Ariel Ambruster is an associate facilitator for several of the Center's Bay Area projects in the areas of environmental planning, water resources policy and emergency management. She facilitates, conducts assessments and provides project management in stakeholder-driven public policy processes, as well as developing and implementing public involvement plans. She also provides writing and communications services. Projects include the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, the Bay Area Water Forum, the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan and Alameda County's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Scientific Review Committee. She facilitates the Bay Area Water Forum, Salt Pond Project regional committees and conducted a series of public scoping meetings for the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. She has facilitated public meetings for the City of El Cerrito on climate change and recycling issues; produced an assessment on Russian River species-based management changes for the Sonoma County Water Agency and developed the Water Trail's draft education, outreach and stewardship plan.
Ariel produced the Center working paper “Collaborative Versus Technocratic Policymaking: California's Statewide Water Plan" as her thesis for a 2007 Masters degree at the University of California, Berkeley in City and Regional Planning with a concentration in Environmental Planning. The paper compares the collaborative 2005 Water Plan Update to the previous 1998 version, which was developed through a more traditional agency-driven process. Ariel has presented her research findings at national conferences hosted by the American Political Science Association and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the California state conference of the American Planning Association. Ariel has fourteen years of experience as a newspaper reporter covering county, city and regional land-use and governance issues. She completed coursework at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism after earning a B.A. with highest honors in Political Science at California State University Long Beach.