by Matilda Peck
Fellows at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
February morning began cold and dreary, and SEI's Climate Corps team shivered together on the stairs of the California Academy of Sciences. However, with each Fellow arriving for the annual Climate Corps Fellow Retreat the weather seemed to improve. By the time Naomi Lichtenstein arrived, a Program Associate at Earth Team, the sky was almost as sunny as their outlook. “I was really excited to meet the other Fellows,” said Lichtenstein. “I hope to learn more about their fellowship experiences and what they hope to do afterward.”
The Climate Corps retreat is an in-person event that happens midway through each 10-month cycle, Jessica Carver, Project Coordinator, explained. “This was a chance for everyone to come together, reflect on their experience, share out with the group, and make professional and personal connections with other Fellows.” This year, California-based Fellows gathered in two locations: The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
Group rock-paper-scissors, played among other games in Golden Gate Park
Leading the San Francisco retreat, Jessica shared that “the morning icebreaker activities were my favorite part. They were a chance for me to connect with Fellows and hear about their experiences thus far. Plus, we just had a blast.” Fellows’ laughter reverberated through Golden Gate Park and passersby paused to watch the cohort play a group game of rock-paper-scissors.
With everyone warmed up, the cohort headed into the California Academy of Sciences. “They say time flies when you're having fun, and time flew by very quickly,” said Chris Otoshi, a Construction and Demolition Zero Waste Fellow for the San Francisco Department of Environment. “I had the opportunity to deepen and form new connections with Fellows. The seahorses were pretty amazing, too.”
By lunchtime, Fellows were buzzing with stories from the museum. “I saw the albino alligator!” said David Cobar, an Energy and Water Benchmarking Fellow for the City of San Jose. “Getting to explore the exhibits with my new community was really cool.” The group enjoyed a picnic in Golden Gate Park and then slowly dispersed—some to explore the park, others to return to the museum.
Lunch outside the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Energized by time spent with Fellows at the retreat, SEI’s Climate Corps team is excited to start hiring for the 2023-2024 cycle. Are you interested in being a Fellow? We have open positions , such as Garden Educator (San Francisco, CA), Energize Colleges Fellow (Los Angeles Community College District, CA), Sustainability Associate (General Services Administration, WA), and Climate Resilience and Community Innovation Fellow (Unite Oregon, OR). Apply to these fellowships or learn more about the Climate Corps program here.
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