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audubon Canyon Ranch

Marshall, CA

Providing context for conservation: improving mapping, data management, and analysis to support resilient landscapes at Audubon Canyon Ranch

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Academic background: The ideal candidate will have education and/or work experience equivalent to a 4 year degree in environmental science or a related field. They will have a strong interest in computing and data
    processing, with course work and experience using ESRI products. Candidate should also have basic knowledge about database design and management.

  • Primary skills:

    • GIS: field mapping (basic principles of GPS) and data collection, experience with ESRI products,
      spatial data management

    • Database construction and management, including experience with programing languages (e.g.,
      SQL, R, Python)

    • Computer skills, especially Microsoft Access, Excel, and ESRI products and apps (e.g., ArcGIS Pro,
      ArcGIS Online, Field Maps, and Survey123).

  • Secondary skills:

    • Written and verbal communication and relationship building

    • CA driver's license and good driver's record

    • Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the north-central CA Coast Range

Openings: 1 of 1

Focus Area: Forestry/Fire

Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Ecological Forestry, Fire Preparedness & Management, Watershed Management

project breakdown







Education & Outreach


Goals & Needs

Audubon Canyon Ranch connects nature, people, and science for a more resilient world. We hold and
steward over 5000 acres across Marin, Sonoma, and Lake counties, from the serene shoreline of Bolinas
Lagoon to the wild heights of the Mayacamas Mountains. We restore ecosystems, enhance water
quality, monitor wildlife populations, and build resilience of natural and human communities against
wildfire and other environmental challenges. Fully fifty years of stewardship activities and ecological
research on our preserves have generated a diverse range of data and information. Additionally, a mixed
history of use including cattle grazing, farming, timber production, and public visitation on the lands we

steward creates both challenges and opportunities for restoration. Every aspect of our work relies on
the efficient flow of information, but knowledge gaps and incomplete information hinder our ability to
1) decide whether or not new infrastructure is needed and if current infrastructure can be removed or
improved, 2) understand the impacts of past and future stewardship practices on the landscape, 3)
optimize application of energy and cost efficient upgrades, and 4) track maintenance to reduce costs
and improves safety for visitors, collaborators, etc.

By addressing these information challenges, the GrizzlyCorps Fellow will build our capacity to improve
climate resilience and ecosystem function on our preserves and better serve diverse community
members with our education programs. The Fellow will design, build, document, and populate a
database to hold ecological and stewardship data. They will also collect and curate new spatial data on
preserve infrastructure. A focus of both of these tasks will be creation and delivery of products to
communicate preserve data and database protocols to diverse audiences both within Audubon Canyon
Ranch and with members of our community. The Fellow will gain valuable and transferable skills and
experience in database design and management, mapping, ecology, restoration, and communication. A
typical week will involve a mix of office time based at our Cypress Grove Research Center, where most of
the GIS and Analyst staff work, and traveling to preserves to map features and learn about stewardship
projects. The two projects described below will each take about half of the fellowship period. Improving
our ability to store, find, retrieve, and understand our varied sources of information will amplify our
efforts to build more resilient natural and human communities.

Capacity Building Projects

Project One: Database support for adaptive management

This project will directly support Audubon Canyon Ranch at all the preserves we are responsible for. The
GrizzlyCorps Fellow will support Audubon Canyon Ranch’s mission by improving the accessibility and use
of our extensive ecological and stewardship data. Specifically, they will work closely with science and
stewards at each preserve to:

1. Review, summarize, and compile existing spatial and non-spatial data, determine data
structures, and ensure documentation and metadata. These data will include biodiversity
information, land use and land cover, and infrastructure.
2. Identify current and anticipated future project tracking and database needs.
3. Research, design, and build a database that will allow existing and future projects and data to be
discoverable and accessible, and easily accommodates new databases and data types.
4. Create outreach materials to communicate database utility and use to Audubon Canyon Ranch
staff and to our partners.

The ultimate product from this project will be the database described in point 3 above. A critical
secondary product will be the refinement of our procedures for collecting, storing, and retrieving data
and its metadata. This project will dramatically increase Audubon Canyon Ranch’s capacity to steward
the lands we are responsible for and to share what we learn with partners and neighbors under our
changing climate. This project will be entirely computer and office based. This project will allow the
Fellow to gain valuable and transferable knowledge in ecology, data management, and database design.

Project Two: Mapping infrastructure and facilities

The GrizzlyCorp Fellow will work closely with Audubon Canyon Ranch’s GIS Specialist and the
stewardship staff at all preserves to map and document human built infrastructure. This project will be a
combination of fieldwork and office time. Fieldwork will include using a high-accuracy GPS receiver to
map the location and document additional information of key infrastructure identified by preserve staff.
Emphasis will be placed on integrating the mapped data into our existing geospatial library and ArcGIS
Online catalog and educating ACR staff on how to access it. Office time will include managing and
documenting that generated data. The office time will be based at the Cypress Grove Preserve where
the GIS Specialist works, but field work will take place across Marin and Sonoma counties. Depending on
Fellow aptitude and the time required to map infrastructure, this project may also include developing
smartphone tools for ArcGIS Online dashboards for tracking infrastructure maintenance and sharing
status with preserve managers.

The main product of this project will be a living spatial database of human-built resources across ACR
preserves. This will include the status and condition of these key resources that support conservation
science, stewardship, and education programs. The spatial database resulting from this project will be
an important tool for making decisions about what infrastructure to restore and what to retire, so we
can prioritize action for more climate resilient preserves. It will also help us care for watersheds that
may be negatively impacted by aging infrastructure like ranch roads and it will dramatically improve our
ability to protect important resources against wildfire and other environmental threats. Ultimately, this
product will dramatically improve our ability to balance our joint strategic initiatives of stewarding the
land we’re responsible for and engaging diverse community members with the natural world.

Organizational & Community Highlights

Our organizational values include heart, boldness, and impact. Heart = We care about the work and each
other. We approach our work with humility, generosity, and compassion. Boldness = We work for
change, questioning assumptions. We are adventurous and creative. Impact = We aim to make a
difference for nature and people. We set clear goals and work smart to meet them. Our staff are proud
to live these values, every day.

We value diverse communities and perspectives and support a culture of shared leadership. Many of our
staff are proud to have worked at ACR for over a decade, which is a testament to the positive culture.
We are also one of the fastest growing environmental non-profits in the Bay Area. The result is a thriving
and vibrant culture that includes both a long-term perspective and fresh ideas, making it an ideal and
positive environment for early career conservationists to develop their professional skills.

The Corps member will have the opportunity to work on all four of our beautiful preserves - each has a
cadre of early-to-mid career land stewards and resource ecologists. Two preserves host education
programs that introduce thousands of youth to the natural world each year. Our staff are also musicians,

writers, photographers, surfers, and adventurers. All share a passion for stewarding our natural
resources, for inclusion of all communities in the benefits of healthy natural ecosystems, and for
bringing equity into the world of conservation careers. The Corps member will find mentors and
enthusiasts in nearly every area of interest - from birds, herps, and mountain lions to climate science,
botany, and geology – all focused on our vision of a world where the diversity of life thrives and nature
benefits all.


Audubon Canyon Ranch will be providing housing to

their fellow. Swipe to explore the Research Center's

Studio Cabin!

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