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Blodgett Forest Research Station
(Berkeley Forests)

Georgetown, CA

https://forests.berkeley.edu/forests/blodgett

Research to Extension Continuum: Building Forest Resilience on Private Lands

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Degree in Natural Resources or related field, familiarity with Sierra Nevada ecology, forest management concepts, etc.

  • Work experience or coursework including field exercises covering the following:

    • Vegetation measurement techniques, including use of tree measurement tools.

    • Identification of common Sierra Nevada plants or familiarity with Sierra Nevada ecology.

    • Field orientation/surveying including use of a compass and maps.

  • Secondary skills include:

    • Excellent communication skills and ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders.

    • Experience working independently and as a team member.

    • Applicants must be physically fit and capable of sustained physical work during summer forest weather conditions.

  • Desired training or experience:

    • Effective workplace communication

    • On-boarding and administrative training (such as how to fill out Americorps time cards and access Americorps account)

    • First Aid or Wilderness First Responder training (host site can also support)

Openings: 1 of 1

Copy of blodgett burning peeps (1).jpg
Focus Area: Forestry/Fire

Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Ecological Forestry, Fire Preparedness & Management, Education & Outreach, Volunteer Engagement

project breakdown

Research

40%

Planning

0%

Implementation

30%

Education & Outreach

30%

Goals & Needs

 

Berkeley Forests is the forestry and wildland fire research center at the University of California Berkeley. Berkeley Forests features a statewide network of research forests, which act as living laboratories for educational visitors, hosts for innovative forest research, and training centers for future land stewards to sustain resilient forests in a changing climate. A mix of long-term research installations, short-term field experiments, and controls provides a breadth of examples to best understand how forest management can evolve over the coming century.

 

The GrizzlyCorps Member will assist with: (1) Applied forest research and monitoring in the areas of natural fire reintroduction, post-wildfire restoration, silviculture improvement for forest resilience, and adaptive management for climate change and (2) Development of educational materials and assistance with workshops and community events. Berkeley Forests will host this position and provide primary support and work responsibilities while offering opportunities to collaborate with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) Forestry and Fire Advisors and Specialists on outreach and education projects throughout the Sierra Nevada and north state.

 

California faces a burning issue with the increasing pace and scale of severe wildfires. Current wildfire extremes follow the well-documented drought across the central and southern portions of the state with correlated tree mortality across the central and southern Sierra Nevada mountain range. With nearly 8 million acres of forestland owned by small landowners (owning less than 50 acres) in California, it is essential that best management practices are utilized by all Californians to protect forest lands in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner. Development of novel research and delivery of research findings to local communities will facilitate management planning, permitting, and cost share opportunities for forest restoration, fuels reduction, and habitat enhancement plans. This Fellow will have the opportunity to see active management leveraged for a variety of research objectives and assist in communicating those outcomes to a range of audiences.

Capacity Building Projects

Given the breadth of ongoing research and management activities occurring across Berkeley Forests’ properties, there is significant opportunity for the projects that this Fellow contributes towards to be customized to their specific professional goals.

 

1: Post-Wildfire Restoration

 

Blodgett Forest was impacted by the 2022 Mosquito Fire and Whitaker’s Forest in the Southern Sierra was impacted by the 2021 KNP Complex. Berkeley Forests currently has grant funding supporting restoration work across both these projects. Throughout their term the Fellow would have the opportunity to support these reforestation efforts (including site preparation and planting), monitor their effectiveness, and organize and create related demonstration and educational opportunities. This may include assisting with hosting tours, or creating videos or other outreach materials to share the process and lessons from these restoration efforts with California forestland owners.

 

Throughout the state small non-industrial forestland owners impacted by wildfire face a lack of accessible tools and options for accomplishing post-fire recovery. Despite its role as a larger research network, Berkeley Forests is functionally a private landowner facing the same restrictions and policies and many of the same roadblocks, and thus can serve a key role in landowner education regarding wildfire recovery.

 

2: Hands-on Support of Management and Research Efforts

 

Work with Berkeley Forests will offer the Fellow the opportunity to gain familiarity with a range of forestry field work, including usage of all standard forest measurement tools for a variety of research protocols and post-fire monitoring. They will be able to assist with the layout and implementation of research and management work including timber harvests, mechanical and chainsaw fuels treatments, and prescribed burns. Besides on the ground progress, the products of this work will include treatment tracking, map development, website and media updates, and data organization and analysis. Each of these products will help to inform future management decisions as well as maintain engagement with both the local community and broader public.

 

3: UC ANR Collaboration

 

This Fellow would have the opportunity to work directly with UC ANR extension specialists and advisors on research and education program development. This may include assisting in hosting workshops, creating education materials such as pamphlets or videos, or contributing to research and demonstration projects. Berkeley Forests is currently collaborating with UC ANR academics on prescribed grazing research, workforce development training with local community colleges, landowner forest stewardship and prescribed fire training, and numerous other long-term forest management studies.

Organizational & Community Highlights

This community partnership is designed to offer GrizzlyCorps members an opportunity to experience a variety of forest communities and their approach to management of forest systems. The primary host location will be the iconic Blodgett Forest Research Station near the town of Georgetown, California. This station is located in a unique forested setting that offers hands on experience living and working with forest professionals and academics. The station is an applied research forest where the member will experience the evolution of forest practice from new innovation to practical implementation. Throughout each year Blodgett Forest hosts numerous non-profits, student groups, and community groups for trainings and forestry education workshops and tours, which would provide the Fellow with exposure to the broader forestry community and needs of stakeholders throughout the Sierra Nevada. In addition, the Fellow would have opportunities for travel to several of the five other Berkeley Forests research properties to experience various forest types and projects.

 

Through projects with Berkeley Forests this Fellow would have the opportunity to serve both immediate and statewide communities through education and outreach utilizing a variety of mediums. Diversity and inclusion are hallmarks of UC’s mission to extend knowledge for all Californians. Gender inclusion requires providing access and equity by creating an environment that is safe, accessible, and respectful of all individuals. Within a statewide forestry and fire workforce that lacks diversity in many respects, Berkeley Forests strives to create a workplace that is not only safe and inclusive for all identities but prioritizes creating genuinely accessible space for education of marginalized groups.

 

Due to the breadth of projects this Fellow would contribute to, their responsibilities and day-to-day tasks would look very different each month. Throughout the start of their term they would have the opportunity to work with Blodgett’s seasonal field crews and gain experience with forest inventory protocols and data collection methods, fuels management (e.g. chainsaw work), and wildfire restoration efforts. Throughout the fall and spring there would be opportunities to support prescribed burning implementation. During the winter and throughout their term they would be given office time to work with Berkeley Forests staff and UC academics on a variety of outreach and education projects.

Housing

Housing will be provided at Berkeley Forests' Blodgett Forest Research Station for the duration of the project. Blodgett Forest features a number of shared housing options (A-frame cabins, bunk houses) or private lodging (guest house, trapper cabin, staff house), all of which feature cooking facilities and utilities (water and power). Most lodging is heated via wood fire stove.  Rate is $500/month. Blodgett Forest also contains administrative space for full time staff (offices and cubicles), meeting centers and a large-group dining center. Full time staff are typically on-site five days per week.

 

Blodgett Forest is located 20 minutes from the small, mountain community of Georgetown, CA and is about an hour away from the larger towns of Placerville and Auburn. Recreational opportunities such as camping and boating can be found nearby at the Stumpy Meadows Reservoir and Rubicon River.   Blodgett Forest is a productive mixed conifer forest, with smaller proportions of oak forest, and shrubland.  The forest has been managed by UC Berkeley since 1933. Elevation ranges from 1,200 m to 1,500 m (3,900’ to 4,800’) and four fish-bearing streams flow through the forest, which contains over 400 species of plants and habitat for 150 species of animals.  Annual precipitation averages 166 cm (65″) with a range of 580-2740 mm (23 to 108″). Annual snowfall averages 2540 mm (100″). Summer temperatures range from 14 C to 27 C (57 to 80 degrees F) and winter temperatures from 0 C to 9 C (32 to 48 degrees F). The site regularly hosts field tours for youth and legislative groups, and has one of the most active prescribed fire programs in the state.

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