ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (District)’s mission is to achieve clean air and climate goals, working with residents, organizations, and local municipalities within Sacramento County and the greater region. The District supports local jurisdictions in adopting climate action plans and implementing solutions to achieve zero-emissions, equitable mobility, and compact, transit-oriented development, with the goal to enable greater transportation equity and support the development of climate-smart, climate-resilient communities. As transportation is the main source of GHG emissions and air pollutants in California, the District aims to bring transportation equity to Sacramento’s under-served communities through innovative programs like zero-emissions car share, rebates, and incentives for low-income residents, and mobility hubs that serve a range of mobility needs.
One Fellow will be supporting 2 projects: 1) Climate Planning Toolkit and 2) Mobility Hubs and Transportation Equity. The first project is to develop an innovative statewide toolkit to help local jurisdictions capture the GHG and air pollutant emissions from land use development projects, as well as how these new developments may be impacted by climate change. The Fellow will develop an online-cloud based tool that will help to estimate the GHG and air pollutant emissions from the construction and operations of new land-use projects; build geospatial components to analyze the effects of climate change on the project, understand climate vulnerabilities, and quantify climate adaptation actions and co-benefits; and update a handbook that provides guidance to cities, counties, and consultants, on how to reduce GHG emissions from new land-use projects. The second project is to support the development and advancement of mobility hubs within Sacramento County, focusing on low-income and under-served communities. Through this project, the Fellow will help to identify sites, engage with residents to understand their needs, wishes, and concerns; collaborate with community-based organizations, businesses, and vendors; develop reports, plans, and maps; and provide other assistance as needed to develop and implement mobility hubs.
One Fellow will support the Clean Cars 4 All program. Clean Cars 4 All helps lower-income California residents replace old, polluting cars with cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Programs are available in select air districts including the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, and each individual air district administers their locally adapted Clean Cars 4 All program. The program’s guiding legislation aims to focus the benefits of the program to low-income and disadvantaged communities and has a heavy emphasis on consumer protections, education of the new technologies, and coordination with other clean transportation programs. The Fellow will support District capacity for this program by engaging in project planning, data mining, story-telling, outreach, and collaboration at the community partner level. Through this project, the Fellow will help to plan and implement Sacramento-specific program adaptations that increase program efficacy and benefit to income-qualified community members.
Ideal Fellows will have strong GIS skills, GHG emissions, quantification and mitigation knowledge, an interest in climate planning and transportation, and a desire to develop their technical skills. They will be excited about lifting up environmental justice communities, as well as supporting local agencies in their climate planning. The District aims to support Fellows in their career development while helping to further emerging climate change and mobility projects.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
Known as the City of Trees, Sacramento is a medium-sized city that is not too boring and not too exciting. It’s close enough to the Bay Area for weekend visits to San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley and where your friends are likely to be anyway. It’s also just an hour and a half from awesome hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains or the redwood forests and beaches of Marin. All that could be yours for a far more reasonable cost of living than you’ll find in the Bay Area. The central city is walkable and bikeable‚ and many use the JUMP scooters and bikes to get around and there’s a good bike trail along the American River. Downtown and midtown Sacramento are slowly becoming more vibrant, with a growing number of cafes, bars, breweries, and places to eat. Residents are friendly and generally have a lot of local pride.
The Sacramento Air District is a friendly and relaxed workplace, with a casual dress code, and many office events center around delicious food (like Pi day and root beer floats). 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 and market in Cesar Chavez park. District staff are very engaged and devoted to their work, however, and are constantly developing new programs to further the clean air and climate action goals.
The Fellow will be working closely with the climate change, land use planning, and mobile sources staff. Because of the air district’s many collaborations, the position will offer many opportunities to attend meetings and work with partners, which range from community-based organizations, regional collaboratives, local agencies, and consultants. This will offer important professional development opportunities to meet and work with many professionals in the climate space. The Sacramento location also means that the Fellow will have opportunities to attend many speaker series, networking events, workshops, and more, while also learning about working at State agencies and other cross-regional opportunities. Particularly for Fellows interested in urban planning as a career, the position also offers opportunities to learn more about the day-to-day realities of planning, air quality, and health.