2017-18 Projects

The following table includes projects approved for the 2017-18 service year. We encourage you to check back frequently for new additions! The host organization and placement location are included below each project name.

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TrackRegionProject DescriptionOpenings
ClimateSacramentoPowerButte: Sustainability Updates
Butte County Department of Development Services | Oroville, CA

PowerButte is the face of Butte County‘s commitment to encourage renewable energy and GHG reduction. It encompasses County initiatives related to its Climate Action Plan, Utility-Scale Solar Energy Guide, and other programs in support of sustainability. The Fellow will work in a collaborative environment that will include interaction with City of Chico and Butte County’s professional planning staff, and geography students enrolled in CSU Chico’s fall 2017, GEOG 506 Community Service Practice in Geography class. Students in the class will be preparing a Draft Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment that identifies the risks climate change poses to the County. In partnership with the students, the Fellow will develop a Draft Climate Change Preparedness Plan that will prepare for the impacts of climate change on the County’s economic and natural ecosystems and promote a climate resilient community. The Fellow will act as a liaison between the class and County staff, and will also assist the County in updating various documents, such as the County’s CAP, to comply with State sustainability initiatives.

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

Placer County Community Development Resource Agency Planning Divison | Auburn, CA

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

The ideal Fellow will have a broad knowledge of the current climate change policies at the state and local government level, general understanding to calculate the GHG emissions from each sector, and computer skills to apply models for quantifying GHG mitigation strategies. In addition, the Fellow should have knowledge of communication and public outreach.
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WaterSacramentoAutomatic Metering Implementation & Stormflow 2017
Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District | Hidden Valley Lake, CA

In the pastoral countryside of Lake County, Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District (HVLCSD) is located in the south, adjacent to Napa and Sonoma Counties. Noted for its clean air and large bodies of water, Lake County’s HVLCSD is committed to providing, maintaining, and protecting its community’s water. To make the most out of their groundwater wells, one of the projects Fellows will work on, the Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project, can greatly reduce water waste with leak detection. Fellows will play an active role in helping both HVLCSD and its community members conserve water in accordance with statewide water conservation goals. As Project Coordinators for the AMI Project, Fellows will gather data on household water consumption, water meters, and billing information. During each phase of this project, Fellows will help keep scheduling and task commitments on track, while participating in training, and supporting staff. By interacting with staff, vendors, and the public, Fellows will move this District towards exemplary performance in water conservation – a crucial step towards the concept, One California, One Water.

HVLCSD, like many municipalities in California, experienced record-setting rainfall events in both January and February of 2017. Now locally dubbed “Stormflow 2017”, these rain events set in motion numerous repair and mitigation project opportunities, which will be the Fellows’ second project. Fellows will participate in the construction of a viable, resilient wastewater collection system following these events. Fellows will participate in the mapping of the wastewater collection system with in-house ArcGIS tools. Cataloging of HVLCSD’s equipment will then tranform into repair projects. These repair projects, such as lift station overhaul, Infiltration and Influent (I & I) mitigation, and filtration media replacement will bring Fellows out into the field, as well as supporting in-house administration staff.

Individuals should have a strong familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel and Publisher. Both written and oral communication skills important. Working together intra-departmentally, and well as performing public outreach and education will be improved with an effective communicator. Individuals should also exhibit a willingness and ability to travel (driving and walking) through the Hidden Valley Lake community to catalog infrastructure equipment via GIS mapping tools. Microsoft Office skills are needed to document and track project data and schedules. These skills will help ensure public safety in the wake of “Stormflow 2017”.
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ClimateSan Francisco Bay AreaClimate Change and Health Equity Capacity Building for Local Health Departments
California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity | Richmond, CA

The CalBRACE project is implementing an adaption planning process that utilizes the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Fellow will support goals and objectives for the federal CDC-funded CalBRACE project and the Climate Change and Health Equity Program within the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity. Within this process, stakeholder engagement, adaptive management, and communications are the principles for the BRACE framework.

The Fellow will play a key role in communicating and providing technical assistance to local county and city health departments, and developing and disseminating materials to increase capacity of local health departments in California to support objectives of the CalBRACE and the Climate Change and Health Equity Program. The Fellow will be instrumental in conducting activities with two to four specific counties to develop template materials and outreach strategies to communicate climate change utilizing the “OutsideIn” Campaign developed by CDPH and San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department (see http://www.healslo.com/outsidein-slo) focusing on the health benefits of activities that mitigate climate change. In this role, the fellow will schedule and coordinate meetings with counties’ staffs, provide technical assistance in developing and carrying out activities utilizing the “OutSide In” Campaign, and help conduct local climate change inventories/assessments of climate change activities in their jurisdictions to accelerate public health staff and community engagement in local climate change multi-sector and internal planning. The Fellow will also receive training in webpage development and maintenance and assist staff in developing and updating webpages targeted to local health departments, as well as analyzing usage and downloading of materials. The Fellow will assist CDPH staff in engagement strategies with local county health departments in the planning for implementation and monitoring of intervention activities related to the CalBRACE project.
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ClimateSan Francisco Bay AreaSan Francisco Green Business Program
SF Environment | San Francisco, CA

Housed in the innovative and forward thinking San Francisco Department of Environment, the San Francisco Green Business Program assists, recognizes, and promotes local small to medium-sized companies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. Businesses that meet the high set of environmental standards in the areas of energy, water, waste, and pollution prevention are rewarded with a recognition by the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California.

The Fellow’s role at the Green Business Program will be multifaceted involving working face-to-face with businesses, collecting and analyzing environmental metric data, to marketing and recruiting new businesses to the program. Tasks include: preforming environmental assessments (looking at businesses energy, water, waste, and pollution prevention practices), creating environmental reports, and assisting to organize the San Francisco Green Business Awards. The Fellow will gain knowledge and experience in energy audits, water audits, waste audits and pollution prevention audits, while also learning about SF’s environmental policies and SF Environment’s role in creating and enforcing environmental policies.

The Fellow should be well organized, be able to handle multiple projects at any given time, and be able to complete projects without major oversight or supervision.
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ClimateSan Francisco Bay AreaSustainability Action Plan Implementation
East Bay Regional Park District | Oakland, CA

The East Bay Regional Park District (Park District) is the oldest park district in the US, and the largest landowner and manager in the East San Francisco Bay, with 120,000 acres of green infrastructure, 55 miles of which are located along the shoreline and in the urban/wildland interface. As a result of the precious natural and cultural resources they preserve, the Park District is on the frontline of defense against climate change. The Park District is finalizing a Sustainability Action Plan that addresses adaptation, in terms of sea level rise and fuels management related to wildfire; and mitigation, in terms of carbon sequestration in wetlands, grasslands, oak woodlands, and forests. The San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is located in one of the most urbanized estuaries in the world at the confluence of two significant waterbodies. The parklands in that area buffer at-risk communities living in close proximity to greenhouse gas emitters and energy infrastructures with contaminated soil. The Park District is uniquely situated to implement green infrastructure projects that provide co-benefits to environmental and community health, safety, and well-being.

This project intends to address the goals of implementing the Sustainability Action Plan, prioritizing actions based on a cost/benefit analysis, and identifying and defining at least two pilot projects. The Fellow will support a Senior Planner to implement the Sustainability Action Plan, develop a climate action cost-benefit analysis, and identify at least two pilot projects that the Park District could fund through grants. As other agencies move from planning to implementation of CAPs, the Fellow would develop and demonstrate these much-needed skills while assisting the Park District to be on the leading-edge of reducing its impact and responding to climate change.

The Fellow should have a strong background in, and high comfort level with, quantitative research methods in either energy efficiency or fleet management. An educational background in urban planning, environmental studies, and/or soil science or closely related fields is preferred.
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ClimateSan Joaquin ValleyEnergize Fresno
Local Government Commission | Fresno, CA

As part of California Energy Commission’s EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities program, the Local Government Commission (LGC) is developing an Integrated Community Resource Market (ICRM) that includes a funding platform, a pipeline of projects, a resource verification toolkit, and a Fresno Master Community Design. The ICRM will be applied to Fresno’s Blackstone Corridor and downtown-specific plan areas to identify projects, funding, and a pathway towards becoming an Advanced Energy Community (AEC) by producing more projects with higher value and the capability to verify and report these accomplishments to various state agencies.

The ICRM will create a comprehensive business and financial model that allows local decision makers to integrate funding to encourage integrated, comprehensive projects that have the potential for deeper resource savings, and a greater pace of project implementation throughout the community. Additionally, the ICRM reporting system will verify and aggregate energy, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and water savings accomplishments at the project, community, and agency level in a format that is consistent with each State’s legislative, executive, and strategic goals. The ICRM will also define a flexible model that will provide the tools and processes needed for any community to become an AEC through the strategic application of funding mechanisms to project development through a common verification and reporting infrastructure.

The Fellow will also provide research, analysis, coordination, outreach and engagement support for all project tasks, including the development and deployment of the Fresno Master Community Design, community stakeholder engagement, and all associated memos and reports. The Fellow will work closely with all project partners, including the Local Government Commission, Tierra Resource Consultants, City of Fresno, Fresno Metro Ministries, and CALSTART. The Fellow should be highly organized and be able to build and maintain relationships with community members, partners, and local government officials.
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ClimateSouthern CaliforniaSanta Monica Climate Action
City of Santa Monica | Santa Monica, CA

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

Fellows should have a high level of comfort with data (collection, entry, analysis, visualization, communication) and good writing skills for technical reports and community-facing outreach.
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ClimateSouthern CaliforniaVentura County Energy Action Plans
Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance | Ventura, CA

In 2003, the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance (VCREA) formed a Joint Powers Authority composed of public agencies working in collaboration to address good energy stewardship in the Ventura County Region. Currently, VCREA has funding to develop Community and Municipal Energy Action Plans (EAPs) for jurisdictions within Ventura County. VCREA staff and the CivicSpark Fellow will work with staff from the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara (CEC-SB), County of Ventura, and the cities of Ventura, Moorpark, and Thousand Oaks to develop city specific EAPs in addition to developing an EAP template that can be used by other cities within the County to develop EAPs in the future. The Fellow may be responsible for updating or creating energy based greenhouse gas inventories for the cities in Ventura County and the County of Ventura using ClearPath.

VCREA also has funding to benchmark municipal facilities as well as develop a Business Energy Efficiency Pilot Program that includes benchmarking multi-family and commercial buildings. VCREA staff and the Fellow will work with City staff to benchmark appropriate municipal facilities using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. They will also work with the CEC-SB to develop criteria for selecting which multi-family and commercial buildings to benchmark. The CivicSpark Fellow may benchmark the selected multi-family and commercial buildings using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Project goals include: 1) Update or create energy based greenhouse gas inventories for jurisdictions in Ventura County; 2) Develop Energy Use Reduction and Renewable Energy Implementation Strategies; 3) Conduct Stakeholder Meeting(s); and 4) Benchmark municipal, multi-family, and commercial buildings.

The Fellow should have good communication skills and be able to work in a group setting as well as independently. Two traits that the Fellow should encompass include a basic understanding or the willingness to learn how to collect and analyze data and a willingness to learn how to use software tools and platforms that help with collecting and analyzing data. VCREA staff are also County of Ventura employees; VCREA staff and the CivicSpark Fellow will work in the County Executive Office at the County’s Government Center.
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ClimateSierra NevadaPlacer County Climate Action Plan
Placer County Community Development Resource Agency Planning Division | Auburn, CA

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

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