September 2017
Welcome 2017-18 Cohort!
On September 10th, CivicSpark's newest cohort of Fellows came together for a four day-long Orientation in Downtown Sacramento. This year's cohort will consist of 70 Fellows, with 50 Climate Fellows and 20 Water Fellows. Throughout the week, Fellows in attendance had the opportunity to hear from statewide experts on climate change and water policies and resources, environmental justice, and a range of sector-focused topics. Regional Coordinators and CivicSpark staff also led a variety of professional development trainings. Hoi-Fei Mok, Program Officer for ICLEI and a 2015-16 CivicSpark Fellow Alum, also presented on climate action plan development.
Orientation concluded with an Open Mic Night and Ice Cream Social where Fellows showcased a variety of talents! We hope our Fellows feel motivated and ready to serve their communities!
Regional Spotlight
Sierra Nevada Climate Change Planning 
In the final days of her CivicSpark term, 2016-17 Climate Fellow Nikki Caravelli has been focusing primarily on a ‘capstone project’; a webinar titled “Practical Tools and Resources for Climate Change Planning in the Sierra.” Hosted by Sierra CAMP (Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership) on September 20 th , the webinar featured California and Sierra–specific tools such as Cal-Adapt and examples of adaptation plans from mountain towns in the United States. Nikki is now in the process of transitioning into her new position at Sierra Business Council as a Climate Technician, where she looks forward to continuing projects from her CivicSpark term and supporting Sierra Business Council’s new CivicSpark fellow, Clarke Stevenson.
Inventories and Benchmarking in Alameda County 
2016-17 Climate Fellow Kranti Malik worked with the City of Fremont and Union City in Alameda County. Her projects included 2015 greenhouse gas emissions inventory, revision, and update of baseline 2005 and 2010 inventories, benchmarking of municipal facilities via Energy Star Portfolio Manager, Climate Action Plan Narrative, and compiling Sea Level rise research resources. In the near future, Kranti will be updating Alameda County’s 2015 greenhouse gas emissions inventory as well.
Water Efficiency in Long Beach 
2017-18 Water Fellow Andrea Antony has a history of working with water quality and conservation in various aspects, and is excited about her placement at the Long Beach Water Department . She is in the beginning stages of launching a pilot program using the Landscape Survey developed by CalWEP , California Data Collaborative , and 6 CivicSpark Fellows from the 2016-17 cohort. This survey was designed to help water agencies across California market their landscape transformation programs. The data from this survey can be used to create marketing campaigns to help homeowners see the benefit of turf removal and landscape redesign. Andrea will be piloting this survey in areas of Long Beach to find out how to encourage these communities to participate in Long Beach's Lawn to Garden Program .
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month After attending Orientation, what is the one thing you look forward to as a CivicSpark Fellow?
Ashoka Alvarez | Bay Area Region
" After meeting everyone at Orientation last week, I'm feeling empowered and excited to begin our work! I look forward to getting updates on everyone's projects and staying connected to everyone throughout the year and beyond so that we can all build a bigger network of conscious and passionate people. "

Ashoka Alvarez is a native of San Francisco, CA and a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Environmental Studies. While attending UCSC, she worked on campus for the People of Color Sustainability Collective and the Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center. She is passionate about environmental justice and sustainable development, and hopes to be able to gain new skills during this fellowship allowing her to pursue a career in environmental policy. Ashoka also looks forward to working with like minded people with an interest in mitigating climate change and its affects on local communities. 
Madison Montague | Central Coast Region
" At Orientation I was very excited to brainstorm with my regional team regarding community engagement and volunteering activities. With our diverse backgrounds and extensive knowledge of the region, I have no doubt that our engagement with be impactful and lasting. I can’t wait to work with San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County members to instill sustainability efforts and love for our environment! "

Maddy Montague graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2017 with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Raised in coastal Southern California, she has always been captivated by the power and beauty of the ocean. She has worked with both the Surfrider Foundation and Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, and hopes to continue working to protect our ocean and beach environments. As a fellow, Maddy is excited for the opportunity to incorporate climate resiliency into local planning. She intends to pursue a career in international environmental law, focusing on the impacts of foreign development and sea level rise.
Jonathan Dolan | Southern California Region
" I think I’m most excited at the prospect of getting my feet wet in the field of planning and sustainability by working with the Ballona Creek Restoration Project. I’ve always been really interested in the interactions between natural and urban space, and this project provides a challenging, but potentially rewarding chance to link the two. Though a long-term project, my hope is that the space ultimately becomes an inspiration for other cities to pursue a legacy of environmental preservation and revitalization. "

Jonathan grew up in NC and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2017 with a Bachelors in Biology and a Music minor. His deep-rooted love for all things green, as well as his keen interest in the interactions between people and both urban and natural spaces, has inspired him to pursue a career in conservation. He is particularly thrilled to dedicate his service year to the Ballona Creek Restoration Project in Culver City. If you can’t find him at home or work, he’s probably getting lost again while hiking, biking, or playing with dogs.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Laurel Smith, 2016-17 Climate Fellow - Sacramento Region
" Every single fellow has a different life story and background, with the one thing we share being this fellowship experience. I heard about people's plans for the future including new jobs, grad school, and travel plans and I thought to myself, "How did I get here with all these amazingly talented and courageous individuals? " ...
Upcoming Event
ARCCA Learning Session: Voluntary Resilience Standards
October 17, 2017 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM PST

Resilient facilities and infrastructure are a crucial component of increasing community preparedness to natural and human-made hazards and climate risks. Join ARCCA for a Learning Session webinar on the key findings of a new report, “Voluntary Resilience Standards: An Assessment of the Emerging Market for Resilience in the Built Environment.”

SEEC Webinar: Clean Transportation Vehicle Technologies
October 24, 2017 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM PST

Join SEEC for an informational webinar on clean transportation to hear from experts about emerging trends in new vehicle technologies. Speakers will provide an overview of transportation electrification, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, and the role of municipalities to reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue with panelists.

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 .
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 .