Sustainability Fellow

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Pinole, CA, United States

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10 days ago


Pinole is a diverse community of approximately 20,000 residents situated in West Contra Costa County on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Pinole is defined by its natural and man-made features. The natural setting includes the Bay shoreline, open spaces, Pinole Creek and other watersheds, and a hillside topography. The physical setting is primarily defined by the transportation and circulation corridors that divide the city into zones, a cohesive “Old Town,” and other commercial and residential development in the community. The City’s vision is to be a safe, vibrant, and innovative community with small town charm and a high quality of life.

The City is also focused on reversing and mitigating the effects of climate change. In 2010 the City of Pinole was the first community in Contra Costa County to adopt a Sustainability Element of the General Plan to help guide future land use within the City. In 2021, the Pinole City Council declared a climate emergency, directed staff to complete a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). The CAAP will provide goals, strategies, and actions to enable the City to achieve or exceed GHG reduction goals and means of reporting and monitoring the effectiveness of the plan. It will also address the disproportionate effect climate change has on overburdened and underserved people and communities on the frontlines of impacts and those already suffering from a range of challenges including lack of economic opportunity, racism, age, disability, and exposure to pollution. Furthermore, the CAAP will be developed to be a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Qualified, which will provide a streamlined development review process for future qualifying projects.

The City is concurrently updating the City’s Housing and Health and Safety Elements as well as developing a standalone Environmental Justice Element of the General Plan. The updates to the General Plan related to housing, health, safety and environmental justice will be prepared alongside the development of the CAAP. This presents a great opportunity for the City to take a holistic approach in evaluating issues relative to climate change including adaption and resiliency strategies. The General Plan update project is expected to occur through May 2023 and involve coordination with the CAAP project.


Through the Climate Corps program, we are interested in hosting one Sustainability Fellow to support sustainability, resilience and climate action planning in Pinole. The Sustainability Fellow will work in the Community Development Department, supporting policy/program development and community engagement related to climate action and resilience, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, carbon neutrality, and equity. This is a great opportunity for individuals with strong communication, project management and analytical skills who want to do some innovative work with passionate staff and community members to make a real difference! You will engage with our residents, businesses, and city employees from across the organization.


This position requires a strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and ability to work both independently and as a part of a team. The ideal Fellow will be detail-oriented, creative, analytical, energetic and committed and passionate about sustainability. They have one year of relevant professional work/study experience, strong written and verbal communications skills, a demonstrated ability to manage varied projects/tasks and will be able to attend occasional evening meetings. An understanding of how municipal government operates is a plus. Fellows having familiarity with website content development and publishing, past experience conducting social media campaigns and/or possessing an eye for graphic design are highly desired. We are seeking a Fellow who has aptitude for developing and managing new, trusted relationships with a range of individuals and organizations.


Including, but not limited to, as they align with Fellow’s skills/strengths, and as prioritized by the City:

  • Support the Department and consultant team in developing the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Tasks may include community engagement, data analysis, document review, report drafting, community presentations, social media development and e-newsletter management.
  • Conduct community engagement tasks related to the General Plan update of Housing, Health & Safety and Environmental Justice Elements (intrinsically connected to climate action planning).
  • Assist staff with conducting feasibility assessments and community demand/behavior modeling for electric vehicle charging in Pinole.
  • Develop and implement community engagement campaigns targeted at residents, businesses, and city employees, focused on encouraging behavior change to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change (candidate topics include multi-modal transportation, single-use plastics, energy use, composting).
  • Explore and present options for enhancing green building regulations, in advance of upcoming triennial building code update.
  • Research and present options for a framework for considering a City-wide e-bike or e-scooter program.
  • Develop communication materials and/or social media campaigns (including videos) for the public regarding city initiatives related to sustainability and climate action in addition to sharing information about existing programs and incentives that support GHG emissions reductions.
  • Create options for sponsoring a Pinole-based annual Earth Day event to launch in 2023 with an emphasis on activities related to climate action education, acts of service and supporting a sustainable economy.


Minimum requirements include a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, Environmental Studies, Business Administration, Economics, Political Science, Urban Planning, or a related field and one (1) year of relevant professional work/study experience. Candidates who are completing, or who have completed, a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies/Sustainability/Science or related field are desired.


The Community Development team (Community Development Director, two Permit Technicians, one Building Official/Inspector, one Code Enforcement Officer, one Planning Manager and one Senior Planner) currently full works in-person in the office. A workstation in the office will be provided for the Fellow; ideal schedule would work at least 2-3 days in-person in the office, with the balance of the workweek from home.


The position will provide significant opportunities to develop professionally, including:

  • Managing projects, including setting goals, identifying stakeholders and audiences, developing work products on time, and evaluating achievement of goals
  • Developing compelling written communications for email, web, and print
  • Designing strategies to gain input from stakeholders on a proposed policy
  • Synthesizing technical information into a format for a general audience
  • Customizing communications messages and delivery to best engage and influence your audience
  • Building relationships with internal City partners
  • Applying behavior change best practices to encourage climate-friendly choices; and
  • Working independently towards goals and outcomes that are developed as a team.

SEI requires all employees to be Vaccinated against COVID-19.

SEI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We strive to reflect the diverse communities we serve, especially those most impacted by climate change and other kinds of environmental, social, and economic injustices. Persons of color, persons with disabilities, older adults, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

Sustainability Fellow

City of Pinole

2131 Pearl St. #1 Pinole CA 94564


Monthly stipend

Additional pay

End of program award