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Climate Corps Opportunities

Do you want to work directly with public and nonprofit organizations in California to design and implement programs that increase community resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? Starting as a ground-breaking AmeriCorps service program, Climate Corps has placed over 210 motivated candidates in 10-month opportunities since 2010, including 36 at Alameda County. The program now includes a fellowship model.

Alameda County Climate Corps fellows have gone on to environmental organizations, public service, and graduate school. They have continued their careers at organizations including City of San Jose, City of San Rafael, Grist, Locus Energy, Mills College, PG&E, Recology, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Sierra Club, StopWaste.Org, and Sungevity.

Climate Corps Openings

This year's fellowships at Alameda County have been filled. Applications open in Spring 2018 for 2018-19 opportunities.

  • Click here (PDF - 2Mb) * to review detailed descriptions for 2017-18 opportunities at Alameda County.
  • Visit http://www.climate-corps.org/ to learn more about Climate Corps and to apply.

Climate Corps at Alameda County 2016-17: In Depth

photo of 2017 Climate Corps volunteers

Fellows toured County green buildings and local waste facilities.

In 2016-2017, the Alameda County General Services Agency again hosted six Climate Corps Fellows.

Name: Natalie Calhoun
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Office of Sustainability
Major Project: Roll out compost and expanded recycling program to County buildings and research waste reduction strategies for hard-to-recycle items such as mattresses
Goal: Increase employee access to compost in 15 buildings and reduce the amount of recoverable material in the trash overall
Highlight: Designing the initial plans for new outdoor dumpster locations lets me lend a hand in the future of County infrastructure so that I can make a lasting physical mark here. Giving a how-to-recycle training at the animal shelter was a real treat, because I got to play with the cats afterwards!
Project Poster (PDF - 1.2mb) *

Name: Narayan Gopinathan
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Oversee the implementation of a smart charging program as well as installation of a battery for stationary energy storage, in order to reduce the impacts of electric vehicle charging on the power grid
Goal: Reduce energy demand charges by 20% and building peak electrical demand by 18 kW in a County-owned parking garage
Highlight: A highlight has been learning about the advanced technologies at the forefront of electric transportation technology. These include the use of large batteries in parking garages that can save energy when it is cheapest for use later; smart charging to let electric cars charge when there is the most available energy; and vehicle-to-grid integration, which lets car batteries store energy for the power grid.
Project Poster (PDF - 819kb) *

Name: Alisa Healy
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Early Care and Education
Major Project: Promote recycling and composting in over 30 additional Alameda County preschools and child care centers through the Green Child Care 4R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot) Education program
Goal: Increase the amount of waste that is recycling and composted by teaching students and staff how to sort waste
Highlight: Reaching the milestone of educating 1000 students. Educating preschool students to develop recycling and composting habits at a young age is especially important because climate change will affect their generation the most. When I see preschool students enjoy sorting their waste into the correct bins, I feel that I helped them learn an important habit that will better their future.
Project Poster (PDF - 941kb) *

Name: Jacqueline Kha
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Office of Sustainability
Major Project: Support the strategic redesign of the sustainability intranet site to help County employees access the information they need to work more effectively and sustainably
Goal: Analyze the existing 90-page site, enter streamlined content into the new dynamic site template, and reach 1000 employees in the first months of launch of the new site
Highlight: Learning how to utilize appreciative inquiry for employee interviews was a great tool, and I was able to gain a better understanding of what it's like to be on both sides of an interview.
Project Poster (PDF - 817kb) *

Name: Alex Sabo
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Launch a new carpool matching website for County employees, and plan and implement clean commute campaigns in Hayward and Oakland
Goal: Support at least 1000 employees to sign up for the County's new carpool matching site, and encourage employees who drive alone to work to switch to clean commute options like taking BART or biking
Highlight: I really enjoyed speaking with employees in person at the annual Employee Health Expo about their commute challenges and being able to offer resources to those who wanted to try out a clean commute like carpooling but didn't know how to start. It felt good to see people light up when they heard that they can try a clean commute like carpooling that also improves their daily commute experience.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.2mb) *

Name: Liz Shenaut
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Office of Sustainability
Major Project: Develop recommendations based on best practices for managing internal revolving funds in local governments to inform a proposal for a potential county fund for climate action and other innovative projects
Goal: Obtain approval to go forward with establishment of a green revolving fund, which will enable departments to invest in efficient technology by getting help with the upfront costs
Highlight: At a presentation to County executives, my findings were used to answer questions about the initial concept for the revolving fund. I am now working as part of a team including local graduate students to prepare a more detailed proposal for the next presentation.
Project Poster (PDF - 798kb) *

Climate Corps at Alameda County 2015-16: In Depth

photo of Climate Corps volunteers

Fellows hosted a series of lunchtime conversations on environmental topics.

In 2015-2016, the Alameda County General Services Agency hosted six Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows.

Name: Messay Betru
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Oversee the installation and management of a pilot energy storage battery system in order to reduce grid impact from the County’s electric vehicle charging stations
Goal: Reduce electricity consumption at least 10% at a major County garage and minimize demand charge costs, which can be up to 40% of an electricity bill
Highlight: I met with potential vendors and evaluated return on investment to identify the best energy storage system. When I presented to the director of our agency on the system we recommended, I knew it was a milestone in my ability to clearly present my findings and gain project approval from executive leaders.
Project Poster (PDF - 722kb) *

Name: Jessica Byron
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Early Care and Education
Major Project: Expand the Greening Preschools Program to engage child care centers and family child care homes in compost and recycling
Goal: Deliver waste education and technical assistance to 15 new child care centers and 10 new family child care homes
Highlight: Family child care centers tend to receive fewer resources and less support, so they appreciate that we are expanding our program to them. The staff and children at one home even prepared for my upcoming visit as Rocky the Recycling Raccoon by watching Wall-E. On lesson day, it was magical to see how engaged they were in sharing with me what they had already learned and why they were eager to start recycling!

Name: Hana Creger
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Contribute to the multi-year goal of reducing drive-alone commuters by 20% by running campaigns promoting new employee BART shuttles and training employees to become Clean Commute Champions in their workplaces
Goal: Encourage dozens of employees to switch from driving alone to clean commute options like carpooling and taking BART
Highlight: It's been rewarding working on a team to plan and implement our first-ever Community Commutes Day. This is a fun day in the spring when all employees are supported to try a clean commute option and can win prizes for participating.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.2mb) *

Name: Alice Hewitt
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability
Major Project: Roll out compost and expanded recycling program to County leased buildings and provide refresher trainings to staff in owned buildings
Goal: Introduce compost collection to 15 new buildings and improve collection rates in 10 buildings with expanded recycling
Highlight: I was so pleased when a new mental health crisis center opened with the appropriate waste bins in place. Because we had worked with the center to select locations for bins to make it easy for staff and clients to use, the center could collect all recyclable and compostable materials from day one. I knew being part of a smooth move-in meant I had played a role in enabling the center staff to focus on providing the care their customers need.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.2mb) *

Name: Caitlín Murphy
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Support the implementation of organization-wide outreach campaigns to boost employee participation in sustainability programs, and track resulting progress on Climate Action Plan goals
Goal: Engage 200 employees in planning Green & Healthy events and meetings in order to reduce waste; Provide feedback to 19 agencies on climate action progress in order to foster data-driven decisions
Highlight: When I presented at two training sessions for peers working in the environmental field about how community-based social marketing techniques expanded Green & Healthy events at the County, it was rewarding to hear that several attendees planned to use these techniques to more effectively achieve their communities’ climate action targets.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.4mb) *

Name: Hannah Wiser
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Make it easier for County employees to find and purchase green products by ensuring that products featured as green on our office supply ordering site meet rigorous environmental specifications
Goal: Develop and implement a "Green Favorites" list of office supply products
Highlight: When I evaluated 600 office supply products, I was delighted to find that 300 met our specifications, which gives employees a broad range of green options.
Project Poster (PDF - 471kb) *

Climate Corps at Alameda County 2014-15: In Depth

photo of Climate Corps volunteers

Fellows engaged employees in sustainability programs such as biking.

In 2014-2015, the Alameda County General Services Agency again hosted five Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows.

Name: Nicole Gaetjens
Dept: Sustainability Program
Major Project: Develop environmental product and service standards to incorporate into lease agreements for County-operated buildings, ensuring County employees in all buildings enjoy high quality workplaces in terms of health and sustainability
Goal: Pilot environmental standards in three leased buildings
Highlight: When I presented my research and draft environmental standards to the head of the department in charge of leasing, and he expressed his enthusiasm for the project
Project Poster (PDF - 1mb) *

Name: Debra Halligan
Dept: Sustainability Program
Major Project: Ensure progress on the County's Climate Action Plan by developing visualizations that communicate progress toward meeting sustainability goals
Goal: Provide useful management data to Climate Executive Committee by sharing climate progress dashboard quarterly
Highlight: At the first preview of our climate dashboard, agency heads asked questions, discussed, and seemed very interested in a visualization I made. I felt that my work was effectively communicating both progress and areas for improvement.
Project Poster (PDF - 2.2mb) *

Name: Natalie Lessa
Dept: Early Care and Education Planning Council
Major Project: Expand Greening Preschools Program through putting in place recycling and composting services and providing staff training and classroom education (see video)
Goal: Extend services to 25 new preschool facilities, increasing waste diversion by 100 tons annually
Highlight: The greatest reward is teaching three- to five-year-olds how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot because that skill and interest will last a lifetime. Plus, their teachers will continue to share their own new knowledge with future children in their classrooms.
Project Poster (PDF - 1mb) *

Name: Matthew Petrofsky
Dept: Sustainability Program
Major Project: Expand compost and recycling programs to more county facilities and increase existing programs' effectiveness by providing outreach and trainings to staff
Goal: Roll out six new recycling and composting programs at County facilities, changing infrastructure where needed
Highlight: Revising the floor plans of a yet-to-be-remodeled building to add space for and design the needed waste enclosures. It felt great knowing that recycling would be an early consideration in the remodel, not an afterthought.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.1mb) *

Name: Erica Tan
Dept: Transportation Services
Major Project: Expand employee use of clean commuting resources - such as County BART shuttles, pre-tax commuter benefits, Guaranteed Ride Home, and carpool matching - to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from 9000 employees' daily commutes to work at Alameda County
Goal: Recruit and train 100 employee volunteer Clean Commute Champions to engage fellow co-workers in learning about and taking advantage of clean commuting resources
Highlight: When we launched a new shuttle from BART to County offices at Embarcadero Cove in Oakland in response to employee requests, 45 employees participated in the shuttle outreach campaign. It was wonderful to celebrate with them on the shuttle just days after the new route's launch and hear how excited they were to avoid a long drive and to play their part in keeping our air clean.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.1mb) *

Climate Corps at Alameda County 2013-14: In Depth

photo of Climate Corps volunteers

The five fellows met weekly to support each other's projects and professional development.

In 2013-2014, the Alameda County General Services Agency hosted five Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows, exposing Millennials to career opportunities in government.

Name: Sam Bliss
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Measure the complete greenhouse gas emissions from the goods and services Alameda County buys
Goal: Create a "supply chain emissions inventory" that illustrates the full environmental impact of purchasing, identify the areas of highest impact to help prioritize green purchasing efforts, and create a guidebook to assist other public agencies to carry out the same assessment
Highlight: The first time I presented on my findings to County purchasing agents and staff working with community-based organizations, I wasn’t sure how engaged they would be by this fairly technical information. I was delighted that everyone was interested to learn more about climate-friendly purchasing. It feels good to know that that my work will be put to use by County staff to carefully consider the upstream impacts of the goods and services they buy.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.2mb) *

Name: Elliot Goldstein
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Provide research, project management, and process facilitation support to the 2014 cross-agency teams developing programs to implement the County’s Climate Action Plan for Government Services & Operations
Goal: Support teams to engage employees to take advantage of clean commuter benefits, make a video portal promoting alternative work arrangements, launch a Countywide desktop videoconferencing tool, and develop a sustainability dashboard to monitor progress on climate action.
Highlight: At the event to launch the 2014 teams, I was inspired to hear the members of past teams speak about what they had gained from being part of this effort. And when the County Administrator, Susan Muranishi, stressed the importance of sustainability to the County and community that it serves, I felt optimistic that the new teams’ programs would be implemented.
Project Poster (PDF - 846kb) *

Name: Kimberly Hazard
Agency & Dept: GSA, Early Care and Education Planning Council
Major Project: Promote waste reduction and recycling in child care centers and preschools throughout Alameda County
Goal: Improve recycling and waste reduction in 30 child care centers new to the program, divert at least 100 tons of waste from local landfills, and conduct outreach so that Alameda County preschool teachers improve their knowledge of recycling and waste reduction best practices and applicable laws affecting their programs
Highlight: When one provider told me how impressed she was that I, the one person working on the child care greening program, had reached so many children and centers, I was grateful for the opportunity to reach such a wide range of people who might not otherwise receive environmental education. Every time I complete a lesson – whether it is for 20 or 120 children – I know they are then set on a path to be the next generation of environmental stewards.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.1mb) *

Name: Rachel Om
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Promoting bicycle commuting through outreach campaigns and infrastructure upgrades
Goal: Increase public and employee bike parking options by creating 150 to 200 bike parking spots and expand business travel alternatives by establishing an employee bike fleet
Highlight: In one week, I submitted an order for 18 bike racks and a maintenance station to install in a secure employees-only bike parking cage, submitted a grant application to fund 25 bike racks at County buildings, and finalized the guidebook for safe use of the upcoming employee bike fleet. It was rewarding to take action and feel confident these projects will be effective because they were designed based on my thorough research identifying the best methods of promoting biking to County employees.
Project Poster (PDF - 892kb) *

Name: Nina Salvador
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Implement organics (compost) collection and expanded recycling programs at County facilities, and create a toolkit so that other agencies can use our roll-out approach as a model
Goal: Roll out new organics and mixed recycling programs at seven County facilities, and audit the County waste stream to find further opportunities for recycling
Highlight: My favorite roll-out was at the Alameda County Parking Garage (AlcoPark), which many County employees visit daily to check out County vehicles. The paper, mixed recycling, and organics bins that I added there are a great way to promote the County’s sustainability goals at a high-traffic location.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.3mb) *

Climate Corps at Alameda County 2012-13: In Depth

photo of Climate Corps volunteers

The five volunteers brought enthusiasm and energy to their projects.

In 2012-2013, the Alameda County General Services Agency hosted five AmeriCorps Members through Climate Corps Bay Area.

Name: Thomas Fenster
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Implement composting and expand recycling programs at County buildings; run waste reduction campaigns
Goal: Roll out six new compost and recycling programs and run a major waste reduction campaign
Highlight: Exceeding my goal by rolling out composting at 10 new sites and running an agency-wide Ready Set Recycle competition. The competition was fun for both me and the participants and, through education and monitoring, greatly reduced contamination in the recycling stream of the participating buildings.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.54mb) *

Name: Katherine H.
Agency & Dept: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Promote the adoption of sustainable commutes and business travel alternatives
Goal: Increase awareness of sustainable commute modes by holding multiple Clean Commute Fairs; provide a cleaner transportation option by expanding the employee BART-connector shuttle system to Hayward
Highlight: I designed a Clean Commute Fair to provide employees the resources they need to engage in sustainable commute modes. Attendees enjoyed participating in our scavenger hunt, seeing the iPad app showcase, hearing transit vendor presentations, and receiving free on-site bike tune-ups from a local bicycle technician.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.60mb) *

Name: Jessica Jetter
Department: Child Care Planning Council
Major Project: Provide outreach and education to Alameda County preschools to help them green their schools
Goal: Assist preschools in rolling out new compost and recycling programs, train teachers and students on the RRRR (reducing, reusing, recycling, and rotting) curriculum, and promote overall greening of preschool sites using the Go Green rating scale
Highlight: A teacher from a school that I worked with to implement a new compost program told me that several parents had shared that their children were asking about the compost bin at home. This showed that the children had not only come to understand the purpose of compost in the classroom but that they were also bringing this knowledge home to their families.
Project Poster (PDF - 1.29mb) *

Name: Nicole P.
Department: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Promote recycled-content purchases and paper waste reduction; develop community-based social marketing campaigns, create outreach materials, and track outcomes
Goal: Recruit 25 Green Ambassadors into an official role as grassroots leaders to promote green habits and to help their colleagues conserve resources
Highlight: Successfully recruiting a group of enthusiastic County employees to participate in the Green Ambassadors network pilot. It was great to work with passionate people who truly support sustainability at the County and are willing to step forward to lead the change!
Project Poster (PDF - 1.76mb) *

Name: Thomas S.
Department: General Services Agency, Administration
Major Project: Regional Renewable Energy Procurement (R-REP)
Goal: To install over 20 megawatts of distributed solar photovoltaic systems at public agencies throughout the Bay Area, facilitating local government agencies to achieve GHG reduction targets
Highlight: Assisting the County team with organizing and evaluating technical data for potential renewable energy sites under consideration for development through R-REP.

Climate Corps at Alameda County 2011-12: In Depth

photo of Climate Corps volunteers

The three volunteers and their supervisors partnered on innovative climate action projects

In 2011-2012, the Alameda County General Services Agency hosted three AmeriCorps Members through Climate Corps Bay Area.

Name: Kayla P.
Department: General Services Agency, Administration
Major Project: Support implementation of the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project, an Alameda County-led initiative under which Bay Area public agencies throughout four counties will collaborate on purchasing renewable energy systems
Goal: Assist 20 to 30 agencies to cost-effectively deploy 20 to 40 megawatts of renewable energy on public facilities
Highlight: I am proud that my stakeholder engagement efforts as project manager of the R-REP are enabling us to meet our goals. As of May 2012, we estimate that the project will result in up to 50 megawatts of renewable energy at public facilities in the Bay Area.

Name: Will Q.
Department: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Promote sustainable purchasing and waste reduction initiatives among County employees
Goal: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through community-based social marketing and sustainability communications
Highlight: I designed and distributed a sticker that is posted in restrooms to encourage employees to take fewer paper towels. The County's Art Commission commented on its design savvy and encouraging message, and some employees have started taking other green actions at work because of the reminder.

Name: Jeff R.
Department: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Promote carpooling and clean commuting to the workplace
Goal: Reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles commuting to work by signing up over 1000 employees to Zimride, Alameda County's carpool network
Highlight: Creating the first-ever "March Madness" carpool tournament where sixteen agencies competed for the highest percent of employees registering to carpool. The awards were given at a Golden State Warriors game, giving participants a fun event to reward significant GHG reductions.

AmeriCorps at Alameda County 2010-11: In Depth

photo of 7 AmeriCorps volunteers

Thanks to grant support, 7 AmeriCorps volunteers helped Alameda County reach strategic goals

In 2010-2011, Alameda County hosted seven AmeriCorps Members in its General Services and Community Development agencies. These Members provided their volunteer energy to increase community awareness of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, save energy, and promote job opportunities for at-risk youth. Six of these members were part of the ground-breaking new AmeriCorps service program, Climate Corps Bay Area, which received grant funding from California Volunteers. The seventh member was part of the New Sector Alliance's Residency in Social Enterprise.

Climate Corps Bay Area

Name: Leigh B.
Department: General Services Agency, Transportation Services
Major Project: Support expansion of Clean Commute Program to encourage employees to walk, bike, take public transportation, or carpool to work
Goal: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the environmental impact of employee commutes
Highlight: I conducted a research project on local government employee commute programs. By corresponding with over 30 program leaders across the nation, I gained insight into employee commute program barriers and successes that we are using to shape the design of our program.

Name: Jason D.
Department: Community Development Agency, Neighborhood Preservation and Sustainability
Major Project: Perform energy efficiency assessments in homes to support the County's Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income residents
Goal: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through helping low-income households to become more energy efficient, save on energy bills, and improve their level of comfort and indoor air quality
Highlight: When my first potential client met with me and recounted all the issues in her home, I was so grateful for the extensive technical training we received. It feels great to know that the work I am now able to do will help her and her family every day.

Name: Jon G.
Department: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Assist with rolling out compost collection and expanded recycling program in County buildings
Goal: Achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions by decreasing materials sent to landfill
Highlight: I had the opportunity to collaborate with another Member on recycling outreach. Together, we redesigned recycling outreach materials and planned pilots of several different community-based social marketing strategies to test which approaches most increase recycling and composting rates.

Name: Rieko N.
Department: Community Development Agency, Neighborhood Preservation & Sustainability Department
Major Project: Perform energy efficiency assessments in homes to support the County's Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income residents
Goal: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through helping low-income households to become more energy efficient, save on energy bills, and improve their level of comfort and indoor air quality
Highlight: It's exciting for me to build my understanding of how government works. Recently, I read an article about a federal aid program, then discovered that that the county program I work on has aligned its standards with this federal aid program, showing me how important it is for policy-makers at all levels to consider how policies interact across agencies.

Name: Lou R.
Department: General Services Agency, Sustainability Program
Major Project: Support development of employee outreach initiatives to promote green workplace practices
Goal: To provide County employees with opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste in their workplaces
Highlight: I assisted with the design and analysis of a County employee survey on sustainability in the workplace, to which we received over 1800 completed surveys. I analyzed responses to several open-ended questions, gaining unique insight into some of the challenges faced by County employees. I was encouraged by the excitement many employees expressed about green initiatives.

Name: David S.
Department: Community Development Agency, Neighborhood Preservation & Sustainability Department
Major Project: Perform energy efficiency assessments in homes to support the County's Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income residents
Goal: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through helping low-income households to become more energy efficient, save on energy bills, and improve their level of comfort and indoor air quality
Highlight: At a monthly training hosted by our parent program, Climate Corps Bay Area, I introduced other AmeriCorps members to weatherization and home energy assessments. The response of other Climate Corps members to my presentation reminded me of our work's potential to not only combat climate change but also improve the quality of life for the County residents we work with.

New Sector Residency in Social Enterprise

Name: Ben P.
Department: General Services Agency, Administration
Major Project: Research, recommend, and begin implementation of refresh to New Beginnings strategy and programming
Goal: Collaborate with New Beginnings Committee to expand youth job training and creative development program
Highlight: Along with a co-worker, I planned and led a strategic retreat with the County Administrator and several department heads to refine the mission, vision, and strategic direction of the New Beginnings Program.

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