December 2017
Class of 2015
Class of 2016
Class of 2017
CivicSpark Alumni: Where are they now?
In our recent CivicSpark Fellow Alumni Survey, we gathered information from past cohorts about what they have been doing after the CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellowship.

Below are highlights from the survey:
  • 56% of respondents are currently employed in a sustainability or climate related field
  • 40% of respondents work in the government sector (local, state, federal)
  • 19% of respondents work in the nonprofit sector
  • 17% of respondents work in the private sector

For the alumni who responded that they are currently employed in a sustainability or climate related field, their work focuses on the general fields below.
Learn more about our Fellows by visiting our Fellows page . CivicSpark recruits Fellows from across the nation. To see where our 2017-18 Fellows came from click here . This map shows specifics on the various projects throughout the state.
Regional Highlights
Climate Literacy in Santa Clara
Rachel Barrales is supporting the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) with the development of their Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP). She spent the past few months leading 80 meetings with district managers as part of the baseline assessment for the CCAP. For the rest of the service year, Rachel will work to increase climate literacy at SCVWD by hosting district-wide climate change events and continuing to research local impacts of climate change. While supporting progress on the CCAP, she will also have the opportunity to research solar electricity projects and other mitigation techniques for the district’s Carbon Neutral by 2020 goal.
Energy Technologies in Fresno
Energize Fresno is a partnership between the Local Government Commission, the City of Fresno, Fresno Metro Ministry, CALSTART, and Tierra Resource Consultants. Funded with $1.5 million from the California Energy Commissions, Energize Fresno’s purpose is to help Fresno and those living in Fresno by designing a roadmap that incorporates new energy technologies that can reduce costs, increase comfort, and improve living conditions. Pachoua Yang is working on engaging with community organizations about Energize Fresno, and making sure that if Energize Fresno is awarded Phase II funding, the EF team is in a position to properly engage with the relevant community organizations. In addition, Pachoua is also performing energy efficiency and funding research for use on current community projects, and potentially under the next phase of the project.
Sustainable Housing and Development in Ventura
Krystalin Bullicer is thrilled to be advancing environmentally sustainable, 
affordable housing with the City of San Buenaventura Housing Authority
Committed to the Better Buildings Challenge , her agency aims to reduce
energy consumption across the housing portfolio by 20%. Recently, 
Krystalin has been working across various agency departments towards 
utility data capture and management. Once all the utility data is 
established, she will promote her agency’s energy efficiency goals and 
healthy homes programs by coordinating community outreach events to 
raise awareness of climate change and water resources. In light of recent events, Krystalin has also been volunteering in the Thomas Fire relief effort. She is exploring ways to integrate aspects of the fire relief effort within the scope of her project (i.e. ecological restoration, accessibility to fresh food). 
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month : "As we approach the new year, what personal and/or professional goals do you hope to accomplish through CivicSpark in 2018?"
Lauren Moore | Sacramento Region
"This next year, I hope that my position with CivicSpark will help me grow into a more confident, well-spoken young professional. I plan on taking every opportunity I can to develop these skills and others, and use this Fellowship as the first stepping stone of many in a successful career."

Lauren Moore is a recent Santa Clara University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Science. She was born and raised on five acres in Granite Bay, CA, and is thrilled to be working to combat climate change in her home county. Lauren chose to join CivicSpark because the program will allow her to focus on an issue she is passionate about while developing the skills she needs to create a more sustainable world. This service year, she hopes to make a positive contribution to Placer County’s climate policies and connect with other professionals that are equally as invested in environmental issues. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing piano.
Sarah Kolarik | Bay Area Region
"Now that I have gotten into my CivicSpark-groove, I am looking to 2018 as a time to actively connect with folks outside of my city. I am excited to engage more with my CivicSpark cohort and continue building relationships with this incredibly talented, passionate, and generally fun group of people. I am also going to build my network of Northern Californian environmental professionals, since I am inspired by local/regional government’s ability to change the environmental status-quo and I am eager to continue this work after the end of the CivicSpark."

Originally from Davis, Sarah Kolarik studied environmental science at Stanford and environmental justice at the University of Michigan. Sarah is interested in how the built environment and transportation systems in urban areas shape social and environmental outcomes, and how local governments can encourage more environmentally just outcomes. She is looking forward to getting to know the City of San Pablo and the broader East Bay, exploring her interest in city planning, getting outdoors and enjoying a California (rather than Michigan) winter.
Christopher Luu | Greater LA Region
"Professionally, having the unique pleasure of working at two different sites and all the responsibilities and projects juggled between the two sites will hopefully allow me to become effective with my time management skills. Personally, I hope to continue surrounding myself and interacting with great-minded people such as the Greater LA CivicSpark Fellows so I can learn from and be more like them."

Born and raised in Orange County, California, Christopher Luu grew up with a fascination for the built environment and all of the factors that play into cities developing. He received a B.S. in City and Regional Planning with a Minor in Real Property Development from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In the past, Christopher has worked with non-profit organizations & government agencies in developing green spaces & healthier communities throughout Southern California and along the California Central Coast. CivicSpark will give Christopher the opportunity to help communities adapt to problems regarding climate change and how to mitigate its effects on people. Christopher hopes to continue developing sustainable and multi-modal friendly communities.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Angela Kim, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Greater LA Region
"It is incredible how much I have learned since that first time I played the Game of Floods. I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I continue to learn each day. It is interesting that parallel experiences can help us measure our progress over time." ...
CivicSpark in the News
Molly Marcussen, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Sacramento Region
Congrats to our Sacramento Climate Fellow Molly Marcussen, who was featured in the Chico News & Review on her CivicSpark project with Chico State Geography students and the work they are doing collaboratively on Butte County's Vulnerability Assessment. Keep up the great work Molly!
Upcoming Event
17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 1-3, 2018 | San Francisco, CA

Save the dates! The 17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is being held February 1-3, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The 2018 conference program will feature eight thematic tracks that will provide participants an opportunity for a deeper, more dynamic hands-on learning experience. Each track will be designed to create a peer cohort of practitioners that leave with new tools, strategies, models and templates to integrate into their work – with our signature multidisciplinary theme running throughout. To learn more, please visit .

3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

Save the dates! The Local Government Commission invites you to join us for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum, taking place August 28-29, 2018 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27) in Downtown Sacramento!

We are currently conducting a survey to gather input on priority topics, as well as to offer an opportunity to submit ideas for sessions, network meetings, and workshops. We invite you to participate in this survey at by January 9th at 5:00 PM PT.
CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program implemented by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Each year, 70 Fellows are placed across California in regional hubs to implement targeted projects that build capacity for local government agencies to better address climate change and water resource management issues.
Learn more about CivicSpark at .