Climate Action Specialist I/II –

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County of San Mateo

$36.74 - $50.55 / Hour

The County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability (OOS) seeks qualified candidates for a Climate Action Specialist I-II Limited Term position. We want "sustainability champions" with experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are looking for candidates with excellent project management, youth engagement, and communication skills to coordinate education and climate action projects. We are focused on building a building a diverse and inclusive workforce. If you are excited by this role, but do not meet 100% of the qualifications, we encourage you to apply.

Formed in July 2014 as a part of the County Manager’s Office, the Office of Sustainability strives to improve the sustainability of the County’s operations and the greater community through work in areas of climate change, energy and water conservation, waste reduction and making our communities more livable. The Office of Sustainability identifies with the following values that guide its work: Empowerment, Equity, Collaboration, and Inspiration, and serves the diverse, multi-cultural communities in San Mateo County.

The ideal candidate will have strong project management skills, excellent communication skills, experience working with youth, and a background in climate change or sustainability or environmental science. The Climate Action Specialist position will coordinate two climate change education programs for high school youth, the Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) Leadership Program and the Youth Exploring Sea Level Rise Science (YESS) Program. This position will also coordinate projects to reduce climate change impacts or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will coordinate volunteers through the Sustainability Academy Program.

As a Climate Action Specialist, you will:

  • Incorporate racial equity and social justice into all aspects of your work.
  • Develop scopes of work, track deliverables, and implement projects related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing community resilience to heat, sea level rise, wildfire, or other climate change impacts.
  • Teach climate change curricula to grades K-12 in the classroom and field, while making clear connections to environmental justice. 
  • Empower youth to be environmental stewards and take action on climate change.
  • Re-envision the YESS program by adapting curriculum and creating new field trip experiences. 
  • Manage, schedule, and lead field trips with high school youth throughout San Mateo County.
  • Coordinate the Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) Leadership Program, including leading education workshops, planning retreats, and providing youth mentorship and guidance for YCA Community Impact Projects. 
  • Coordinate the YCA Alumni Network.
  • Develop and update website content for the YESS and YCA sites.
  • Provide volunteer coordination for a network of over 400 people through the Sustainability Academy.
  • Plan periodic volunteer social events for volunteers. 
  • Increase volunteer engagement through regular communications, providing volunteer opportunities, and other means.
  • Work effectively with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • Incorporate the perspectives of multiple communities, including communities of color, in the consideration of impacts and outcomes of a project or initiative. 
  • Assist with meeting facilitation, website updates, social media, Earth Day events, and other duties as needed. 


  • Experience working with communities that represent diversity in race, ethnicity, income, language, and disability status.
  • Strong understanding of climate change and environmental justice. 
  • Environmental science teaching experience or experience as an environmental educator – demonstrated success in informal or formal education for grades K-12.
  • Excellent project management skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills – able to easily connect with people and engage youth.
  • Superb communication skills – able to communicate and distil complex concepts to a variety of audiences and ages.
  • Strong organizational skills – experienced in tracking projects with a high level of organization.
  • Independence – can "hit the ground running" and work with minimal supervision.
  • Flexibility – able to change course quickly and effectively.
  • Time management and prioritization skills – able to effectively manage time between multiple projects.
  • Bilingual language skills.

The preferred candidate will possess a Bachelor's degree in Education, Environmental Studies, Sustainability, or a related field. Bilingual in Spanish or Mandarin is a plus.

Currently, we have one full time, limited term Resource Conservation Climate Action Specialist I-II position available.

NOTE: This is a limited term, at-will position for an initial term of 1 year, not to exceed 3 years. Limited Term employees receive full medical and dental benefits, similar to regular employees, and a portable 401(a) plan. However, the eligible list generated from this recruitment may be used to fill future extra-help, term, unclassified, and regular classified vacancies.

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is one year of experience in the field of resource conservation which has included program analysis and coordination. 

FINAL FILING DATE:  July 19, 2021

To learn more about the position and to apply online, please visit our website at Applications are only accepted online. Responses to the supplemental questions must be submitted in addition to our regular employment application form, a resume, and a cover letter. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required employment application and supplemental questionnaire. EOE

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