CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellowship

  • Local Government Commission
  • California, United States
  • Oct 26, 2016
Full time Climate Change/GHG Energy Efficiency GIS Sustainability Watershed/Stormwater

Job Description

Apply now to become a CivicSpark AmeriCorps fellow for the 2016-17 service year at!

CivicSpark--a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change, water, and land-use needs--is currently recruiting 68 motivated recent college graduates who are interested in gaining professional experience and developing technical skills while creating a meaningful and lasting impact. During the 11-month service year (October 2016 - September 2017), CivicSpark fellows will complete research, planning, or implementation projects that provide local government agencies with the support they need to advance their climate, water, energy, and sustainability initiatives.


Sierra Climate Planning and CAMP 
Organization: Sierra Business Council
Openings: 2 of 3
Project Description: The Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (CAMP) is a public-private, cross-sector partnership that works to promote climate adaptation and mitigation strategies throughout the Sierra Nevada region. The fellows will engage with Sierra leaders in government, business, academia, and community groups to share best practices, identify critical needs & strategies that benefit a broad range of local and downstream constituencies, and conduct research, education, and outreach around regional-specific local climate change adaptation strategies. The fellows will also broadly support Climate/Energy Action Planning, Water/Energy Nexus projects, drought related research, and climate risk analysis for local governments within the region.

Water Supply and Water Quality Challenges in the Yuba and Bear River Watersheds
Organization: South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Description: The South Yuba River Citizen League (SYRCL) is a non-profit that engages the community to protect and restore the Yuba River and fosters regional and statewide coalitions to address complex issues related to water quality and watershed health. The fellow will support urgent water supply and water quality initiatives in the Yuba River, primarily by conducting research and cost-benefit analysis related to a major new dam proposal in the region. The fellow will also assist in the review and update of the South Yuba River Comprehensive Management Plan and develop research-based educational materials and conduct public outreach related to other watershed issues.

Community-Based Transportation and Land Use Solutions for DACs
Organization: Local Government Commission
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Description: The Local Government Commission (LGC), who oversees the CivicSpark program, works to build livable and sustainable communities throughout the nation. This project aims to develop community-based equitable transportation and land use planning solutions to improve mobility, support economic development, and reduce GHGs in 3 disadvantaged communities (DACs) in the San Joaquin Valley: City of Fresno (focusing on transformation of a large strip commercial corridor), City of Sanger (revitalization of a small town in Fresno County), and Merced County (focusing on establishing a healthy, active town center in Winton, a rural unincorporated community). The fellow will assist in charrette-driven processes to produce plans for sustainable transportation, infill, and compact development. The fellow will also help organize and participate in intensive public participatory planning projects led by the LGC on behalf of the three jurisdictions, and assist with development of the resulting plans, which will include community-based visions and projects that are ready for pursuit of local, regional, state and federal funding sources for implementation.

Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program
Organization: Local Government Commission
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Description: As part of the California Energy Commission's EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities program, the Local Government Commission 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 CivicSpark fellow will provide research, analysis, coordination, outreach and engagement support for all project tasks, including the development of the project pipeline, funding platform, verification toolkit, and Fresno Master Community Design, and all associated memos and reports. The fellow will work closely with all project partners, including the LGC, Tierra Resource Consultants, City of Fresno, Fresno Metro Ministries, and CALSTART. The fellow will gain exceptional experience working with a wide array of different types of organizations and stakeholders and developing critical project management and execution skills.

Accelerating EV Use in the Central Valley
Organization: CALSTART
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Description: CALSTART is dedicated to the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry that will clean the air, secure the nation's transportation energy future, create high-quality economic opportunities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fellow will assist businesses in Fresno County with deployment of EV charging equipment through collaboration with the City of Fresno Business Energy Tune-up program and the San Joaquin Valley Air District. The fellow will also assist Fresno County Rural Transit Agency with deployment of six electric transit buses and associated charging equipment, work with Visalia and Modesto Transit with the deployment of electric transit buses using lessons learned from experience with Fresno County Rural Transit, help collect data from thirteen EV ARC off-grid solar powered EWV chargers deployed in rural Fresno County cities, and provide research assistance for new advanced transportation technology projects to be deployed in the San Joaquin Valley.

Water-Energy Community Action Network, San Joaquin Valley (WE CAN – SJV)
Organization: Local Government Commission
Openings: 1 of 1
Project Description: The Local Government Commission aims to maintain adequate water supplies and water quality, and protect the beneficial uses of water, by working with local governments. For this project, a fellow will be working on two integrated LGC projects, both of which are designed to help local governments respond to California's historic drought. The Employment Training Panel (ETP) Drought Response Training program will provide critical training and information for municipal employees to: a) reduce immediate water waste within agency operations, b) identify medium-term water use efficiency opportunities within each jurisdiction, and c) promote long-term technology adoption and management practices to increase water-use efficiency, stabilize water demand, and improve water supply reliability. The WE CAN – San Joaquin Valley project will help local jurisdictions meet their water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas reductions targets through incentives and financing options for residential water and energy efficiency upgrades. WE CAN will also provide training for local practitioners and general outreach to the community.

For the water related work, the fellows' role will be to assist the project manager in developing training materials, recruiting trainees, coordinating training sessions, developing outreach materials and participating in community engagement opportunities, and verifying water and energy upgrade implementation. The fellow will work with the Regional Coordinator to identify key local contacts and opportunities for engagement. The fellow must have his/her own mode of transportation, and will be required to travel between the cities of Reedley, Clovis, and Fresno.
While projects vary, fellows can expect to work on a range of tasks including meeting facilitation, community outreach, data collection and analysis, and report writing. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work on volunteer engagement projects, as well as attend regular trainings to build professional and technical skills. Fellows will complete their service year with a strong understanding of working with local governments as well as experience in using key climate change mitigation and adaptation or water management tools.
Fellows are matched with projects during the interview process. For the full list of projects for the 2016-17 service year, please visit

AmeriCorps was created to address community needs through service. AmeriCorps members have the opportunity to make an impact in their community while gaining valuable career and life experience. In exchange for their service, each fellow receives the following benefits:
  • A living allowance of approximately $14,000 (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
  • Segal Education Award of $5,815 at the completion of service
  • Forbearance on existing qualifying student loans and payment of interest accrued during service
  • Health insurance
  • Childcare assistance to qualifying fellows, paid to an eligible provider of your choice
  • Significant professional development training
  • Valuable experience in the sustainability field and the local government sector
  • Network development with regional and statewide contacts in the climate and water fields
Applicants must be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S., and must complete DOJ, state, and NSOPR background checks prior to service. Applicants must also have:
  • A 4-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Climate fellows: A degree in an environmentally related field and one year of relevant experience is preferred.
  • Water fellows: A background knowledge of water policy, water management, or water-related sciences (coursework or project/professional experience) is preferred.
  • Strong communication (both verbal and written) and teamwork skills; some experience with outreach, facilitation, and/or grassroots organizing is preferred.
  • The capability to work in a professional office setting up to 40 hours a week.
  • Commitment to the full term of service (11 months).
This is an equal opportunity position and we prefer to place a candidate who already lives in the community being served.

Apply for the CivicSpark fellowship online at Positions are available until filled, so apply ASAP! The 2016-17 service year have begun on October 10th, but applications received after October 10th will continued to be reviewed depending on project availability. Candidates selected for interviews will be contacted on a rolling basis. If you have any questions, please contact Melanie Chu at:

Job Level



Government- Local/Regional


$14,000 living stipend over the span of 11 months

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