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Digital Community Manager- San Francisco, CA

Posted by: Sierra Club HQ - HRD

San Francisco, CA, US

If you're all about connecting people through technology, have the skills to build strong online communities over the increasing chaos t...




PETER TUCKER
Director Of Marketing And Communications
San Francisco Parks Trust
• Get hands-on: The Parks Trust offers internships every year, offering experience in non-profit development and coordination of an Urban Gardening Conference.
• Show a dedication to open space on your resume. Many cities such as San Francisco make a healthy ratio of green space to neighborhood density a key goal in their sustainability planning.
• Be an expert on new media. The Parks Trust maintains a new media presence. This is a standard that is becoming a must for many organizations.
San Francisco boasts more than 220 parks and open spaces. The San Francisco Parks Trust has been a community partner for 40 years, and was recently featured in Recreation and Parks Magazine as a model organization that other like-minded organizations could learn from. As the main partner of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, the Trust uses its expertise to help community groups find funding for new green spaces and coordinates logistical support with the city. Their Grey2Green program turns sidewalks, abandoned lots, city street medians, and brownfield cites into gardens and other types of open space.

Peter Tucker grew up in San Francisco and has been working to mobilize the community as the Director of Marketing and Communications. With public funding diminishing, Peter says, "there is an increasing need for private philanthropic dollars for city parks." The recent weakened economy has made this a trend nationally, which makes organizations like the Trust all the more vital.

Aside from the Trusts volunteering events, Peter recommends volunteering events through the Golden Gate National Parks and networking through their advocacy round table.

Volunteering with parks organizations can occasionally lead directly to a job. Peter says a number of volunteers have transitioned to the Trust's staff in the past.
ALICE KASWAN
Professor Of Law
University Of San Francisco School Of Law
• Law students: Expand your skill-set beyond environmental law and include study of some other type of law that may be an area of convergence for clean technology casework, i.e. intellectual property, energy, business, land use, financing, construction, utilities, etc.
• Interning with a clean technology focus: do work with a public utility or energy regulatory agency as a law student. Some schools offer partial credit for work with utilities, all of whom are working on energy-efficiency standards in California.
• California has substantial renewable energy portfolio standards. Regardless of whether an internship is set up in public or private practice, gaining knowledge of the regulatory framework around clean technology is key.
The abundance of clean technology incubators that have popped up in the last few years has created a unique opportunity for law students about to enter the workforce. A symposium hosted by the University of San Francisco School of Law last year featured a panel of clean technology experts, among them the first generation of lawyers navigating this new area of specialization.

University of San Francisco Professor Alice Kaswan served as faculty advisor for that event and has been encouraging her students to focus on clean tech law. "I'm suggesting a larger box," Professor Kaswan says, "One that considers how to achieve environmental goods through business law and construction law. People should be looking at intellectual property law and energy law. Students need to have a skill-set that's not just environmental."

Professor Kaswan believes that the expansion of clean tech case work will create jobs for environmental lawyers, but adds the caveat: "They're not going to be saving the environment every minute." The clean tech specialist will have a broader range than the traditional environmental lawyer.

As for the existing legal workforce, Professore Kaswan says any area that is new requires transitioning an existing workforce: "Law is one of the more flexible fields, so once you have a JD you could possibly transition." She imagines a scenario where intellectual property lawyers and environmental lawyers may converge on clean tech projects.

In the future many cities will follow California's lead and increase incentives for utilities to adopt rate structures that encourage renewable energy industry growth. Environmental lawyers will play an integral role in green economic development.
NICOLE CATALANO
Communications Manager
Pacific Environment
• San Francisco has a very active Green Drinks networking meet-up.
• Many advocacy groups are increasingly using social media videos do the work of telling their organization's narrative. Job applicants with video editing skill appeal to these organizations.
• It takes around six months after graduation to land an environmental job, on average. Volunteer in the meantime. Its looks good in the hiring process to see that you've stayed engaged.
San Francisco based Pacific Environment has been protecting the living environment of the Pacific Rim for over twenty years by building coalitions that advocate for both local and global action. When it comes to finding employment with an advocacy organization like Pacific Environment, an internship or volunteer time is a great way to gain the kind of experience that will lead to future job opportunities. "It's so competitive out there," Nicole says, "stellar qualifications are great, but what is lacking is the ground experience that will help you get the next job."

Nicole is optimistic about San Francisco's green job prospects on a number of fronts. Nicole likens the growth in the clean technology industry to the dot com boom of the 1990's. She has also noticed growth in the number of green related MBA programs in the Bay Area. New programs she sees applying to the developing green industry in her area include corporate and social responsibility, environmental management and environmental engineering management.
CATHY KOEHLER
Executive Director
Lake County Land Trust
• UC Davis and Humbolt State University are two regional universities that offer great programs to students looking to work in an environmental field. An environmental science or ecology background is very valuable to many organizations that work on environmental issues.
• If you're looking for a position at a land trust, consider consulting the member list at the California Council of Land Trusts. Also, contact your local or regional land trusts and intern with them to gain direct experience.
• A good background in the natural sciences combined with an understanding of the real estate industry is the best combination for a job at a land trust.
The Lake County Land Trust was created to preserve the unique scenic, cultural, agricultural, and historical values of Lake County California. Land trusts like the Lake Country Land Trust provide a vital and often under-reported environmental mission. Land trusts might buy land, hold conservation easements and negotiate land rights, and work to provide stewardship of the lands they manage. Executive Director Cathy Koehler oversees Lake County Land Trust's conservation activities and works closely with the Trust's board, (which is a working volunteer board,) on management of the properties in Lake County, California that they own.

Cathy pointed out that land trusts rely heavily on biology, ecology and botany in order to assess the conservation values of land. Several important new technologies can aid these areas of study. GIS (geographic information systems) allows minutely detailed mapping and character analyses of all aspects of a geographic area and are becoming very important in prioritizing conservation projects. New innovations in remote sensors allow access to real time data and development of long term data sets that provide information on land-scape scale parameters, such as temperature or soil moisture, and can factor into decision making for conservation issues, such as effective conservation actions in the face of climate change.
ALEX KELTER
Immediate Past President
Environmental Council Of Sacramento
• Network at the Sacramento Sustainability Forum's Monthly meet-up.
• Local professional organizations such as the Sacramento chapter of the American Institute of Architects offer potential job leads.
• The University of California, Davis Center for Regional Change has a great environmental planning program.
In his work with the 40-year-old Environmental Council of Sacramento, Alex works with local business and government to propose policies around land and water use that protect the local habitat. One of the big grinds in the Sacramento area, according to Alex, centers around the development of agricultural land. Future environmental jobs will develop as organizations such as the one Alex works with seek to prevent development of certain areas by asking for government consideration to designate these as local wildlands.

"California is rich with environmental consulting firms because of California's strict environmental rules," says Alex. The resulting need for engineers, biologists, hydrologists, and planners will continue to bring green job growth to Sacramento.
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