Community Engagement

CREL Spotlight:

By Paloma Lobos

Paloma Lobos with Air Sensors

SEI’s Climate Corps is a fellowship program that partners with higher education institutions, local governments, non-profit and for-profit businesses to host and support fellows with climate mitigation and resiliency projects. My SEI Climate Corps fellowship, funded by ForeFront Power, a leading solar energy provider to schools around the country, supports my participation in hands-on sustainability project implementation and professional development experiences as the Kern Community College District’s Sustainability Fellow.

As a fellow, I have developed a project that focuses on monitoring the levels of PM 2.5, a form of particle pollution, at Bakersfield College and the Weill Institute. This project informs students and community members on the levels of PM2.5 in the area and introduces them to air quality monitoring using community mapping. For the duration of my fellowship, I will be managing the air quality sensors and collecting baseline data. The data collected can be used for seasonal air quality assessments, observing changes in PM 2.5 levels during wildfire seasons, and as a digital health tool for community members. I plan to use the sensors to observe potential changes in PM 2.5 levels throughout the electrification of the BC campus and the Weill Institute. I hope to bring the PurpleAir mapping tool to local high school students to engage them in hands-on data management and inform students of the impact renewable energy technologies can have on the air quality in Kern County.

In addition to project development, I have helped support Bakersfield College students participating in research projects in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Project Development Solutions (PDS). During the first six-week Carbon Capture Student Research Project I worked closely with my site supervisor, Sara Sullivan, to assist students with any nontechnical questions, create and monitor weekly check-in surveys to track student progress, and prep the final presentations for students. I took on a more instructional role during the second student project focused on Microgrids. In addition to writing and publishing weekly check-ins on Canvas, I hosted supplemental one-on-one meetings to support students throughout the program. I was also given the opportunity to lead a discussion towards the end of the student research project. I discussed the environmental impacts of Microgrids, grid resilience, and local community impact. I have also been able to connect with students and community members through outreach events like the Career and STEM Expo hosted by CTEC and the Department of Energy public meeting held in Arvin, CA.

CREL along with SEI’s Climate Corps. and Forefront Power is dedicated to helping fellows explore professional development opportunities. As a result, I have continued volunteering with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to help with small mammal monitoring and assist in collecting samples for vegetation assessment. I have also been supported in completing the University of California Climate Stewards Course which will help me in obtaining a UC Climate Stewards Certification. These experiences have developed my science communication skills, increased my confidence in becoming a climate literacy advocate, and supported my personal and professional goals.


CREL Team at West LA Climate Symposium

CREL Video Series

Quarterly Update

  • Q2 2023: Issue 2
    • CREL Unveils Plan for Agrivoltaics Demonstration Project at the Bakersfield College Delano Campus

    • CREL Celebrates their 1 Year Anniversary
    • Bakersfield College to Celebrate Grand Opening of Regenerative Agriculture Education Center with Ribbon Cutting and Agrivoltaics Demonstration
    • CREL at the Wonderful Career Center
    • Fall AWE Webinar Wrap Up
    • Bakersfield College Manufacturing Day
    • California Germany Agrivoltaics Conference
    • Purple Air: Independence High School Energy Academy
    • Women in Trades Workshop Event
    • Energy Science B22 Returning Spring 2024
  • Q1 2023: Issue 1
    • Department of Energy Announces the Selection of the California DAC Hub Consortium
    • CREL at B3K Prosperity X CA FWD Regional Energy Listening Session
    • CREL at the Bakersfield College New Student Convocation
    • AWE Education Series: Revitalizing the Earth
    • Bakersfield College Student Involvement Festival
    • CREL's 1 Year Anniversary

Meeting Resources

Ag/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series


CREL 1-Year Anniversary


Community Energy Education Workshops

in partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Building Healthy Communities Kern