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Bay Area Climate Justice Fellowships 2022: Building Resilience to Sea Level Rise in the Bay Area - Advancing Policy Frameworks and Technical Analysis

Environmental Sustainability, 
Technology & Engineering, 
Law, Policy & Justice

About the organization

The San Mateo County Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District (OneShoreline) is an independent government agency that works across jurisdictional boundaries to secure and leverage public and private resources for the long-term climate resilience of San Mateo County. With lengthy shorelines along San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, San Mateo County has more people and property at risk from sea level rise than any other county in the California, which is why all cities within the County, plus the County itself, have invested in the early success of OneShoreline, the first government agency of its kind west of the Mississippi. 

To develop transformative solutions at the scale of this climate-driven crisis, OneShoreline is pursuing and managing projects by taking a holistic approach to:

  • Geography – OneShoreline is the vehicle through which San Mateo County and its cities can align efforts across jurisdictional lines and within the context of an entire watershed or regional shoreline;
  • Threats – OneShoreline focuses on the singular and combined impacts of water-related, climate-driven hazards (sea level rise, extreme storms, and coastal erosion);
  • Objectives – While OneShoreline’s priority is flood protection, it incorporates the benefits of environmental and recreational enhancements where possible.

Given that OneShoreline was established in January 2020, a Summer 2022 fellow will have an opportunity to develop key information that will help shape the future of this important countywide agency. Through this fellowship, a student would gain real-world experience in both the political and technical dimensions of climate change infrastructure planning and implementation. Fellows will become acquainted with the landscape of climate resilience work in San Mateo County and beyond, and will wrestle with the challenges of working across multiple jurisdictions and the tensions that arise between differing objectives. Fellows will also have the opportunity to connect with a diverse set of agencies and stakeholders in public policy, engineering, urban planning and environmental fields. 

About the fellowship

A Summer 2022 fellow will work with OneShoreline and its partner agencies to explore central technical and/or policy questions as the agency advances regional projects related to the shoreline, inland flooding, coastal erosion, and stormwater. In your application, you will be asked to indicate your interest in a fellowship focused on policy or technical aspects of the OneShoreline’s work, as described below. In addition, a Policy or Technical Fellow will have an opportunity to participate in staff meetings, interact with staff at other agencies in San Mateo County, and if timing and circumstances allow, present their findings to OneShoreline’s Board of Directors, composed of city and county elected officials.

A Policy Fellow may complete tasks involving the following activities or issue areas: 

  • Digesting information from various studies/reports and synthesizing into clear written deliverables (scoping documents, briefs, request for proposals, grant applications).
  • Supporting the development of a uniform policy for sea level rise protection along the entire County shoreline on San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, in the context of existing and planned development and environmental/recreational enhancements, as well as a public engagement campaign to build support for it.
  •  Evaluating the environmental permitting process in the era of climate change to ensure that sea level rise protection efforts can move forward and species can thrive in the increasingly dynamic environment.

A Technical Analysis Fellow may complete tasks involving the following activities or issue areas:

●    Support the development and interpretation of technical information to enhance our understanding of the flood risk in San Mateo County by incorporating recent hydrologic and hydraulic studies completed for specific watersheds and accounting for impacts of constructed/planned flood protection infrastructure.

●    Develop a comprehensive map of shoreline elevations for San Mateo County using available LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data.

●    Support coordination with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that improves their models by incorporating recent studies of specific watersheds within the county 

●    Develop a database of flooding hotspots in San Mateo County, where locations of past floods are mapped and documented. The database could also incorporate a citizen science portal that allows residents to report flooding during storm events.


  • Graduate level student (Masters, Law, or PhD) 
  • Independent worker, comfortable taking initiative and seeking out resources 
  • Strong team-worker and collaborator
  • Excellent communication skills in English (the language of the fellowship), including in presentations and writing. Applicants for the Policy Fellowship will have the option of submitting a writing sample relevant to the topic.
  • For the policy fellow role, students should be very familiar with policy issues related to climate change adaptation and comfortable thinking creatively about these issues.
  • For the technical/mapping fellow role, students should have strong analytical skills and experience with relevant software. This can include all or a subset of the following: ArcGIS, HEC-RAS, and data manipulation/processing tools (e.g. R, MATLAB, Python).


  • Masters students: $7,500 (for a full-time role)
  • PhD students: up to $5,000 in supplemental summer income (for a part-time role)


This is a full-time, 9-week opportunity during Summer 2022, starting no later than July 5, 2022. This opportunity is open to Masters and PhD level students only (coterm students are not eligible). PhD students may apply for up to 50% time. Graduating students are welcome to apply, but may receive lower priority.

Please review our program policies for complete eligibility requirements. 

Additional Fellowship Requirements

This opportunity is associated with Partnerships for Climate Justice in the Bay Area (PCJ in the Bay), an initiative to build equitable climate change solutions by supporting partnerships between Stanford students, faculty and Bay Area community leaders. Fellows are expected to participate in cohort activities with other PCJ in the Bay Fellows. 

Additional requirements include:

Spring 2022:

  • Complete an online program orientation.

  • Complete Engaging in Ethical and Effective Service workshop or worksheet.

  • Design a personal learning plan and share the learning plan with site supervisor and academic mentor.

During the Summer 2022 fellowship:

  • Submit a brief preliminary report.

  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.

  • Attend one or more PCJ in the Bay Fellows cohort sessions (more information will be shared about these events in spring quarter)

Fall 2022:

  • Participate in outreach activities to share the experience and help publicize the program




United States


February 1, 2022 | 11:59 PM
* This Application Deadline has passed

Open To

Graduate Students


Offered By

Haas Center for Public Service
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