellow will have a demonstrated interest in sustainability and community engagement, will be proactive and adaptable, and can work independently. Coursework in environmental studies is a plus. The Fellow must possess excellent written and oral communication skills, and have experience or interest in teaching and volunteer engagement. Community outreach is a key component of the project, so the Fellow should be excited about interacting with the public and have an interest in strengthening public speaking skills.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Albany is located in the northwestern corner of Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area, directly north of Berkeley. With just under 20,000 residents in less than 2 square miles, Albany is the 5th most densely populated city in the Bay Area and the 6th most walkable city in California. The City’s motto, “Urban Village by the Bay,” illustrates its dense urban environment and small-town ambiance. Albany prides itself on being a safe, community-oriented city, with strong services and programs for youth, families and the elderly. The City has a long history of environmental activism – the City was incorporated in 1908 after a group of women organized to protest garbage from Berkeley being dumped in their community. Today, Albany’s engaged and educated community still values health, sustainability, and climate action. With a small staff, the Fellow will play a crucial role in a variety of projects and will be afforded opportunities for project management experience.

Local Innovation in Water Quality, Solid Waste and Community Outreach

Organization: City of San Pablo
Location: San Pablo, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Stormwater Quality, Solid Waste
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of San Pablo is a small yet diverse community in the Bay Area whose Environmental Services Division has been regionally recognized for its effective and progressive environmental programs. The City has recently launched an online engagement platform called the “Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge” that is designed to connect residents to sustainability resources and encourage local community actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the City’s Climate Action Plan goals. The City is also working with the US EPA regarding funding for a regional Water Quality Trading System that will reduce pollutants in stormwater from entering San Francisco Bay. The Fellow will support the City on three main projects: (1) “No Trash in the Creeks by 2022” Plan; (2) outreach for three new City programs; and (3) assistance with the City’s Regional Water Quality Trading Initiative.

The Fellow will lead the development of a plan to eliminate trash discharged to the creeks by 2022.  As part of this project, the Fellow will review the current plans for litter/trash reduction, research opportunities to expand these efforts and develop a plan for the City to implement between 2021 and 2022 to achieve no trash in the creeks by the end of 2022. The Fellow will also lead outreach to the local community regarding this platform, as well as various solid waste programs including SB 1383 (composting and food waste diversion), recycling programs, and other programs that reduce littering and illegal dumping. The Fellow will be assisting the Site Supervisor in coordinating with regulatory authorities (Regional Water Quality Control Board, EPA, Fish and Wildlife), other local governments, scientific bodies (San Francisco Estuary Institute) and other entities on the development of the City’s Regional Water Quality Trading Initiative.

The ideal Fellow will be highly organized with strong project management skills to coordinate many tasks and competing priorities. This project requires good communication skills for community outreach and engagement. Being bilingual in Spanish is preferred and and having GIS skills is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

San Pablo is a diverse community with a large Hispanic/Latino and Laotian population and located in West Contra Costa County, nestled between the Cities of Pinole, Richmond and El Cerrito. Historically one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the region, San Pablo has become a thriving residential and business community with a population of about 30,000 in an area of approximately three square miles. The Environmental Services Division is situated within the Public Works Department and consists of fun, young staff who are willing to try new innovative programs and ideas. It is a fast-paced environment, and there is always plenty of work to do. The City works on a 4-10 schedule (Monday to Thursday – so everyone has every Friday off).

Flood Hazard Management Through Natural Resource Conservation

Organization: City of Livermore
Location: Livermore, CA
Openings: 1 of 2
Project Focus: Flood Risk/Mitigation, Public Health
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Livermore is actively involved in the community, engaging residents through several programs and partnerships that promote water resource conservation and management. The diversity of land uses, and environmental settings of the Livermore area offer a broad range of water resource and wildlife management challenges and opportunities. Several streams and watercourses intersect the city, creating a mosaic of flood-prone hazard areas. There is a capacity need to improve the City’s FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS). The classification rankings are on a scale of 1-9, with 1 being the best and 9 being the lowest class within the system; Livermore is currently at a class rank of 9.

Fellows will provide the assistance that the City needs to address the storm water, flood hazard, and ecological challenges. Several partnerships with local non-profit organizations and local agencies are established; however, the City needs assistance with collecting stormwater management documentation and innovative thinking to develop creative solutions. Fellows will help with organizing maintenance data of stream and water conveyance features, stormwater permit reporting, stream and floodplain restoration, youth education, community outreach, and regulatory agency report writing. The City’s goal is to restore stream systems and to improve its CRS class ranking, providing a 5% discount for residents’ flood insurance premiums per class ranking upgrade. Through this goal, the community, environment, education, and economic stability of Livermore will benefit by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the current water resource and flood hazard management operations.

The ideal Fellows will have a background in biological and water resource management with the ability to conduct field research in challenging climates and terrains. The Fellows will possess a strong ability to analyze field inspection data in correlation with planning and permitting needs, as well as good communication and interpersonal skills and a strong passion for environmental and natural resource conservation. Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Livermore is the first city to greet millions of visitors when first entering into the Bay Area. It provides employment for proficient scientists and professionals, including the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. For the outdoor enthusiast, there is plenty of wildland open space surrounding the city, offering recreational opportunities and exploration. Livermore is centrally located, and only a short distance from San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. Livermore is an epicenter of growth in the thriving economy of the Bay Area, offering promising career growth opportunities for interested Fellows.

Commercial Composting Program Engagement

Organization: RecycleMore
Location: San Pablo, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Waste, Waste Reduction/Composting
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

RecycleMore (West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority) is a Joint Powers Agency which manages the waste stream from the cities of Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, Hercules and El Cerrito. They promote and facilitate the recycling, composting and hazardous waste programs in the West County region through outreach, education and technical assistance. Because organic materials (food, plant debris, wood) generate climate changing methane when landfilled, the State and RecycleMore have a goal of reducing the amount of organics sent to landfill. Instead, organics can be diverted to a local composting facility to produce nutrient rich compost for agriculture, which in turn reduces irrigation and chemical fertilizer needs. New California climate reduction laws require more businesses to properly manage their organic waste through composting, and RecycleMore is managing compliance with these laws by identifying and contacting food generating businesses and facilitating their participation in the commercial composting program.

While the franchised hauler in the region will provide compost collection at no additional charge in most cases, RecycleMore’s role is explaining the program guidelines and benefits and recommending solutions to possible barriers. In order to manage compliance with the current waste diversion laws, and to provide helpful outreach and education for effective participation, the Fellow will assist with database management, conducting site visits to assess compliance requirements and provide technical assistance for successful participation, tracking participation to present compliance metrics to the Board and the State, and developing outreach materials and updating the agency’s website.

The ideal Fellow will have good communication skills and an interest in protecting the environment. Excel and data management skills are desired, but can also be developed during the service year. About 1/3 of the project service will be in the field. A Fellow that has use of a car is a plus, but is not required (mileage will be reimbursed). Bilingual candidates are also desirable, but not a requirement.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

RecycleMore’s office is centrally located in the City of San Pablo, and the West County cities served are diverse and progressive. The office consists of 5 full time staff, with decades of waste management experience to share. While the agency values professionalism, the workplace is respectful of everyone’s ideas. The Fellow has the opportunity to participate in waste related conferences and other professional development activities.

Bay Area Adaptation Atlas – Implementing Regional Adoption of Nature-Based Climate Adaptation Guidelines

Organization: San Francisco Estuary Institute
Location: Richmond, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Natural Infrastructure
Desired Skills: Project Management, Marketing/Communication

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The San Francisco Bay shoreline is an interconnected physical system that is highly complex and diverse. Climate change is progressing at an accelerating pace and the Bay Area is already feeling impacts. The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) produced the Adaptation Atlas to provide the science backbone to accelerate capacity to identify where nature-based approaches, such as beaches, marshes and sub-tidal reefs, as well as policy and regulatory tools, can be used to create a more adaptive and resilient shoreline. The Atlas has been developed over two years in collaboration with multiple government and NGO leaders. Cities, counties, and regional authorities including BCDC and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), have already begun to use the coordinated, place-based, cross-jurisdictional approach defined in the Atlas to choose the appropriate and best adaptation strategies for their communities or agency from the tool box of nature-based infrastructure, planning and policy/regulatory measures.

The Fellow will assisting the Executive Director to support SFEI’s efforts to engage and empower multiple local and regional jurisdictions and community leaders to apply the Atlas to their circumstances. The Fellow will help facilitate the adoption of locally appropriate adaptation and resilience tools and science by agencies, NGO’s, and businesses. The Fellow will apply science, policy, and communication skills to support strategic outreach to public agencies, NGOs, and the business community seeking to respond to the multiple local and regional challenges of sea level rise and climate change. In the completion of this project, the Fellow will advance the goals of bridging climate adaptation planning across the nine-county Bay Area with a region-wide strategic approach, and ensure the ongoing availability of up-to-date and standardized statewide water quality and wetlands data needed for sound policy and management decisions.

The ideal Fellow will possess an entrepreneurial spirit, with an enthusiasm for the programs and goals of SFEI. They need to be comfortable with a complex and fast-paced work environment and with managing multiple projects and deadlines. The Fellow should have a science or environmental policy background, and some training or experience in project management. Strong communication and presentation skills and experience in social media messaging is preferred.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Bay Area is known for its progressive approach to social and environmental management, which fosters an entire community of stakeholders working toward the same goal of urban-environmental sustainability. Uniquely positioned at the intersection of government, academia, and the private sector, the SFEI has been trusted for over 25 years to provide strong science that supports effective environmental management and collaborative policy making among government, community and business leaders. As a workplace, employees at SFEI take great pride in the camaraderie inherent in the organization, and are united in their environmental mission, as well as in the desire to foster a workplace of diversity, inclusion, support, and friendship. New employees at SFEI are exposed to a community of mentors that work hard to promote a positive work environment and a launching pad and extensive network of senior professionals for a career in the environmental sector.

Equity in Access to Government Services

Organization: City of Antioch
Location: Antioch, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Environmental Justice
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Antioch is the second largest city in Contra Costa County, located on the banks of the San Joaquin River. Residents enjoy beautiful river views with kayaking, boating and fishing, as well as some of the most affordable housing in the Bay Area. As one of the first cities in the county, Antioch has a lot of older housing stock and a sizable population of lower income, elderly and disabled households. Many of these most vulnerable residents are being displaced by rent increases, and all of these groups need more affordable housing and access to programs and services. To help stabilize low income Antioch residents, the Fellow will focus on ensuring equity while reaching out to diverse populations to provide a variety of housing and environmental services.

The Fellow will: (1) support department heads, staff, and disability groups to administer an assessment of City program accessibility for people with disabilities and devise and implement solutions; (2) learn how affordable housing is subsidized and funded, collaborate with affordable housing developers to create an expanded countywide inventory of affordable housing, and assist in the monitoring compliance with those funding sources; (3) design and implement effective outreach strategies to residents in low income census tracts to promote a variety of new and existing housing programs and all environmental programs to low income and disabled renters and homeowners; (4) build off the efforts of the previous CivicSpark Fellow to broaden the City’s communication channels and create lasting networks with local groups and organizations through our new climate action platform.

The ideal Fellow will be proactive, empathetic, and open to learning. Strong writing and verbal communication skills are necessary as the primary focus of the service year will be interacting with the general public and reaching out to community groups. The Fellow should have an interest in understanding the challenges and issues faced by disabled and lower income residents and communities. Good Excel and analytical skills are preferred and bilingual/Spanish speaking is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

For the service year, the Fellow will be located in the Community Development Department on the 2nd floor of City Hall. The Fellow will receive an in-depth introduction to all aspects of local government and will have the opportunity to connect with all other departments and facilities. The City of Antioch is very low staffed but focused on providing the best service possible to the community. There is a real opportunity to move things forward and to connect with a team that is motivated and able to accomplish their goals. Through this experience, the Fellow will gain the satisfaction of making real contributions to better the lives of thousands of residents for many years to come.

Climate Action Plan and Water Resource Recovery Program Implementation

Organization: City of Richmond
Location: Richmond, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Richmond is committed to creating a healthy, equitable community for all of its residents. The Richmond Climate Action Plan (CAP) is a multi-objective plan that addresses environmental, social and economic issues related to climate change. The CAP builds on the goals in the City’s General Plan and the Health in All Policies Strategy (HiAP) to further the City’s efforts to build health equity through the reduction of local GHG emissions, and to simultaneously ensure that the community is well prepared for the impacts of climate change. The Fellow will be respectively focused on Climate Action Planning.

The CAP Fellow will assist with: the development of the City’s Climate Action Plan open data platform; and the implementation of energy and zero waste initiatives included in the Richmond Climate Action Plan. The CAP Fellow will interface with the public and decision makers by leveraging and integrating the City’s existing software systems with the City’s Climate Action Plan dashboard. The CAP Fellow will help expand existing energy management systems, identify and implement energy efficiency measures, and electrification demonstration measures. The CAP Fellow will also assist in the implementation of zero waste programs with residents, businesses, and governmental facilities. 

The ideal Fellow will have strong technical writing and public speaking skills. Experience in data management and graphic design and presentation of information is desired. The Fellow should be comfortable working with diverse populations and understand smart governance principles.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

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 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 City adopted a Climate Action Plan in 2016, which 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 City’s Climate Action Plan uses community input and cross sector collaboration to prioritize action and outcomes with the greatest community benefits for the Richmond community. Many people may think of climate action solely as a means to address environmental concerns; Richmond’s plan builds on this narrative with a more comprehensive strategy. The Richmond Climate Action Plan continues the mission that the City set forth with its Community Health and Wellness Element and its Health in All Policies Strategy: to create initiatives that improve the equitable delivery of services and improve the overall quality of life in Richmond. This Climate Action Plan` strengthens Richmond’s commitment to health equity and creates a strategy to serve the interests and well-being of the entire community – the environment, economy, and residents.

Developing BCDC Climate Change Policy Guidance

Organization: San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Location: San Francisco, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Research, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Created in 1965 with regional authority to protect San Francisco Bay and to encourage responsible use of the Bay for this and future generations, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is the nation’s oldest coastal zone management agency. While BCDC was originally created to prevent the shrinking of the Bay due to filling wetlands and open water for development, sea level rise is now causing the Bay to expand. Two feet of sea level rise will flood an estimated 9,000 homes and 29,000 residents, along with 16 miles of highways, two wastewater treatment plants, 27 toxic cleanup sites as well as a significant portion of the State’s major economic engine – Silicon Valley. These changes have led to a fundamental shift in BCDC’s mission and mandate.

The San Francisco Bay Plan (Bay Plan) is BCDC’s primary planning document that guides permitting decisions for proposed development in and around San Francisco Bay. In 2011, BCDC amended the Bay Plan to introduce new policies related to sea level rise. Now, all larger shoreline projects are required to prepare risk assessments, based on the best available science, and to address these risks in the project design. For example, sea level rise adaptation for a major development project, a wetland restoration, and a public pier all require very different planning, design and management considerations. The Fellow will assist BCDC’s Planning Manager on the development of climate change policy guidance. Tasks will include researching how BCDC has applied the climate change policies in the past; meeting with an internal project team, an advisory group of local government staff, and other interested parties; drafting sections of the guidance on sea level rise science and physical processes, adaptive management, and/or local government’s updates to their General Plans and Zoning; and assisting the Planning Manager in presenting our progress to BCDC’s Commission.

The ideal Fellow will have skills in project management, including developing work plans, meeting deadlines, scheduling and attending meetings, tracking comments and integrating them into revised documents. They will also have research and writing skills, including locating data in our permit archives, or reviewing available literature, synthesizing and drawing conclusion from the data that you’ve collected, and summarizing those findings in sections of the guidance document.  A background in urban planning and/or environmental science is desirable.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

A diverse, urban estuary situated in one of the most forward-thinking regions in the world, the San Francisco Bay Area is an exciting place to live and to start your career as an environmental professional. As a leader in the sea level rise adaptation field, BCDC is in the center of the action. BCDC is a small state agency situated in the heart of San Francisco. BCDC prides itself on providing weekly training opportunities for all staff on a variety of topics, from project updates to technical trainings. Thoughtful and lively discussions are commonplace at BCDC during staff meetings. We strive to empower staff to take initiative, drive decision-making for their projects, and share their work at conferences.

CAP Community Outreach and Energy Data Management

Organization: City of Cupertino
Location: Cupertino, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Water Conservation / Water Use Efficiency, Water Supply Reliability
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Cupertino is located against the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains at the west end of Silicon Valley. Home to high-tech companies like Apple, Cupertino has a highly educated and culturally diverse population. The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) was adopted in 2015 and is implemented by the Sustainability Division. Cupertino is a founding member of Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), a Community Choice Aggregator. SVCE launched in April 2017 and provides carbon-free electricity to over 90% of residents and businesses in Cupertino. Cupertino’s Sustainability Team is challenged with keeping the momentum going and using the success of programs like SVCE to push for deeper decarbonization for the community and municipal operations.

The CivicSpark Fellow will assist the Sustainability Division, which is part of the the Office of the City Manager, to expand the Green Business program, which helps small and medium businesses pursue California Green Business Certification and conserve energy and water, manage and reduce waste, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Fellow will also assist in coordinating the City’s annual Earth Day event, occurring April 2020, and help to promote water and energy programs to residents. Using the City’s Lucid BuildingOS portal, the Fellow will verify data accuracy and help the team to launch the data reporting features of the platform. This will help staff to understand  municipal energy usage and identify opportunities to save energy and switch from natural gas to electricity.

The ideal Fellow will be a self-starter with outreach / social media experience, data management skills, strong interpersonal skills, and an ability to work independently. This fellowship will involve reaching out to businesses, making and keeping contacts, working with data, and project coordination.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Cupertino is known throughout the world as a center of innovation. Rich in diversity, Cupertino is committed to becoming a model multicultural community for the 21st century. Corporate headquarters blend with tree-shrouded residential neighborhoods that climb into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountain range. Quality schools and proximity to high-tech jobs and beautiful open spaces make Cupertino a desirable location for a highly educated and culturally diverse population. As a Certified Green Business, sustainability is at the heart of the City’s working culture. Some staff amenities include: Bike Fleet of electric bikes for employees to use for short trips, electric vehicles in the carpool fleet, a Zero Waste reusable dishware kit for use for events, and composting of food waste in the office and all City facilities.

The Fellow will be a key part of the Sustainability Team, which consists of two full time staff members and works closely with the Environmental Services team. The team has a collaborative and supportive work culture and a friendly office. As it is a small city and a small team, the Fellow will have a lot of autonomy and room to be creative in their role. Staff support Fellows in pursuing career and personal development opportunities and bring them to networking meetings with staff and encourage them to attend networking events.

Generating Community Leadership Capacity for Climate Action

Organization: City of San José
Location: San José, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, Equity
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Marketing/Communication

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

In February 2018, the City of San José was one of the first U.S. cities to adopt a Paris Agreement aligned Climate Action Plan: Climate Smart San José (“The Plan”). The Plan puts forth bold climate actions in the absence of federal climate leadership. The City and community came together to support the principles of the Paris Agreement and to develop a plan that charts the best pathways for keeping global temperature rise this century below 2°C. To achieve these goals, the public must be on board both in terms of helping to inform and support climate plans and policy decisions as well as taking steps in their own lives. Climate change can be an overwhelming topic and San José has a population of over a million residents and is a geographically large city. In addition, it is a very diverse city and many residents face barriers to participation due to income, race, health, language and other factors. Even those in a position and ready to get involved often don’t know what they can do that will have a meaningful impact. Additionally, San José has limited staff and resources to dedicate to community engagement and capacity building.

To overcome those challenges, a Fellow will support the City by helping to design a Climate Leaders Program for community organizations and business that provides training, tools, and resources to increase awareness of climate risks and to activate their networks to action. The program will promote dialogues at their schools, churches, businesses, neighborhoods associations and other settings to discuss climate risks with their friends, families, and/or neighbors; provide them with an opportunity to share their concerns and ideas for promoting resilience with city staff; and support them to develop their own plans to cut carbon in keeping with San José’s climate goals. The main tenants of the program will be a clear understanding of climate change, its impacts and San José’s Climate plan and reducing barriers to participation and equity.

The ideal Fellow will be able to research, design and implement best practices and performance measures related to a community engagement leader programs and conduct outreach for businesses and community organizations to facilitate collaboration, discuss key community issues, and build bridges between community members and Climate Smart San José initiatives. The skills to implement these activities will include creative writing and communication/presentation skills.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Even though San José is the 10th largest City in the U.S by population, it is in many ways typical of cities across the country, in that it provides an opportunity to “transform suburbia.”  The City is an example of post-WWII rapid growth city defined by auto-oriented neighborhoods. San José is leading and showing other cities across the country that meaningful climate action focused on sustainable transformation of our built environment can be achieved while experiencing economic and population growth. The City believes the work in San José will be highly replicable, and scalable. San José is also a diverse community and their climate work will be culturally inclusive — they will ensure the green dividend is shared by all.

Shift Sonoma County: Mobility Initiatives

Organization: Sonoma County Transportation Authority
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Active Transportation, Alternative or Multimodal Transportation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Marketing/Communication

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

As a collaborative agency of the cities and County of Sonoma, Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) works with local jurisdictions to maintain and improve the transportation network. On-road transportation is responsible for approximately 62% of greenhouse gas emissions in Sonoma County. SCTA has adopted goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from on-road transportation, increase active transportation mode share, and reduce household transportation costs. Reducing single occupancy vehicle travel and increasing the use of transit, bicycling, walking, and ridesharing is challenging and requires a combination of new opportunities and behavior change. In 2016, SCTA adopted Shift Sonoma County: Low-Carbon Action Plan which recommends actions for mobility initiatives that were not already being addressed: transportation demand management, bike share, and car share. The Shift plan also identified local governments as being in key positions to reduce transportation demand, starting by modeling and promoting commute benefits programs. The Shift project included a county-wide bike share feasibility study, which helped identify a number of actions for implementing a bike share program. The SCTA since received a grant, in partnership with the Transportation Authority of Marin, to implement a two-county pilot program that is focused around first and last mile connections with the new commuter rail line (SMART).

The CivicSpark Fellow will help SCTA launch, expand, and promote bike share and transportation demand management elements of the Shift plan to help meet SCTA’s goals. The Fellow will support the bike share vendor and SCTA’s limited staff in planning for and implementing outreach and marketing activities to support a successful pilot. Outreach and marketing activities may include refining and implementing a marketing and outreach plan that leverages local events, partnerships, and mobility ambassadors to develop awareness and a strong user base. The Fellow will also assist with post launch evaluation and reporting during the pilot. SCTA recently began working with one municipality to develop a comprehensive employee commute program. The Fellow would expand SCTA’s capacity to guide other city employers through the process of setting up commute programs, with similar offerings. The Fellow may also assist with the improvement of complementary programs (including Emergency Ride Home) and mobility information sources, as well as promote these programs through city partners. The Fellow would periodically evaluate and report on existing and new programs, and on reach and impact of programs.

The ideal Fellow will have experience in and passion for outreach and community engagement. This position requires clear communication about new and less familiar programs to various municipal government staff, community groups, businesses, and community members. The Fellow should have organized and thoughtful written and verbal communication skills. Creativity in methods for reaching and communicating with a diverse array of community members will be valuable. The Fellow should have a professional demeanor and be comfortable speaking with people from diverse backgrounds. The Fellow will also perform some data collection, analysis and reporting relating to both the employer commute and bike share programs. As both programs will be in early stages of implementation, data analysis and reporting will be important to demonstrate progress and evaluate the programs. Clear and accurate reporting on data analysis is important.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) and Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) are sister agencies with shared offices, Board of Directors, and executive and administrative staff. SCTA/RCPA is an office of fourteen employees. The work culture is friendly, professional, and supportive. As a collaborative agency, staff work closely with planning, public works, and transit staff from the nine cities/town and the unincorporated county on various transportation-related issues. With a wide range of projects and roles, SCTA/RCPA staff often work independently but do have opportunities to share and support one another with challenges and successes. The office is located in the downtown Santa Rosa’s commercial district, which offers shopping, dining, and events in the summer months. Santa Rosa is the largest city in the North Bay Area and is surrounded by picturesque natural environments, including nearby hiking and biking trails, vineyards, lakes, rivers, and coastline. Santa Rosa is approximately one hour from San Francisco and a half hour from the coast.

Integrating Agricultural Mitigation and Adaptation into Local Climate Planning and Implementation

Organization: Carbon Cycle Institute
Location: Petaluma, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, Agricultural Improvements
Desired Skills: Project Management, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

While there is broad agreement that working lands/agriculture play an important role in meeting global climate goals for carbon drawdown and the State of California’s goal for carbon neutrality (with carbon sequestration in working and natural lands as the State’s fourth climate pillar), to date very few county and local jurisdictions have substantively integrated working lands and carbon sequestration within local climate and adaptation planning and implementation. The Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI) and its Resource Conservation District (RCD) partners as part of the Carbon Farming Network have launched several countywide carbon farming programs, whose aim is to plan and implement on-farm carbon sequestration projects that drawdown atmospheric carbon into vegetation and soils on working lands while also reducing GHG emissions from agricultural operations.

CCI and its partners have developed model agricultural elements (Ag Element) to climate action plans (CAPs) in Marin and Sonoma counties. The Fellow would support CCI and RCD partners to develop a model agricultural element for their counties’ CAPs. The Fellow would manage and facilitate outreach, education, and training with county planning and land use staff to build their knowledge and capacity to ensure development of a robust agricultural element in their CAPs and a roadmap for implementation over the next 3-5 years. A key component to these Ag Elements would be identifying 2020, 2025 and 2030 carbon sequestration goals for agriculture in these counties, key strategies to reach these goal in partnership with RCDs and county planners, and identify viable funding sources to support implementation and staffing.

The ideal Fellow will be passionate about and skilled at communicating about climate, carbon and agriculture/food both verbally and in writing. The core of the Fellow’s service will be conducting outreach and education and developing a written roadmap for local governments to enable them to take ownership and leadership on working lands and soils as a potent climate change strategy. The intersection of science and policy is key in helping advance working lands and soils as a climate strategy. Therefore, the Fellow will need to have a strong background in science (ecology, biology, climate) and a working understanding of how policy is developed, advanced and refined at the local and state level.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

CCI is a small, non-profit organization with four core staffpersons based in Petaluma, CA. Petaluma has longed served as the agricultural hub for the Northern region of the San Francisco Bay. In the last ten years, Petaluma has also grown tremendously into more of a metropolitan center, with a vibrant downtown, a growing high tech and socially conscious private sector comprised of very successful small to mid-scale green business (especially solar and renewable energy), and an eclectic mix of working professionals who commute to San Francisco and Silicon Valley and residents who have lived there for over three generations. The Petaluma community is very progressive and active, including on climate change, food, and social justice. Petaluma’s residents are very engaged in local planning and politics, with a discernible green edge. Petaluma has a very robust cohort of nonprofits that are mission-driven and ground their work locally. Petaluma is culturally cow-town meets Silicon Valley, all while valuing good community, good food, and lively discussion.

CCI operates as a fairly flat and democratic organization, where core decisions on programmatic focus, budget allocation, and who we partner with are made through consensus and dialogue. CCI staff work very collaboratively as a small organization and mostly in teams on the core programs. Senior staff are accessible and work shoulder-to-shoulder on all aspects of projects. Therefore, opportunities for learning, mentorship and sharing are available and organic. The flipside of this is that we expect all staff to take leadership and jump with both feet. CCI relies heavily on partners to undertake its work, especially RCDs, and thus staff work equally with other CCI staff as with core partners.

Action Planning for Equitable Water and Land-Use Integration in the Silicon Valley Region

Organization: Youth United for Community Action, in partnership with the Local Government Commission
Location: East Palo Alto, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Environmental Justice, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Environmental Justice / Equity, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Since its inception, the Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) believes that the people who are most affected should be the driving force to determining and bringing about their own solution. The disconnect between how communities are organized and how natural resources are managed is not only inefficient, but harmful to people and nature. Reconnecting water and land use will ensure vibrant, resilient communities for all. The primary barrier to integration, as identified by the LGC Water and Land-Use report, is the need for local capacity to understand and engage in water/land use integration efforts. Two related barriers to building local capacity for water and land-use integration are the lack of understanding of water issues among the community and the lack of interest in pursuing water-related topics in part due to this lack of understanding. 

The Fellow will assist YUCA to develop an action plan that will achieve a broader understanding of key water/land use integration issues among local governments and community allies within the region; a local action plan established to address local water/land use integration priorities, along with strategies and best practices that are working on the ground elevated to state-level actors; and beginning stages of action plan implementation and local coalition-building to advance the equitable integration of water and land use. The CivicSpark Fellow will support the YUCA in all aspects of the project: gaining a better understanding of specific water, land-use, climate, and equity concerns within the region; identifying relevant policies and planning documents that could benefit from integration or alignment; building relationships with relevant agencies and organizations to partner with on integration; highlighting best practices to share with other partners across the state; and developing and implementing specific action plan activities.

The ideal Fellows will have strong interpersonal skills, including listening, verbal communication, team-working, and problem-solving. Experience with policy analysis, action-planning, and/or coalition-building would be beneficial. Most importantly, the candidate must be passionate about social justice in low-income communities of color and eager to learn.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

YUCA was founded on the belief that the most effective youth program should include the intense involvement of young people at all levels of the organization. As a result, YUCA is led and run at all levels entirely by young people of color, majority low-income, majority women, thus providing an opportunity for them to define their own needs, determine their own vision, and implement it. YUCA’s grassroots style makes for a workplace culture that is very collaborative, democratic, and community-oriented. Staff, youth organizers and consultants often do the work of translating data-intensive and highly-technical information into accessible, relevant, and culturally-competent educational tools to empower our community and encourage civic engagement. At YUCA, Fellows will have an abundance of opportunity to demonstrate initiative, creativity, leadership, and hone skills such as public speaking, facilitation, community-based research, democratizing information, and presentation skills. Based in the City of East Palo Alto, YUCA is proudly rooted in a leading, collaborative, progressive political landscape that has a unique history in San Mateo County.

Action Planning for Equitable Water and Land-Use Integration in the San Francisco Region

Organization: ClimatePlan, in partnership with the Local Government Commission
Location: Oakland, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Human Right to Water/Water & Equity, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Research, Facilitation

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

ClimatePlan envisions a healthier and more vital California, where communities are sustainable and all people have the necessary building blocks such as affordable housing and reliable public transit to thrive. They are focused on transforming how communities are planned and built and prioritizing transportation investments towards transit, walking, and bicycling. They focus on land use and transportation strategies because they offer so many benefits. These strategies reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more diverse communities, with homes available at a range of incomes, with convenient public transportation and streets that are safe for walking and biking, surrounded by protected natural and working lands. 

The Fellow will assist ClimatePlan to develop an action plan that will create a broader understanding of key water/land use integration issues among local governments and communities allies within the region, identify strategies and best practices that are working on the ground elevated to state-level actors; and map out implementation and local coalition-building to advance the equitable integration of water and land use. The Fellow will support all aspects of the project including: increasing understanding of specific water, land-use, climate, and equity concerns within the region; identifying relevant policies and planning documents that could benefit from integration or alignment; building relationships with relevant agencies and organizations to partner with on integration; highlighting best practices to share with other partners across the state; and developing and implementing specific action plan activities.

The ideal Fellow will have strong interpersonal skills, including listening, verbal communication, team-work, and problem-solving. Experience with managing competing deadlines, policy analysis, action-planning, and/or coalition-building would be beneficial. Most importantly, the candidate must be passionate and eager to learn.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

ClimatePlan is a network of 57 organizations across California who represent a broad range of interests, from urban planning and public health experts to social equity advocates to farmland preservationists. Led by a small dynamic staff team, the ClimatePlan network is dedicated to planning for a healthy, sustainable, and equitable future by focusing on the following policy areas: housing, land use, and transportation. Serving with ClimatePlan provides a unique opportunity to work with a variety of organizations across California and better understand how different interests can work together to achieve a common goal. The workplace is fun but fast-paced, with many different and exciting things to learn and do. With offices in Sacramento and Oakland, the Fellow has the opportunity to live in a transit-rich community with diverse cultures and iconic landscapes.

Novato Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Programs

Organization: City of Novato
Location: Novato, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, General GHG Mitigation
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Novato adopted its current Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2009 and has met its initial target of reducing GHG emissions by 15% by 2020. During FY 2019/20, the City will be updating the CAP and engaging in an extensive public education and outreach effort to ensure community input and buy-in to the revised Plan. The City has already convened several working groups (organic waste, urban forest, renewable energy, etc), comprised of community members and staff, who will be championing the CAP update and providing input and feedback. 

The Fellow will have an active role in facilitating and supporting these working groups, as well as conducting public education and outreach around the CAP update. The Fellow will also support the coordination of existing CAP implementation activities (benchmarking, evaluation, community events, education and outreach campaigns, etc.) including working with local schools to establish Green Teams at each campus. The Fellow will assist the City to better understand and monitor (and ultimately reduce) utility usage and costs by developing systems to track energy consumption, waste generation and water use at City-owned facilities. 

The ideal Fellow will be organized and enthusiastic – the Fellow will need to have a high level of attention to detail, be able to organize and analyze data, and be able to manage their work program efficiently and effectively. They will also be engaging with the public quite a bit, and it’s really important that they have a positive, fun and upbeat outlook in order to motivate others.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Novato is located in north Marin county, about 40 minutes from San Francisco and 10 minutes from the Sonoma County line. For Marin County, Novato is relatively diverse and has a vibrant Latino population. There are just over 200 staff members at the City of Novato with about 60 staff working out of the Administrative Offices in historic downtown Novato, where the Fellow will be located. City staff are friendly, with a good mix of ethnicities and ages. Some staff are new to local government, while others have been with the City for many years. The community in Novato is friendly, warm and welcoming. It’s often quite hot in September, October and November but the public pool in Hamilton is a great place to cool off. Novato is surrounded by lots of open space, with hiking and biking trails aplenty!

Drawdown Marin – Community Engagement

Organization: County of Marin
Location: San Rafael, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach / Education, Collective Impact Initiative
Desired Skills: Environmental Justice / Equity, Marketing / Communication 

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The County of Marin Community Development Agency (CDA) is a dynamic department that works on a variety of topics and regularly interacts with the public. CDA ensures buildings are constructed safely, protects the public from potential health and safety risks, promotes sustainability by regulating land use and development, oversees and coordinates environmental review for all County projects, and manages Marin County’s affordable housing activities. The County of Marin Sustainability Team (part of CDA) works to support healthy, safe and sustainable communities while preserving Marin’s unique environmental heritage. The team has developed programs to promote renewable energy, address climate change, encourage green building, recognize green businesses and implement energy efficiency projects in County schools, special districts and cities and towns. These policies and programs will ensure that the County of Marin is healthy, vibrant and sustainable for many generations into the future.

The Fellow will assist the County in addressing climate change by implementing Drawdown: Marin, a community-driven campaign to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and prepare for climate change impacts. Drawdown is working to “draw down” carbon emissions by designing and implementing solutions in 6 Focus Areas: Renewable Energy, Transportation, Buildings + Infrastructure, Carbon Sequestration, Local Food + Food Waste, and Climate Resilient Communities. Drawdown will receive a grant to implement an engagement and empowerment process between August 2019 and August 2020. The Fellow will work to effectively and meaningfully engage communities of color in this initiative by working directly with community-based organizations and community members to amplify community priorities, recruit people of color to serve on Drawdown working groups, organize storytelling and equity trainings, assist with event design and implementation, and design and implement social media campaigns. They will also assist with working group meeting facilitation, notetaking, scheduling, and coordination, support working groups as-needed through research, assisting with community engagement, attending community events, and other activities.

The ideal Fellow will have critical thinking skills, as Drawdown: Marin is a complex and fast-paced initiative and requires deep and critical thinking and innovative approaches to effectively work with the 6 Collaboratives, Steering Committee, Partnership Council, and the general public. The Fellow will be expected to ask questions, suggest new ideas, and consider multiple viewpoints/opinions when completing their service. They should also be empathetic and able to engage with a variety of individuals and organizations, all with different personalities, priorities, and ideas. The fellow should feel comfortable interacting with a wide variety of people by having excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. They will be writing emails, updating website content, developing social media campaigns, and developing agendas and meeting materials. Clear and concise writing with attention to detail is important.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Sustainability Team includes five individuals that manage and implement a variety of programs, including Drawdown: Marin. The Fellow will have the opportunity to work with the entire Sustainability team and other CDA staff and connect with other agencies in the County, including Public Works and Parks among others. Additionally, the Fellow will interact with the Board of Supervisors, specifically with two supervisors sponsoring Drawdown: Marin.

Marin County is in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a population of approximately 250,000 people. The County is known for its beautiful natural environmental and considered very progressive. Marin County is one of the wealthiest and most affluent counties and has the fifth highest income per capita in the United States. It is predominantly White and one of the most racially segregated counties in California. The first community choice energy program was started and launched in Marin and Marin has an active and engaged environmental community. The County has just started to address the links between climate change, equity, racism, and privilege and the opportunity to address these issues with a predominantly white and affluent community make Marin County an extremely interesting place to work. Additionally, the County is committed to taking actions to address climate change and has support from the Board of Supervisors and the community to implement several climate programs.

Central Coast

Counties Included: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura

Santa Barbara Climate Collaborative

Organization: County of Santa Barbara
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Action Planning, General GHG Mitigation
Desired Skills: Research, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The County of Santa Barbara’s Sustainability Division collaborates across County departments and regionally to create opportunities that empower and connect people to enhance the environment and quality of life. The division is guided by the County’s Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) which was adopted by the County of Santa Barbara’s Board of Supervisors in 2015 and sets a target strategies to reduce GHG emissions from the unincorporated area of the County to 15% below 2007 levels by 2020. In June 2018, the division updated the unincorporated County’s GHG emissions inventory for 2016 to provide a snapshot of how the County is doing in lowering emissions; unfortunately, GHG emissions have increased by 14 percent from 2007 to 2016. As a result, the Board of Supervisors provided direction to update the existing ECAP post 2020 and established a new GHG reduction target of 50% below 1990 levels by 2030.  Additionally, the Board directed staff to employ a regional approach inclusive of cities and the unincorporated area of the County.

To address the need for regional collaboration, staff have begun to engage neighboring jurisdictions and community stakeholders to gauge interest in forming a “Santa Barbara Regional Climate Collaborative”.  The Collaborative would provide a platform to address climate change on a regional level and develop shared goals and strategies. These would then be used to inform the post 2020 version of the County’s ECAP as well as other participating jurisdictions’ climate related plans. The division does not currently have sufficient staff resources needed to build out the Collaborative and update the ECAP, so the CivicSpark Fellow would play a key role in supporting these efforts. The Fellow’s role would include research on best practices, development of GHG reduction strategies, community engagement, event coordination and potential the development of quantification methodologies for grassroots efforts related to GHG reductions.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent interpersonal skills as they will need to work with professionals across the County organization, as well as with outside entities. This will require someone that is comfortable engaging with experts across multiple fields, and being persistent and firm in requests for information. They will also be familiar with climate change and environmental and social sustainability topics and an interest in and aptitude for conducting secondary research on climate related strategies. 

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The County of Santa Barbara is located in the southern region of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 423,895. The Fellow will be based in the County Administration Building, which is located in the downtown area of the City of Santa Barbara. Mainstays of the County’s economy include oil and natural gas exploration, winemaking, agriculture and education. Santa Barbara’s picturesque beaches, mountains and proximity to the Channel Islands also make it a popular tourist destination.

The Sustainability Division is part of the Community Services Department, which also includes Parks, the Office of Arts and Culture, Libraries and Housing and Community Development. The Sustainability Division is a small but extremely motivated group of five staff members. The Division operates through a shared leadership model that values open communication.  The Division was created approximately 4 years ago and is therefore still in “start-up” mode with an often changing landscape. While staff works hard, the division’s culture also believes in the value of having fun and being playful.

Strategic Energy Plan Implementation and Regional Climate Collaborative Support

Organization: City of Goleta
Location: Goleta, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Renewable Energy, Alternative/Multimodal Transportation
Desired Skills: Project Management, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Goleta’s Sustainability Program within the Planning and Environmental Review Division supports efforts to create and implement a long-term sustainability vision for the City and incorporates sustainability into core processes and decision-making. City staff is currently developing a Strategic Energy/100% Renewable Energy Plan in conjunction with the County of Santa Barbara and City of Carpinteria. The plan is anticipated to be adopted in July 2019 and will identify specific actions in 5 program areas that the City can take to reach its goals. Another new effort being lead by the County of Santa Barbara is the Regional Climate Collaborative intended to strengthen the region’s collective efforts to address the magnitude of the impacts climate change causes, and enable economies of scale for climate change planning, emissions monitoring, and progress reporting.

Along with the Sustainability Coordinator, the Fellow will contribute to projects, including public outreach, that help the City address climate and community resilience goals including: 1) Implementation of projects identified in the Strategic Energy Plan in support of the City’s 100% Renewable Energy goals; 2) Support the City’s participation in the Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative; 3) Assist in development of a regional approach to the shared micro-mobility transportation sector, including bikes and scooters, and 4) Gather data and track key indicators in support of the City’s designation as a LEED City.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent interpersonal skills and be comfortable interacting and collaborating with City staff from different departments, as well as members of the public and other agency staff. Curiosity, flexibility, as well as strong written communication and analytical skills are key. The Fellow should be able to take initiative and conduct self-directed research, but also be comfortable asking for assistance when needed. A high attention to detail when performing data collection and project management skills are beneficial.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Goleta is located on the south coast of Santa Barbara County, approximately 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Home to 30,000 residents, the City has the warmth and charm of a small town. Beaches and well-maintained parks and open spaces add to its attraction. Contributing to this young community’s outstanding quality of life are the City’s low crime rate, mild coastal climate, and desirable location.

Laying the Foundation: Implementing Priority Carbon Neutrality and Community Resilience Actions

Organization: City of San Luis Obispo
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Climate Action Plan Implementation, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Project Management, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) is currently and simultaneously implementing deep decarbonization actions and developing a climate action plan with the most ambitions greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in the nation: carbon neutrality by 2035. The City operates on two-year budget cycles, which include the identification of high priority policy areas (referred to as “Major City Goals”, or MCGs). Climate Action was identified as a MCG for the first time in the 2017-19 Financial Plan. In that time period, the City hired a Sustainability Manager, established the Office of Sustainability, and began implementing initial GHG reduction actions, including joining an existing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Climate Action was reconfirmed as a MCG for the 2019-21 Financial Plan and will now focus on 1) building organizational and community capacity and processes for substantial, sustained, and effective climate action; 2) implementing priority Climate Action Plan measures to lay the foundation for achieving carbon neutrality by 2035, and 3) assessing, planning, and implementing measures to enhance the community’s resilience to the impact of climate change.

Fellows will be training and providing technical support on discrete tasks through the first part of their term and will gradually shift to task and project management through the end of the term. The City anticipates finalizing the Fellows’ scope based on the selected candidates’ experience, interest, and skillsets, but Fellows can broadly be expected to support 2019-21 City work plan items including development of a carbon free building code, supporting the SLO Climate Coalition, research and potential development of a carbon offset program, research and potential development of a bike share program, implementing a carbon farming pilot program, completing three on-site solar installations, developing and implementing an electric vehicle strategic plan, and developing a program to support decarbonization retrofits. Additional project areas available to Fellows based on interest is integrating climate change projections into our City’s General Plan and supporting the City’s Housing MCG.

The ideal Fellow will be able to: “self-start” and complete complicated tasks while also understanding when to ask for help; be passionate and able to face hard problems and take on daunting challenges. The office has fun, and support each other personally and professionally, but also care deeply about climate action and are dedicated to contributing to global decarbonization to the fullest extent possible.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

San Luis Obispo is the perfect place to launch a career in sustainability. The City is fortunate to be in a moment of significant alignment between the City Council, senior management, staff, residents, and the business community on the importance of deep decarbonization and adaptation/resilience. The City’s organizational culture is deeply collaborative, and provides deep trust; everyone from program managers to interns are empowered to lead, learn, grown, and succeed. It should also be noted that the Central Coast is one of the most beautiful regions of the state. Fellows will be able to surf, hike, mountain bike, and kayak through some of the most pristine and gorgeous breaks, trails, and waters in the world.

Tri-County Regional Energy Network Launch and Energy Efficiency Programs

Organization: County of Ventura
Location: Ventura, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach/Education, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Tri-County Regional Energy Network (3C-REN) is a partnership among three California Central Coast local government agencies (Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties) working together to deliver regional energy efficiency programs that meet local needs and help reduce energy use, carbon emissions, and meet the goals of local climate action plans. 3C-REN is one of only three approved Regional Energy Networks (RENs) within the state to directly receive ratepayer funding to administer energy efficiency programs. The 3C-REN is launching three energy efficiency programs and services in mid-2019 designed to address the needs and challenges of local government agencies, building professionals, and residents in the region: (1) Learning and Development Program (e.g. technical, in-field, certifications, and more); (2) Codes and Standards Program (e.g. code coach service, forms, modeling, and more); and (3) Residential Direct Install Program for Hard to Reach Customers (e.g. renters, non-English speakers etc.).

The Fellow will assist 3C-REN staff with the following: (1) Launching the three programs described above; (2) Coordinating program implementation among the three counties; (3) Assisting with marketing and outreach; and (4) Tracking data in preparation for the first round of annual reporting to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The Fellow will be housed in the County of Ventura Executive Office’s Sustainability Division, but also interact closely with staff from the County of Santa Barbara’s Sustainability Division and County of San Luis Obispo’s Energy and Climate Division. Additionally, the Fellow will interact with the residents of the three counties and building professionals. 

The ideal Fellow will have good communication skills (both written and verbal) and be able to operate in a group setting as well as independently. The Fellow should have a strong interest in energy efficiency. They will also have a basic understanding or 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. They will have initiative and ability to problem solve. Spanish language skills is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Ventura is about a hundred miles north of Los Angeles. The Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura (Tri-County Region) are topographically diverse, with mountains, rich agricultural valleys, distinct urban areas, coastal areas and inland rural lands, and 28 incorporated cities. The Region is also characterized by its relative separation from the large metropolitan centers of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The Fellow will work closely with two staff from a team of six Ventura County Program Administrators that work with a diverse array of programs to address good energy stewardship and sustainability best practices in the Ventura Region. The Fellow will also remotely work with two staff from each of the other two counties but may periodically travel with Ventura County staff to meet with the other counties.

Ventura Housing Element Update

Organization: County of Ventura Planning Division
Location: Ventura, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing
Desired Skills: Research, Data Collection/Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Nestled between the Pacific Coast and the Los Padres National Forest, 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 and its nine incorporated cities were able to protect and maintain the natural setting of the region by adopting the Guidelines for Orderly Development in 1969. The Guidelines were a progressive effort to encourage smart growth by directing urban development to occur within incorporated cities, where appropriate services are available. This initiative has been very effective in resource preservation but did little to encourage housing production in the unincorporated county. Today, the State of California is facing a severe housing shortage and it is up to each jurisdiction to develop housing solutions that meet the diverse needs of their community.

The County of Ventura Planning Division is gearing up to kickstart the Housing Element update process, which will determine land use goals, policies and programs that will facilitate housing production in the unincorporated County through 2030. The Fellow will assist in the update by gathering, synthesizing and presenting best practice strategies and case studies that promote the development of affordable housing. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to develop a community engagement plan and create materials for outreach for the Housing Element update. Ultimately, the goal of the Fellow is to assist in the preparation of an updated draft of the existing Housing Element and propose resilient housing solutions for disadvantaged communities in an engaging way for County decision makers and the public to consider adoption into the new Housing Element.

The ideal Fellow will have an interest in the social, economic and environmental challenges faced by disadvantaged communities in the context of land use policies for housing development. They should have the ability to meet self-imposed deadlines, be successful in a collaborative environment as well as independently and be resourceful in using tools to keep project elements organized and running smoothly. Most importantly, the Fellow should possess a strong ability to synthesize and summarize complex information for the public and decision makers through graphically rich deliverables. Basic Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel skills and good writing and analytical skills are important as well.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The County of Ventura, with its ten cities and numerous unincorporated communities, is a beautiful place to live and serve. The Fellow will be placed in the Planning Division on the Long-Range Planning Team (6 Planners and 1 Manager). The Planning Division values the professional growth and development of staff and is constantly engaged in professional development opportunities. The governmental jurisdictions have a long history of working together to retain areas of largely undeveloped agricultural and open space land between urban areas. As such, there are many opportunities to explore open space areas, such as the Channel Islands National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Los Padres National Forest, and many state and local beaches – the County government center is just a ten-minute drive to the beach! Its location in the City of Ventura offers residents and visitors a Mediterranean climate often described as the best in the world, with average annual temperatures of 74 degrees.

Electric Vehicle Implementation Project

Organization: County of Santa Barbara – General Services
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Electric/Autonomous Vehicles, Air Quality Improvements
Desired Skills: Project Management, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The County of Santa Barbara Electric Vehicle Implementation Project was approved by the County Board of Supervisors on March 19, 2019. The County has a fleet of approximately 240 gasoline powered combustion engine vehicles. The General Services Department, who manages the County fleet, will replace these vehicles at the end of their useful life with all electric vehicles. To accomplish this switch from gas powered vehicles to EVs, charging infrastructure will also need to be procured and installed. It is likely that up to 50 or so vehicles will be purchased in the next year, along with the needed charging infrastructure and an additional 75 vehicles and charging units will be purchased over the next five years. It is estimated that up to 500 metric tons of CO2 would be reduced over the five year period. 

The Fellow will assist the County in all facets of this project, including being the driving force to keep the project moving. The Fellow will facilitate meetings, conduct research, and assist the Fleet Manger and Energy Manager as they undertake this important endeavor. In addition, the County will be exploring opportunities to incentivize County employees to utilize electric vehicles for personal use by providing charging stations that can be utilized by employees. Fellows will also support this initiative.

The ideal Fellow will have an understanding of basic project management, as well as excellent interpersonal skills as they will need to work with professionals across the County organization, as well as with outside entities. This will require someone that is comfortable engaging with experts across multiple fields, being persistent and firm in requests for information, and possess sufficient analytical ability (with support from County staff) to evaluate information received from others and incorporate it into implementable plans and programs. The Fellow should also be comfortable asking for and receiving help. Some understanding of transportation modes and electric vehicles is a plus, as is knowledge of engineering principles (for the charging infrastructure) and electrical engineering.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The County of Santa Barbara is located in the southern region of State of California, with a population of around 424,000. The County is unique in that it has two main administrative locations, one in the City of Santa Barbara (South County) and the other in the City of Santa Maria (North County). The General Services Department includes the Fleet Operations, Facility Maintenance, Energy Management, Information Technology, Capital Projects, and Real Property.  The Department has over 100 employees and staff integrate and work with each other on projects very well.  Staff are easy going, and enjoy making a difference in their community and strive to be the premier resource for first class service to internal County customers. Mainstays of the County’s economy include oil and natural gas exploration, winemaking, agriculture and education. Santa Barbara’s picturesque beaches, mountains and proximity to the Channel Islands also make it a popular tourist destination. The Fellow will get the opportunity to travel throughout the County, meeting stakeholders and monitoring project status as we install the charging infrastructure. 

SLO Regional Bus Electric Vehicle Charging Plan

Organization: San Luis Obispo Council of Governments
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Public Transit, General GHG Mitigation
Desired Skills: Research, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) connects their communities by allocating federal and state funds, plans for the future and facilitates the collaboration of all levels of government, and guides interested parties and residents toward a common goal: to improve the quality of life in San Luis Obispo County through planned mobility enhancements and options. SLOCOG is an association of local governments in San Luis Obispo County, which is made up of its seven cities (Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo) and the County of San Luis Obispo. The organization’s central purpose is to examine common regional problems and suggest solutions. SLOCOG’s prime responsibilities include transportation planning and funding for the region, while also serving as a forum for the study and resolution of regional issues.

The Fellow will lead the development of the region’s Regional Bus EV Charging Plan. In addition to the involvement of SLOCOG’s typical partner agencies, agencies to the north and south of the region will be involved also. The Fellow will be tasked to identify potential consortium member agencies, research benefits and drawbacks of charging technologies, advise on depot and/or in-route charging, work with providers to identify lead implementation agencies by jurisdiction, find consensus, and develop and finalize the plan. This will result in a plan that selects the singular EV charging method to be employed by multiple public transportation providers in the broader region, including the major fixed-route providers: Regional Transit Authority, South County Transit, SLO-Transit, Monterey/Salinas Transit, and Santa Maria Area Transit.

The ideal Fellow will have strong research and technical writing skills. The research portion will involve working with key stakeholders to identify EV charging options and, if available, compiling real-world data on benefits and drawbacks. The project will culminate in the Fellow developing an outline, the planning report, and recommendation as a draft and final document for review by the SLOCOG Board. Throughout the project, the Fellow will learn project management, develop new communication skills (verbal at stakeholder meetings and visual for documents, and function within the SLOCOG team environment.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

SLOCOG is a dynamic place to learn and work, with fewer than 20 employees completing the same tasks and requirements as MPOs and RTPAs that represent much larger areas and have many more employees. Being small means that the Fellow will regularly have exposure to all agency aspects, and they will have directional support available from a supervisor and the Executive Director and assistance from all knowledgeable staff members. Located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, SLOCOG’s office is at the hub of everything. SLO County is very large in land area and coastline, but has fewer than 300,000 people. It offers seven cities (ranging from 7,000 to 50,000 people), each with unique characteristics and way of life, and about a dozen unincorporated communities. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo offers that college town feel and associated activities. With its mild climate, there are many weekend and evening activities to fill down time. Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Morro Bay offer downtime lounging on uncrowded (sometimes) beaches, kayaking, and surfing. Biking and hiking activities abound in all areas of the region, but in San Luis Obispo, Cerro San Luis mountain is adjacent to downtown. Weekly farmer’s markets bring the freshest and best produce from our local farms to our residents. Escapes to the most rural areas will lead north to Hearst Castle and the Big Sur coastline or inland to rolling hills and amazing Spring wildflowers as far as the eye can see.

Ventura General Plan and Program Environmental Impact Report

Organization: County of Ventura
Location: Ventura, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach / Education, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Outreach / Community Engagement, Data Collection / Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Ventura County Planning Division is currently engaged in a comprehensive General Plan Update (GPU), planning for the unincorporated County through 2040. A General Plan represents the community’s view of its future and expresses the community’s development goals. The GPU will include the following elements/chapters: Land Use, Circulation (Transportation), Conservation and Open Space, Public Facilities and Services, Hazards and Safety, Agriculture, Water Resources, Economic Vitality, and Housing (being updated separately). The previous 2018-2019 Fellow assisted the GPU team and consultants in the development of General Plan goals, policies, and programs for the cross-cutting topics of Healthy Communities, Environmental Justice, and the Climate Action Plan, which includes climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.

The 2019-20 Fellow will support the GPU team in finalizing the Draft General Plan and Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR will analyze the potential environmental impacts of the General Plan and propose mitigations and alternatives to reduce or avoid these impacts. The Fellow will assist in research and analysis of information that may be addressed in the EIR, providing a foundation of learning about the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which guides environmental analysis of planning and development projects in the State. The Fellow will also assist with several key meetings, community outreach (e.g. presentations to Municipal Advisory Councils throughout the county), and hearings for the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to secure input on the Draft General Plan and  EIR. The Fellow will summarize and analyze input from these events for use in reporting results to decision-makers. The Fellow will also help develop strategies for updating the county’s zoning ordinance, including sea level rise adaptation and other long-range planning projects related to climate change, to ensure its continued consistency with the General Plan.

The ideal Fellow will be skilled in research methods, writing, powerpoint/presentations, and a willingness to assist with public outreach. They  will also possess a strong ability to synthesize and summarize technical information for the public and decision-makers. The ability to use GIS software is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Ventura County was recently rated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the most desirable place to live. The location is a 10-minute drive to the ocean and provides many opportunities to explore state and national parks, such as the Channel Islands, Santa Monica Mountains and Los Padres National Forest. The County of Ventura is the second largest employer in the region with nearly 9,000 employees in 25 agencies and departments that provide various safety, social and health care services to the public. The Fellow will be serving in the Planning Division, comprised of dedicated, hard-working individuals and teams, which provides land use services to the public within unincorporated areas of the County. Division staff provide a supportive environment with a strong foundation for mentoring Fellows.

Water Sustainability Planning – Drought Development Infrastructure and Data Driven Water Programs

Organization: County of San Luis Obispo – Public Works
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach / Education, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Project Management, Outreach / Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works (Public Works) leads the development and implementation of the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan to provide comprehensive regional water resources management for the region. The IRWM Plan focuses on strategies to improve the sustainability of current and future needs of San Luis Obispo County through inter-agency cooperation and stakeholder collaboration. As part of the regional resilience strategy, Public Works is collaborating with the California Department of Water Resource’s County Drought Advisory Group (CDAG) to meet the goals and requirements of AB 1668 and SB 606 for countywide drought planning efforts. The Fellow will contribute to developing local strategies that address small water systems and communities during drought and water shortage conditions. The Fellow’s activities will include assessing current policies and programs, conducting research, developing reports and plans, collaborating with other agencies, and performing outreach and education with stakeholders and members of the public.

The County of San Luis Obispo Administrative Office (Administration Office) leads the development of the Regional Housing and Infrastructure Plan (RHIP) that will coordinate and integrate the resource and infrastructure needs in addressing the countywide housing shortage. The Fellow will contribute to the RHIP’s creation including addressing water resources and infrastructure issues among various local agencies. The Fellow’s activities will include plan development, conducting research, performing outreach to members of the community and stakeholders, and coordinating with local agencies and organizations such as other County departments (e.g., Planning and Building), San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), and the managers, planners, and public works staff of the seven incorporated cities, community services districts, and other RHIP participants. Public Works, through theWater Resources Division, also manages the water resources monitoring program. We provide up to date data for rain, stream, reservoir and groundwater resources. The Fellow will assist in supporting and developing data management system (DMS) products to improve service to make data accessible to the public and to support management and stakeholders to make data driven policy decisions.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent organizational and collaboration skills, and will be proficient in using data management tools to assist in recommending policy decisions. They will also have a forward thinking mindset to explore creative solutions to long standing community challenges.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Serving with the County of San Luis Obispo and its various Divisions including the Water Resources Division provides a great opportunity for professional development. The Site Supervisor and other members of staff will assist the Fellow in building their network, exploring opportunities, and developing their knowledge base and project management skills. The Water Resources Division has a close-knit and friendly workplace culture. They are dedicated to their work, and are passionate about team-building activities, such as birthday potlucks and project milestone celebrations. The County of San Luis Obispo is an interesting (and amazing!) place to live and work because it is home to warm, interesting people and encompasses a variety of landscapes, from urban to rural to coastal. The surrounding hills and the beaches provide easy access to nature, and the cities have great restaurants and fun events.

Strategic Energy Plan Implementation

Organization: City of Carpinteria
Location: Carpinteria, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Renewable Energy, General Climate Adaptation
Desired Skills: Research, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Carpinteria is a small agency with limited staff resources to implement aggressive environmental goals. Currently, most of the Sustainable Community Policy implementation is handled by one staff person. The City recently adopted a clean energy road map and is seeking assistance with policy development and project implementation of the Carpinteria Strategic Energy Plan. Carpinteria is located near the end of Southern California Edison’s service area, leaving the community vulnerable to power outages, particularly during emergency situations. The goal of the Strategic Energy Plan (SEP) is to increase local resiliency by promoting local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage projects in an effort to reduce the community’s dependence on the electrical distribution system. Increasing electrical reliability for the City’s residents and businesses not only serves vulnerable populations, but can also help create economic stability and promotes the City’s sustainability goals. 

The Fellow would assist in researching and drafting policy and implementation approaches for the Carpinteria SEP. An Energy Assurance Plan for City Facilities has been identified as a priority in the SEP to assist in reducing greenhouse gas emission and increase energy reliance during power outages. The Fellow would be primarily focused on this and other strategic energy planning projects that promote sustainability goals and reduce GHG emissions in the community. Some of those projects include promoting energy efficiency in both the residential and commercial sectors. Carpinteria is a built-out community consisting of mainly single-family residential and small commercial businesses.  Encouraging retrofits of existing buildings will assist in reducing energy use community-wide; the Fellow would be responsible for developing educational material and possible additional program development to promote energy efficiency retrofits.

The ideal Fellow will have excellent interpersonal skills as they will work with staff within the organization, as well as with outside entities, to help promote program elements and develop policy. The Fellow should also be comfortable asking for and receiving help. They should also have an interest in energy conservation and renewable energy development – the Fellow will be spearheading implementation of a newly adopted plan, which will require an understanding of energy. They should be proficient in understanding renewable energy development, as well as have an understanding of investor-owned utility programs that are offered. Spanish speaking is a plus.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City is a small organization, with approximately 40 full time equivalent staff. The Fellow would be housed in the Public Works Department, but would be serving closely with other departments. Due to the small size, each staff member is responsible for a variety of tasks and people work closely together. While the Fellow would be focused on energy implementation, they would be exposed to most functions of a small local government, making working for the City a desirable learning experience.

The City of Carpinteria is a small beach community located on the southern tip of Santa Barbara County with a population of about 13,600. The City takes pride in being a leader in the environmental movement, with an active community that is engaged in promoting environmental practices. Most development is retrofit of existing structures, with preserved open spaces throughout the City including the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Park, the Carpinteria Bluffs Reserve, a City-operated community garden, and pristine beaches. The entire community is pedestrian and bicycle accessible.

Greater Los Angeles

Counties Included: Los Angeles, San Bernardino

Climate Adaptation Planning and Implementation in the South Bay

Organization: South Bay Cities Council of Governments
Location: Torrance, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Disaster Response/Emergency Management
Desired Skills: Project Management, Technical Writing

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) is a joint powers authority of 16 cities and the Los Angeles County that share the goal of maximizing the quality of life of the South Bay region. The SBCCOG has recently completed 15 Climate Action Plans (CAP) and with the assistance of a 2018/2019 CivicSpark Fellow, has developed a sub-regional climate adaptation plan along with draft city-specific vulnerability assessments that inform member-cities of their climate risks.

In addition to helping the SBCCOG implement and track the progress of the sub-regional climate adaptation plan, the Fellow will support the cities to adopt city vulnerability assessments and facilitate adaptation and resiliency strategy development at the city level. Specifically, the Fellow will work with city staff to identify strategies, programs, and policies that best meet the needs of the cities and are consistent with the goals of the sub-regional adaptation plan. Building off the work of the existing climate action and adaptation work, the Fellow will also pursue opportunities that satisfy the goals and actions set forth in the adaptation plan and track the progress of plan implementation in order to build climate resiliency throughout the sub-region. To support this multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional work, the Fellow will engage in key partnerships and track state and federal policy developments by participating and potentially leading relevant webinars, meetings, and workshops. 

The ideal Fellow will have excellent communication, technological literacy, GIS, and analytical skills and be experienced in program management and/or implementation. The Fellow will work closely with city staff and present to city commissions and possibly City Councils, and work with agency partners to implement resiliency strategies, both of which require strong relationship-building and public speaking skills. The SBCCOG is a fast-paced environment requiring the ability to quickly learn new systems and maintain proper workflow organization.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The South Bay is a diverse area exhibiting a variety of socioeconomic conditions, infrastructure types, neighborhood compositions, and geographies. Over one million people live, work, and recreate in the South Bay. The sub-region encompasses sixteen cities and the South Bay portions of Los Angeles County, featuring the Palos Verdes Peninsula and its Nature Preserve, and  beach cities including Hermosa, Manhattan, Redondo, and El Segundo. The South Bay is a relatively affluent region, however, there are several designated “Disadvantaged Communities” that are vulnerable to environmental impacts.

Regional Adaptation and Resiliency Program

Organization: Southern California Association of Governments
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 3
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Ecosystem or Habitat Conservation
Desired Skills: Research, GIS/Mapping

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the regional planning agency for Southern California, and SCAG’s Sustainability Department helps local cities plan and implement sustainability strategies and projects. SCAG is working on a Regional Adaptation Framework, a state funded region-wide adaptation framework involving 191 local jurisdictions. The framework will provide SCAG’s member cities with a guide and resources for creating their own climate adaptation plans and is being developed in partnership with a consultant. Three Fellows will be assisting in this, and will focus on coordinating efforts between SCAG staff, consultants, stakeholders, and member cities – a large part of this will be assisting with outreach efforts as well as providing support for working groups and focus groups. Fellows will also take on the Green Region Indicators database, which tracks 10 sustainability areas (such as energy, water, urban forests, etc.) throughout the region. They will help build a platform that can assess the level of sustainability progress across the SCAG region.

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and GreenInfo Network, SCAG will also be developing a major new tool and database: the SCAG Regional Greenprint. This tool will be a GIS mapping and assessment tool for the parks, open space and working lands in the SCAG region. The development will include an in-depth and comprehensive outreach process to design the Greenprint for use by organizations, local jurisdictions, water agencies and other stakeholders, as well as academics.  The SCAG Greenprint will be modeled on the Bay Area Greenprint and will be used to build natural resource conservation into local plans and policies, and to help build significant capacity in sustainability planning at the local level. Fellows will support SCAG staff and the Nature Conservancy team to develop GIS data layers, do policy and planning research on open space and water, outreach to stakeholders and local governments, and train folks on how to use the tool. The CivicSpark Fellows will have the opportunity to divide their tasks based on their interests or work together in the planning process.

The ideal Fellows will have strong writing and communication skills, as well as be able to conduct organized and independent research. Successful Fellows will have strong time management skills, as well as some knowledge of GIS mapping and data collection, and an interest in environmental/sustainability issues.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

SCAG covers 6 counties and 191 cities in Southern California. The headquarter are in downtown LA near mass transit connections. SCAG has about 150 employees that work on housing, GIS, transportation, air pollution, climate change and land use issues. Fellows interact with all employees, attend all agency meetings, workshops, professional development and trainings. There is an on-site kitchen and eating area with free coffee and tea. SCAG frequently hosts the CivicSpark meetings for the region. Fellows are provided a work space and computer in a professional work environment.

Stormwater Quality Management Program Training

Organization: City of Fontana
Location: Fontana, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM), Stormwater Quality / Green infrastructure / LID Stormwater capture and (re)use
Desired Skills: Facilitation, Education

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Fontana is one of 17 co-permittees (San Bernardino County being the Principal Permittee) of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit governing the urban stormwater waste discharge into the Santa Ana River watershed. The permit is issued through one of the eight Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB) of the State of California to satisfy Section 402(p) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Fontana, along with the other principal and co-permittees, operates and maintains a Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) that discharges urban stormwater runoff into one of the identified Waters of the United States; thus, the city is subject to the Clean Water Act and, ultimately, through the RWQCB, the subsequent NPDES permit. Effective administration of the MS4 Permit benefits ecosystem and habitat conservation, natural infrastructure and, ultimately, environmental justice. The permit governs environmental compliance of businesses, restaurants, industrial sites, gas stations, and other commercial/industrial operations to ensure urban storm and waste water discharge into the MS4 is mitigated for identified pollutants (pathogens, sediment, trash, fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, etc.) prior to reaching the Santa Ana River and, ultimately, the Pacific Ocean. All new and redeveloped sites meeting defined criteria are subject to the permit requirements. Because Fontana is a fast-growing city, the demand to process Water Quality Management Plans (WQMPs), oversee construction and implementation of identified Best Management Practices (BMPs), and to continually provide inspection responsibilities in perpetuity grows exponentially each year. This demand puts a strain on existing staff to continually comply with all regulations of the permit and threatens the environmental effectiveness of this effort. 

The Fellow shall assist and, in some instances, take a lead role, in providing training, program development, inspection, and post-construction support for the Storm Water Quality Management program, specifically for the Engineering, Community Development, and Public Works Department. Tasks would include, but are not limited to: training staff to review WQMPs; assisting in reviewing of WQMPs; developing a stream-lined process to efficiently and effectively process WQMPs through the entitlement and development process; assisting in developing an inspection process for both construction and post-construction requirements;

The ideal Fellow will have an educational emphasis in Civil Engineering, Storm Water Resources, and/or Environmental Compliance. Strong interpersonal skills to thrive in a modern, fast-paced, professional office environment is desired.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Fontana is a suburban community with a population of approximately 210,000 people. Fontana is the second largest city in San Bernardino County and is also one of the fastest growing cities in the State of California. Fontana recently adopted a new General Plan that will result in significant land use change over the next 15 to 20 years. City of Fontana employees pride themselves on the family-like work culture. Additionally, Fontana is centrally located within Southern California and has easy access to mountains, beaches, deserts, and other local attractions.

Resource Management Plan and Community Messaging

Organization: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Waste, Energy Efficiency
Desired Skills: Project Management, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) recently approved a Sustainability Unit (Unit) to oversee and administer sustainability projects and programs throughout the Department. One of the goals of the Unit is managing/reducing/diverting resources to cause less waste into the landfill. The Department must draft and implement Resource Management Plans (RMP) at all facilities (using RMPs already developed as a template). While the category of the facilities are similar in operations, each facility has unique characteristics based on their site, contracts, location, and community. Once the RMPs are implemented, the Unit will maintain, track and report waste reduction/increases, recycling efforts of the County, and support changes in procedures, vendors or policies. Additionally, the Unit will maintain ongoing training, signage, and messaging needs to maintain the processes. There will be a Department Project Manager leading the charge, working with each facilities’ Operations Sergeant and the Civicspark Fellows.

Fellows will be instrumental in creating engaging training and/or messaging videos that will be released through department-wide networks, presenting at station briefings, and checking for implementation follow through and follow-ups. Fellows will craft content, graphics, and videos for the Unit’s website. They will observe and look for opportunities to find products used within the department that could be changed to have less or more sustainable packaging, and/or find alternatives to common “disposables”, and propose ideas to the Unit’s Director. Fellows may also help facilities find community groups to partner with for material diversion, and/or research re-useable alternatives for frequently discarded products. The Fellows will create databases and reports that will be maintained and updated with ongoing staff. Fellows will help create the database, generate the baselines, procedures, and training for inputting into a database, and create the self-generating reports that will allow the Unit to quickly see the increases and decreases in waste, recycling, reduction and diversion of the whole department. This tool will provide the Department with the status of resource reduction and costs. It would also provide other county Departments a template to replicate, so they can obtain the same data about their waste streams. In turn, this report will be sent to the County’s Chief Sustainability Office for their insight into the Department progress in meeting the County’s Sustainability Plan goals.

The ideal Fellows will have an interest and/or ability to create clever signage, messaging, website content, and videos that will engage people to participate in waste reduction/separation, have an interest in finding opportunities within local communities to provide a resource while diverting waste, be innovative, and have a serious interest to learn from senior Project Managers how to manage/track multiple projects from start to finish. Fellows will learn a great deal about project management, team building, community outreach and creating messaging that enroll people to participate and understand their individual impact and responsibilities to waste and resources.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The LASD is the second largest County Department in Los Angeles, and services a wide variety of socioeconomic, culturally diverse and urban environments, from West Hollywood to East LA Station to Santa Clarita Valley and Lancaster. It has twenty-four patrol stations, seven jails complexes, two training campuses, two administration buildings and scores of other facilities. There are 16,000 sworn and civilian employees and the Department oversees 17,000 incarcerated persons.

Climate Change and Public Health Stakeholder Engagement

Organization: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Public Health
Desired Skills: Project Management, Outreach/Community Engagement

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH), one of the largest local health departments in the country, is a full-service local health department serving the public health needs of the most populous county in the United States. With nearly 10 million residents in unincorporated areas and 88 cities, Los Angeles County’s demographic and geographic diversity, along with socio-economic and cultural factors, present many public health challenges and opportunities related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The mission of DPH’s Climate Change and Sustainability Program, is “to protect LA County residents, especially communities of color and low-income communities, from climate impacts by promoting actions that slow climate change and build resilience.” Climate change in Los Angeles County include more frequent and severe heat waves and wildfires, worsening air quality, and increasing incidence of vector-borne diseases, which disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color.

Meaningful community outreach and stakeholder engagement is needed to implement community-driven strategies that lessen the harms caused by climate change, and build resilience long-term. Many of the actions needed to protect health in the face of climate change should be community- and stakeholder-driven. The Climate Change and Sustainability Program has developed a draft report on strategies for promoting climate action and health equity in Los Angeles County. This draft will now serve as the basis for discussions with stakeholders. Two CivicSpark Fellows will assist with fostering meaningful stakeholder engagement with non-profits, community-based organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector to gather feedback and develop partnerships to implement the strategies outlined in the climate action and health equity report.

The ideal Fellows will have a strong interest in the public health impacts of climate change, as well as health equity. No public health background is necessary, but fellows will ideally be interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of the public health field and in learning about how local government work. They will also have very strong interpersonal, organizational, and writing skills. Through this project, Fellows will gain experience working in local government, collaborate with professionals specializing in various aspects of public health, build professional connections with stakeholders working on climate issues, and build subject matter expertise on the links between climate change and public health.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The people who work at DPH share a commitment to protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of all residents of Los Angeles County. DPH’s Climate Change and Sustainability Program is a small, growing program of four fulltime County staff, which means that CivicSpark Fellows take on an outsize level of responsibility for projects, from planning to implementation. Fellows have the opportunity to engage with various activities and decisions made within the program. The program is a supportive and positive environment where team members lift each other up, and value the new perspectives, energy, and enthusiasm that the Fellows bring.

The County of Los Angeles is an exciting place to work on sustainability. It is unique in its jurisdictional complexity, various microclimates, and many diverse communities. It is home to an engaged and supportive network of sustainability professionals.

CSU Low-Carbon Sustainable Mobility and On-Campus Housing

Organization: California State University
Location: Long Beach, CA
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Active Transportation, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Technical Writing, GIS/Mapping

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

California State University (CSU) has historically focused on scope 1 and 2 emissions, which resulted in neglect of transportation emissions at the system-wide level, despite comprising as much as 75% of the system’s total carbon emissions. At the same time, housing insecurity and commute costs represents one of the greatest challenges to the academic success of students. CSU is unique in that they are the planning authority, building authority, developer, owner, and occupant for the facilities developed on campuses. This vertical integration provides a unique perspective and the potential to use CSU campuses as a living lab to pilot large-scale, difficult-to-measure climate interventions like parking, transportation and housing land use changes. These lessons can potentially be translated to the more diffuse land use, development and construction environments of local governments.

The Fellow will provide capacity at the CSU Chancellor’s Office Capital Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC) department to research and document current practices and desired future states with research regarding: (1) The operational costs, capital costs, externalized environmental/social costs and opportunity costs of parking and car-centric infrastructure; (2) The costs and benefits (tangible and intangible) of promoting on-campus housing in supporting successful students enabled by vibrant campus life and streetscapes; and (3) Methods to reduce peak demands on fixed infrastructure such as parking, transportation, classrooms, and utility distribution systems. The Fellow will research model practices and intersections between transportation and housing, and develop a framework to present campuses with opportunities to address both of these challenges.

The ideal Fellow will possess technical writing skills to create assessments and reports that skillfully navigate organizational constraints to create low-carbon mobility business models for the near, medium and long-term. A secondary skill is GIS/mapping and model analysis to use data to drive the assessment and reports conclusions.


ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Chancellor’s Office is located in downtown Long Beach. CSU educates over 475,000 students and has over 50,000 faculty and staff across 23 campuses representing the diversity of California with high quality, affordable, inclusive higher education. The Chancellor’s Office Capital Planning, Design and Construction department has a streamlined staff of 30 representing the CSU campuses on a broad range of built environment topics and creates system-wide policy and processes related to the built environment. The Fellow will receive a breadth and depth experience that will encompass both statewide, regional, and individual city perspectives. The workplace culture intersects between staff, Board of Trustees and executive level management at the Chancellor’s Office and at the individual campuses.

Ballona Creek Revitalization Project

Organization: City of Culver City
Location: Culver City, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Stormwater Quality, Alternative of Multimodal Transportation
Desired Skills: Data Collection/Analysis, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Culver City is a charter City located in the heart of West Los Angeles. Comprised of approximately 5 square miles, the City is bisected by Ballona Creek – a channelized waterway – approximately nine miles in length that drains 130 square miles of the Los Angeles Basin.  Previously a natural stream, the creek was reconfigured in the 1940’s into a concrete lined flood control channel. The creek is a critical resource for flood control, water quality management, ecological restoration, active mobility, recreation, educational/arts programming, open space and resilience. In 2016, City Council adopted the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan to respond to Culver City’s changing environment. One of the goals was to enhance the restoration and use of the creek and make it a more sustainable, walkable, bikeable, and connected recreation attraction. This goal was carried into the current 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, with a focus on extending the multi-use path to improve mobility and provide greater access to the Metro Expo Line. Actions to fulfill the extension include partnering with the City of LA, Metro, and the Baldwin Hills Conservancy (BHC) to obtain an Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) for funding.

Interventions to revitalize the creek could include reconfiguring and/or “naturalizing” portions of the creek, supporting/enhancing storm water/flood management, enhancing habitat, increasing public space and landscaped areas, increasing non-vehicular access and circulation, integrating public art and cultural components, and leveraging economic development opportunities. The project will continue to be managed by the City’s Community Development Department (CDD) working in coordination with the Ballona Creek Task Force (BCTF), comprised of Council members, staff, and community stakeholders. Some of the Fellows’ support will include implementing BCTF action items and directives, facilitating BCTF meetings and workshops, collaborating with local nonprofits and universities on technical components of projects, and assisting with the development of an “adopt-the-creek” program.

The ideal Fellows will have strong communication skills to collaborate with team members and community members. Desired skills include technical government writing, research and evaluation methods, and experience in design and graphics in Adobe Illustrator. The Fellows will assist with developing community engagement strategies, surveys and evaluations, conducting in-depth research, analyzing data, and summarizing findings via mapping, graphic illustration and memoranda.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Culver City is in the middle of LA with easy access on Metro to the beach and downtown, and a quick drive to the mountains for winter sports. It is also home to some of the regions greatest architecture, from the historic Culver Hotel and Washington Building to modern works like the Hayden District’s The Waffle and Pterodactyl. The Fellows will be located on the third floor of City Hall in an area shared by Economic Development and Advance Planning staff. Fellows are encouraged to interact with others, get out for lunch breaks, bike along the creek to get fresh air, review documents outside, and build on relationships they make at the office. This project allows Fellows to serve closely with City officials and staff, regional agencies, nonprofits, and community stakeholders as an integral CDD representative for the project. The Fellows will have the opportunity to develop skills in professional communications, public speaking, project management, research, navigating politics, technical writing, engagement, and relation building and leveraging.

Addressing Housing Insecurity for California’s Community College Students

Organization: California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Location: Los Angeles, CA
This project has two placements; one in LA and another in the Sacramento region.
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Education
Desired Skills: Project Management, Data Collection / Analysis

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The California Community Colleges serve more than 2.1 million students at 115 campuses across the state. The vast majority of California’s students‚ including first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color‚ begin their higher education journey at one of the colleges. More than four in ten are 25 years old or older, with one in five 35 years old or older. Although tuition has remained low, it is still difficult for low-income students to achieve their educational goals due to the state’s high cost of living and the lack of financial aid to cover non-tuition expenses, including housing, food, and transportation. The state has led the nation with innovations like the California College Promise Grant, which waives tuition for students, but those other non-tuition costs constitute the greatest obstacle to college completion and, therefore, social and economic mobility. Policymakers, college leaders, and others are interested in a range of options, including widely-discussed legislation intending to make parking lots available overnight, and many local college leaders are interested in opportunities to support their students.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, as the state agency responsible for the colleges, is planning to work with community college districts to make affordable housing more available to students, possibly through the expansion of on-campus housing, as relatively few campuses maintain facilities today. The Fellow would be responsible for research and planning related to college-specific options, with the potential to implement given identification of funding sources. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office is specifically interested in alternatives related to expansion of student housing. The Fellow will work with colleges to analyze the feasibility of expanding on-campus housing or other supports that could be provided to address housing instability among community college students. The Fellow would support the leadership in a community college district, or group of community college districts, evaluate related options, including work involving research and planning on financial sustainability.

The ideal Fellow will be skilled in data collection, and policy and financial analysis. Strong communication skills are important for the facilitation of discussions and presentation of information to college leaders.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The California Community Colleges are in the midst of an ambitious change agenda aimed at meeting California’s needs for an educated population. As part of the largest system of higher education in the nation, the colleges are uniquely positioned to help residents of all backgrounds improve their social and economic mobility and build a better future for themselves and their families. The North Star guiding the California Community Colleges is the Vision for Success, adopted by the Board of Governors in 2017. The Vision calls for eliminating achievement gaps, increasing by 35 percent the number of students transferring to a University of California or California State University campus and increasing by at least 20 percent annually the number of students who earn a degree, credential, or certificate preparing them for in-demand jobs. Because districts are located in all regions of the state, one opportunity could be work across several community college districts in a given region, which would give the fellow an opportunity to understand capacity-building in the context of several local governments.

Housing and Transportation Planning Policy Implementation

Organization: San Bernardino Council of Governments
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Community Outreach/Education, Affordable Housing
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The San Bernardino Council of Government (SBCOG) functions as both the regional planning agency for San Bernardino County and the Council of Governments for the county. As a small agency that serves a large county (the largest geographic county in the country), staff has limited capacity in fulfilling the needs of the several communities, the majority of which are defined as disadvantaged communities. The Fellow will support and work with internal staff, with local agency staff, and with the public in the policy worlds of housing, transportation, environmental planning, and public/community outreach.

The Fellow will lead the stakeholder outreach for the agency’s housing/workforce development plan. They will need to identify, reach out to, and establish relationships with potential partners and potential critics in an effort to educate and receive feedback. Another project will be the bi-county regional adaptation plan. This project will also require the Fellow take the lead on ensuring the proper people, agencies, and businesses are included in discussions. Staff will ensure the Fellow has the necessary tools and guidance.

The ideal Fellow will be a self-starter, who has skills in research, analysis, and has good communication skills (both written and verbal).

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

SBCOG/SBCTA’s governing board is made up of one elected official from each city/town and the five County Supervisors. They determine project and policy direction for the region in both transportation and any other issues they prioritize that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Currently, housing policy and transportation planning are areas SBCOG/SBCTA need some capacity enhancement.

Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program

Organization: Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
Location: Riverside, CA
Openings: 0 of 2
Project Focus: Flood Risk / Mitigation, Environmental Justice
Desired Skills: Environmental Justice / Equity, Project Management

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) is home to the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning effort in an area with more than six million residents across four counties. As one of the state’s leading regional water agencies, SAWPA works with water experts, planners, design and construction engineers, legislators, community members, and other government agencies to ensure all communities have sustainable water resources, to support cost efficiency, and to improve water quality and water resource integration. Fellows will be working directly on IRWM efforts–or the One Water One Watershed planning approach–with local government and water agency members, as well as the people in underrepresented and overburdened communities in areas of Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.

The California Department of Water Resources in 2017 awarded SAWPA $6.3 million for a three-year program to engage with the people in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities to 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 overcoming environmental injustices. 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, mentorship, and professional development. 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, as well as manage SAWPA’s new on-call translation service. Additionally, Fellows will become familiar with the technical assistance process, a prominent component of regional water management, and will support SAWPA’s efforts in selecting and dispensing technical assistance monies to those projects and/or programs that are most beneficial to disadvantaged communities.

The ideal Fellows will have strong interpersonal skills, including listening, verbal communication, team-working, and problem-solving. The ability to set and meet deadlines, create and vet the internship training agenda, and to work independently are necessary. 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.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Santa Ana River Watershed is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse regions in Southern California. Fellows serving SAWPA will not only learn about the intricacies of regional water management in a diverse setting, but will be provided with a first-hand look into the workings of local government. While this project role is primarily policy based, Fellows will interact with a variety of SAWPA employees with backgrounds in law, GIS, engineering, public service, and planning, among others. The SAWPA Commission is comprised of elected officials from across the watershed, and the regular monthly meetings held at SAWPA will provide Fellows with an understanding of how multi-year grant programs are facilitated through an inter-jurisdictional governing body. As SAWPA is a focal point for Southern California water management, Fellows will have the opportunity to meet a multitude of water professionals from various sectors, including sanitation, public works, stormwater, habitat biology, nonprofit advocacy, and public policy. Fellows will enter an environment where they’ll be encouraged to build connections with these professionals, providing an excellent introduction to possible career paths after the service term concludes.

Equitable Water/Land-Use Integration in the Los Angeles Region

Organization: Nature for All, in partnership with the Local Government Commission
Location: San Gabriel, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Stormwater Capture and (Re)Use, Environmental Justice
Desired Skills: Data Collection / Analysis, Environmental Justice / Equity

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Nature for All, a project of Community Partners, is a coalition of twelve organizations and constituencies with a staff of five whose mission is to build a diverse base of support for ensuring that everyone in the Los Angeles area – no matter where they live – has equitable access to the wide range of benefits that nature can provide.  Nature for All is the only coalition in the LA region that works on policies, projects, and programs which will revitalize and restore public lands in San Gabriel Mountains and watersheds, protecting this region as a form of healthy outdoor recreation and as a source of vital natural resources for all Angelenos. Nature for All actively engages residents from low-income communities to become vocal leaders educating their communities and becoming active in environmental decision-making processes. 

The Fellow in this project will be focused on Nature for All’s water policy and leadership development program. LA County has the opportunity to dramatically impact social change in the most impacted, low income communities of color by making community driven investments in water resiliency, which result in healthier, more resilient neighborhoods and families. The role of the Fellow will be to develop a local implementation plan leveraging policy engagement on the Safe Clean Water Program for LA County in coordination with OurWaterLA, assist with the development technical assistance guidelines for cities, water districts and community stakeholders on the benefits of nature based water solutions, and the overall implementation of the Safe Clean Water Program particularly in disadvantaged communities (as defined by Dept. of Water Resources). The plan will leverage the work of OurWaterLA, a coalition for which Nature for All provides both policy guidance and community organizing. The Fellow will have the opportunity to support a plan that will include a very high level of access to decision makers such as: 1) LA County Board of Supervisors water deputies, 2) local watershed area steering committees made up of city, water district and community members and 3) OurWaterLA coalition, an entity that has been working on this issue from both a policy and community engagement perspective. 

The ideal Fellow will have research, analytical and writing skills, as well as verbal and interpersonal skills necessary to communicate with government officials, social justice, environmental and labor non-profit organizations, grassroots community members and others as may be necessary. They will also have team building and problem solving skills, with a philosophy of valuing people, listening, and creating equal partnerships and collaborative efforts that are inclusive and results-oriented.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Nature for All was founded in 2008 on the core value of equity for all Angelenos to be able to access the natural resources available. These natural resources are the source of health, water, rest and recreation, connection to culture and nature, and long-term resiliency in the face of climate changes. Nature for All’s work on water resiliency is related to a measure which impacts approximately 90% of Los Angeles County, the only area that is excluded is what is commonly referred to as “North County”, the Antelope Valley.  The geographic area extends to the Ventura County border on the north west end to Santa Clarita, the San Gabriel Mountains and the entire LA basin to the sea. Nature for All’s office is in the San Gabriel Valley about 10 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. Nature for All does all it’s work in coalitions such as EnviroMetro with a focus on active transportation, sustainability and multi-benefit projects including water resources, OurParksLA which work s on multi-benefit park projects and OurWaterLA which will be the primary focus of this Fellow’s work. The staff of five work as equals in a decommissioned school site, in an office culture that is mutually supportive and nurturing. Due to the nature of their work, staff have the opportunity to engage with a wide range of entities from elected officials to community leaders.

San Diego Area

Counties Included: San Diego

CAP Public Outreach, Reporting and Internal Greening

Organization: City of Encinitas
Location: Encinitas, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Public Engagement, Monitoring/Metrics, Waste Reduction/Composting
Desired Skills: Community Engagement, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Encinitas’ Climate Action Plan includes 19 very ambitious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by target years 2020 and 2030. The City has an aggressive timeline to quickly achieve progress on these actions through the implementation of various projects and programs. With a focus on these critical projects, very limited time is left for the more indirect, but still critical components of the Climate Action Plan, specifically public outreach and progress tracking. City staff understands that Climate Action Plan targets won’t be able to be achieved without the support of the community – it will be essential to have residents and businesses taking part in reducing emissions.

The CivicSpark Fellow will support the City’s CAP through direct community engagement and by tracking and reporting the City’s progress toward emissions reduction. The Fellow will implement outreach projects that will get residents and businesses on board with the City’s climate initiatives. The Fellow will also assist with implementing an internal environmental sustainability outreach effort, developing employee protocols and initiatives that will facilitate making “green” choices in the workplace. To help the City report progress on CAP implementation, the Fellow will follow an established CAP monitoring and tracking protocol, helping to collect and present data and outcomes. This mulit-pronged effort will create the positive feedback loop of emissions reduction that the City has been missing.

The ideal Fellow will possess both technical skills and people skills, i.e., someone who loves to dive into data and someone who loves to strike up a conversation. Knowledge of web design and GIS is a plus. The Fellow will be expected to organize and host outreach events (with staff support), speak in front of large groups, as well as follow data protocols and manage large data sets. A science degree in the climate or air quality field is preferred.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Encinitas is staffed by a 250-member team of hard-working individuals, committed to supporting each other and serving the community. The professional yet laid-back culture of the organization makes the City an ideal place to work. Located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, the City of Encinitas offers a unique blend of old-world charm and sophistication, and new-world culture. With a population of approximately 60,000 people, the City has something for everyone. With its pristine beaches and rolling hills, famous Botanical Garden and vibrant downtown business district, Encinitas attracts visitors from all over the world. The century-old Downtown 101 coastal shopping district features historic architecture, quaint shops, sidewalk cafes, specialty retail stores and a variety of restaurants.

CAP Community Engagement and Sustainability Initiatives

Organization: City of Del Mar
Location: Del Mar, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation Planning, Waste Reduction/Composting
Desired Skills: Outreach/Community Engagement, Research

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Del Mar’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) includes 22 ambitious reduction goals the City will implement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 2035. Increasingly high demands are being placed on staff to achieve progress quickly on a number of specific CAP projects. Because staff only has the capacity to focus on the critical projects, limited time is left for the more indirect but still critical components of the CAP, specifically, conducting public outreach, tracking progress, and reporting outcomes. Support from the community will be key to achieving the City’s CAP targets. It is essential for residents and businesses to take part in reducing emissions.

The Fellow will play a leadership role in engaging the community in the CAP effort. First, through direct public engagement, the Fellow will coordinate an outreach program with the City’s communications consultant that will get residents and businesses on board with the City’s climate initiatives. Secondly, by monitoring, tracking, and reporting the City’s progress toward emissions reduction, the Fellow will further engage and generate support from the public for the City’s CAP. This two-pronged approach will create the positive feedback loop of emissions reduction that the City has been lacking. The Fellow will also support the internal sustainability initiatives of the City, such as helping the City comply with state laws related to recycling and the diversion of organic waste, and by creating employee protocols that will facilitate making “green” choices in the workplace.

The ideal Fellow will have both technical skills and people skills, someone who can roll up their sleeves and dive into data but can also strike up a conversation. Experience managing website content and GIS is a plus, but not required. The Fellow may be asked to organize and host outreach events (with staff support), establish new sustainability protocols and initiatives for city staff, and research technical areas related to climate change and adaptation. Solid analytical skills and the ability to manage data is key. An environmental or science degree in a field related to climate change is preferred, but not required.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The City of Del Mar is staffed by approximately 55 full time employees, committed to supporting each other and serving the community. The professional yet laid-back culture of the organization makes the City an ideal place to work. Staff recently moved into a new award-winning Civic Center that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Del Mar is a quaint seaside village of 4,300 residents rich in history, striking natural beauty, and European charm. Located just 20 miles north of San Diego on the Southern California coastline, the small town of just two square miles is unique in its offering of a vibrant small-town atmosphere, natural playground along the Pacific Ocean, and the casual sophistication of a world-class destination.

Action Planning for Equitable Water and Land-Use Integration in the San Diego Region

Organization: Borrego Water District, in partnership with the Local Government Commission
Location: Borrego Springs, CA
Openings: 0 of 1
Project Focus: Human Right to Water / Water Equity, Land-Use Changes
Desired Skills: Research, Facilitation

Project Description
Project Description

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The disconnect between how communities are organized and how natural resources are managed is not only inefficient, but harmful to people and nature. Reconnecting water and land use will ensure vibrant, resilient communities for all. The primary barrier to integration, as identified by the Local Government Commission’s Water and Land-Use report, is the need for local capacity to understand and engage in water/land use integration efforts. Two related barriers to building local capacity for water and land-use integration are: a) the lack of understanding of water issues among the community, and b) the lack of interest in pursuing water-related topics — in part due to this lack of understanding. The Borrego Water District (BWD) will develop an action plan that will achieve the following five outcomes: 1) create broader understanding of key water/land use integration issues among local governments and community allies within the region; 2) increased capacity of local organizations to address water and land use issues in a way that advances equity within their communities; 3) local action plan established to address local water/land use integration priorities; 4) strategies and best practices that are working on the ground, which are then elevated to state-level actors; and 5) beginning stages of action plan implementation and local coalition-building to advance the equitable integration of water and land use.

The Fellow will support the BWD in all aspects of the project: gaining a better understanding of specific water, land-use, climate, and equity concerns within the region; identifying relevant policies and planning documents that could benefit from integration or alignment; building relationships with relevant agencies and organizations to partner with on integration; highlighting best practices to share with other partners across the state; and developing and implementing specific action plan activities.

The ideal Fellows will have strong interpersonal skills, including listening, verbal communication, team-working, and problem-solving. Experience with policy analysis, action-planning, and/or coalition-building would be beneficial. Most importantly, the candidate must be passionate and eager to learn.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

The Borrego basin and community are unique in California in that they have no access to water from a source other than their aquifer. It is very isolated geographically, with a small municipal water district. Tthe community has outsized importance in that it is the sole provider of hospitality services to visitors to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP), which attracts up to a million visitors per year. Groundwater usage must be reduced to a sustainable level in order for the aquifer, the town, and the Park to survive.  Although the BWD staff is small, the Fellow will have opportunities to work with a variety of professionals, who are involved in such areas as paleontology, performing and fine arts, development of geotourism as a basis for the village’s economy, teaching English to recent immigrants, and a community garden.

The unincorporated community of Borrego Springs, in San Diego County, is the primary gateway for visitors to ABDSP,  which surrounds the community on all sides. ABDSP is the largest desert State Park in the nation, and one of the largest protected areas in the west. Recreationists including hikers, campers, wildlife watchers, birders, equestrians, mountain bikers, etc. can find attractions and activities in ABDSP. The small size of Borrego makes it possible to comprehend its strengths and challenges in a rather comprehensive way, and to become involved in bettering the village from many angles.

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