Volunteers Sought for Montgomery County’s Two Newest Climate Planning Process Workgroups

August 20, 2019

New workgroups are Focused on Community Engagement/Education and Climate Adaptation/Sequestration – Apply by September 15, 2019

Montgomery County has launched a planning process to develop prioritized actions and strategies to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals of 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035. The County has already formed three “technical workgroups” of experienced volunteers that will help in this effort. Now the County is seeking volunteers for two additional workgroups.

Montgomery was the first county in the nation to declare a “climate emergency.” Earlier this summer, three technical workgroups—on buildings, clean energy and transportation—were formed to help identify the needed strategies. To augment its climate planning effort, the County is now seeking volunteers to serve on workgroups focused on community engagement/education and climate adaptation/sequestration.

Interested individuals should have demonstrable expertise related to the workgroup topics, including identifying economic and equity challenges and opportunities that might arise in meeting these goals. Applicants not selected for the original three workgroups will automatically be considered for the new workgroups. The deadline to submit letters of interest is Sept. 15.

The workgroups will:

  • Review past County climate reports and plans and best practices from other jurisdictions.
  • Recommend actions and innovative strategies for community engagement/education and for climate adaptation/sequestration.
  • Identify metrics that can be tracked, as well as data and knowledge gaps that could benefit from, additional technical analysis.

Each workgroup will consist of community members as well as County Government staff. Each workgroup will be co-facilitated by a County Government staff member and by a member of the community. Workgroups will convene approximately once a month from Fall 2019 to early 2020. Meetings will be held on a weekday or weeknight, in Rockville or Silver Spring. Workgroup members are expected to attend each meeting in person.

Following the workgroup convening process, the public will be invited to review the workgroup findings and provide input. A description of each workgroup:

Climate Adaptation and Sequestration Workgroup

Climate change has created new weather patterns. In Montgomery County, this is most evident in the frequency of rainfall events that, coupled with historical development patterns, create flooding and drainage issues. This workgroup will develop recommendations for reducing the County’s climate change vulnerability and strengthening the County’s ability to prepare for and withstand threats (known as hazard mitigation). Other topics for exploration include the effect of periods of high heat on vulnerable populations, the reliability of the electric grid and the reliability of public infrastructure. The workgroup also will develop recommendations for carbon sequestration, which is the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it (such as in soil through tree planting or regenerative agriculture). Specific skills/background sought for volunteers: public health, agriculture, green infrastructure, emergency management, climatology, utility/energy management, social services and/or finance/economics.

Public Engagement/Education Workgroup

Engaging the public regarding climate change and the County’s aggressive climate goals is vital to the success of all other County efforts. If the public does not understand the issues the County is trying to address, and the policies and programs that may be put in place, the County’s GHG reduction efforts will not reach their full potential. This workgroup will identify opportunities to communicate with and educate residents about the urgency of taking climate action; advise on effective communications strategies for engagement with diverse audiences; identify partners and linkages to other issues that people care about (such as public health); identify and promote resources that people can use to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to a changing climate at the household level; and identify mechanisms to conduct on-going “climate conversations” with residents. Specific skills/background sought for volunteers: marketing and communications. Education, youth perspectives, public health and/or community leaders.

Qualified community members interested in volunteering with one or more workgroups can submit an expression of interest, cover letter and resume by Sept. 15 to climate@montgomerycountymd.gov. Anyone interested in serving on multiple workgroups should indicate their first and second choices.

Learn more about the climate planning process.

14 comments on "Volunteers Sought for Montgomery County’s Two Newest Climate Planning Process Workgroups"

  1. I am the Chair of the Sierra Club Montgomery County, MD and Chair Membership Engagement. I am interested in serving on the Public Engagement/Education Workgroup and will submit my letter of interest. Please include my email in your updates. Thank you for your organizing these workgroups on Environmental issues.

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      Thank you for your interest and engagement on this issue! The selection committee looks forward to receiving your application for the Public Engagement/Education Workgroup.

  2. Alemayehu Jemaneh says:

    I am Alemayehu Jemaneh who is living in silver spring. I really appreciate the job you have been engaged, As an environmental professional i would like participate in climate action and climate change issues in order to contribute at least updating my self and informed for my day to day life. Together we can make a difference in climate action. Thank you

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      Thanks for your interest, Alemayehu! Looking forward to receiving your application by September 15th.

  3. John Kaelin says:

    I will submit application! Hope we will meet soon

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      Thanks for your interest and willingness to jump in and help with our climate change challenges!

  4. Stephen Whelan says:

    You guys have made a great decision to broaden the Work Group tasking. I think you’ll be impressed with the response and the quality of applicants you hear from. My guess is that you’ll find a deep bench for volunteers willing to assist the Work Groups.

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      We think so, too! Montgomery County is lucky to have incredible talent and expertise right in our backyard, and we’re looking forward to engaging more volunteers in our efforts.

  5. Laura Yaffe says:

    Good afternoon,

    I am writing to express my interest in being considered for the Public Adaptation and Sequestration Workgroup. I completed a law degree in 1993 from the Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law, Portland Oregon, and I earned a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 2000. I have worked as a senior planner for an urban county planning department and served as a village planning commissioner. I have participated in all aspects of community planning and the public process. I am interested in the opportunity to use my background in community planning and my legal training to contribute to the efforts being made to maintain the high quality of life that we enjoy in Montgomery County, and to find ways to address the diverse interests and concerns of all our residents. As an urban planner and a planning commissioner, I have participated in all aspects of community planning and the public process. I believe that I can contribute to the efforts of the Montgomery County Council and staff to develop effective climate adaptation and resiliency planning and decision making.

    Thank You,

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      Hi Laura – thanks for your interest! It looks like you have an impressive background. Please make sure to submit your expression of interest and resume to climate@montgomerycountymd.gov if you haven’t already.

  6. Sarah Lesher says:

    I am interested in serving on the Climate Adaptation and Sequestration Workgroup. I’ll submit formal letter and a relevant version of my CV as soon as possible, since Climate Emergency and Drawdown loom.

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      Excellent! Thank you for your interest in this workgroup. We look forward to reviewing your expression of interest.

  7. Matty Guerin says:

    I am interested in submitting my qualifications for the Public Engagement/Education Workgroup. I am currently working in the Community Solar industry as a marketer and believe that I have a lot to contribute to the public engagement and education aspect, as it is what I already do professionally. I will submit my requested documents in the next couple days.

    Matty Guerin

    1. Lindsey Shaw says:

      We’re looking forward to your expression of interest!

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