mendocino resource conservation district
*These positions have been filled*
1. Climate Resilience: Sustainable Agriculture and Water Technician
2. Forest Ecosystem Management Education and Planning
Comfortable with community outreach and collaborating with team members, while being able to work on a team effectively
Skills in planning, writing, communications, networking
Project 1:Education/background in soil health, sustainable agriculture, water conservation
Project 2: education/background in forestry, natural resource management, ecology
Experience with ArcGiS, Excel, Powerpoint
Social media and outreach
Spanish Speaking a plus
Presenting and reporting research/project findings
Openings: 0 of 2
Focus Area: Agriculture/Forestry
Ecological Forestry, Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Fire Preparedness & Management, Education & Outreach, Regenerative Agriculture, Watersheds
Education & Outreach
Goals & Needs
The mission of the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) is to conserve, protect, and restore wild and working landscapes to enhance the health of the water, soil, and forests of Mendocino County. Mendocino County was the first in California to be declared a drought emergency by Governor Newson in April 2021, and Water Year 2022 is equally dire. The need for resources and assistance is vast, and MCRCD is at the forefront of the county’s organized efforts, striving to scale programs and build the capacity necessary to meet those needs.
The GrizzlyCorps Fellow will support MCRCD in the Sustainable Agriculture and Water Programs including:
Expand capacity for Carbon Farm Planning and CDFA Climate Smart Agriculture programs, including promoting practices that enhance carbon sequestration and reduced carbon emissions
Provide support for the water program, including groundwater monitoring, as well as drought and climate resilient water practices, as well as developing alternative water use workshops and demonstrations
Provide outreach and education on climate beneficial agriculture in Mendocino County, including general outreach for the MCRCD (social media, website, newsletters, etc)
Founded in 1945, MCRCD is a non-regulatory, public agency that works with communities to conserve, protect, and restore natural resources in a landscape that supports agriculture, timberland, wild lands, and urban areas. MCRCD has active partnerships with local governments, agencies, tribes, school districts, landowners, and community organizations to meet our mission and goals.
MCRCD has well-established Sustainable Agriculture, Water, and Forestry teams. The Grizzly Corps fellow(s) will follow MCRCD’s guiding principles and work alongside the Sustainable Agriculture and Water Teams helping to deliver on the community and climate resilience goals listed in our Five-Year Strategic Plan.
MCRCD has previously hosted two GrizzlyCorps fellows who were successful in building capacity within the organization and developing themselves professionally; one is now a full-time MCRCD staff member and the other is currently in their service period with the potential for staff recruitment.
A typical work week involves a mix of office and field work that changes seasonally. Fellows can expect a majority of office work, beginning with regular check-ins with the MCRCD supervisor. Many days may be spent in communication with landowners, developing supporting materials for projects such as Carbon Farm Plans or Landowner Access Agreements, social media and newsletter materials for events, or attending webinars. A handful of days per month will be spent in the field collecting data or at landowner site visits.
Founded in 1945, MCRCD is a non-regulatory, public agency that works with communities to conserve, protect, and restore natural resources in a landscape that supports agriculture, timberland, wild lands, and urban areas. MCRCD has active partnerships with local governments, agencies, tribes, school districts, landowners, and community organizations to meet our mission and goals. Mendocino County has experienced some of the worst drought and fire impacts in California in recent years, including the 2020 August Complex and the 2017 Redwood Complex fires.
Mendocino County is largely forested with a significant number of rural communities and subdivisions embedded in wildlands. People living in remote areas with swaths of dense forests between homes increases the population's vulnerability to wildfire, drought, and pests, making it a unique challenge to ensure the county's forestlands are resilient and safe for people and wildlife. MCRCD’s Forest Health and Resiliency Program aims to assist landowners and residents in how to sustainably manage their properties while looking at landscape-level forest health, watershed function, wildfire resilience, and a variety of ecosystem services.
The GrizzlyCorps Fellow will work to address multiple natural resources concerns within forested landscapes, including vegetation management to enhance forest health and resiliency, ecosystem enhancement, hazardous fuels reduction, and carbon sequestration. Work will include assisting in the coordination of forest health workshops; creating and gathering forest management and fire resiliency educational materials; creating outreach materials; assisting in forest management planning, forest inventory data collection, analysis for fuel reduction treatments and forest management plans; and helping coordinate landowner site visits to provide on-the-ground technical assistance.
A typical work week involves a mix of office and field work that changes seasonally. Fellows can expect a majority of office work, beginning with regular check-ins with the MCRCD supervisor. Many days may be spent in communication with landowners, developing supporting materials for projects such as Forest Management Plans, posting to social media and newsletter about events, or attending webinars. A handful of days per month will be spent in the field collecting data or at landowner site visits. The GrizzlyCorps Fellow will support MCRCD's challenging and rewarding efforts to actively manage for multiple benefits with a diverse population of landowners and residents.
Capacity Building Projects
1. Program support for Carbon Farm Planning: CFPs evaluate all facets of management practices of a property, assess resource concerns and landowner goals, identify opportunities for improving carbon sequestration and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then plan to make impactful changes across the landscape. The Fellow will assist in all planning aspects: surveying, mapping, writing, communications, literature review, and supporting managers with reporting materials. MCRCD currently has planning funds through Wildlife Conservation Board and an upcoming NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership.
2. CDFA Climate Smart Agriculture - Healthy Soils Program and State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program: This project includes assisting program staff to develop CFP components and providing technical assistance directly to landowners for planning sustainable agriculture practices, improved water management, and reduced fuel emissions in Mendocino and Lake Counties. The fellow may work in a team or individually to contact, assist, and follow up with producers. Project outcomes include the following: Completed applications , species lists, site maps, long term partnerships, and successful implementation.
3. NCO Farm-to-School Program: North Coast Opportunities (NCO) will collaborate with two school districts and three regional partners to enhance farm to school production and agriculture education in Mendocino County. The Fellow will work with MCRCD to create and implement modules on soil health, climate smart agricultural practices, and California native plants and pollinators.
4. Groundwater Elevation Monitoring: The Grizzly Corp Fellow will support water resources staff in groundwater elevation monitoring data collection and management and will be trained in proper sampling procedure. Desired outcomes include data quality control, reports, or presentations on groundwater elevation data.
5. Water Use Workshops and Demonstration Projects: Project will involve working with partners (ag producers, homeowners, Tribes, local water suppliers) to plan and conduct workshops and demonstration projects for rainwater catchment and greywater reuse. The Fellow will assist with outreach with landowners and tribes, identifying sites, installations, and conducting workshops. Outcomes will include two workshops, presentation and outreach materials, and landowner access agreements.
6. Outreach and Education Services: MCRCD lacks capacity for basic outreach and education services. We rely on program staff to conduct their own outreach and create necessary materials, and struggle with a consistent online presence. A fellow will be partially devoted to social media posts, videos, and newsletter development to engage stakeholders and the public about programs and regional conditions. Desired outcomes include weekly social media posts, and assistance with quarterly newsletters and the MCRCD annual report.
Over the past few years, California has committed to a significant investment in scaling up Climate Smart Ag through additional programs and funding. MCRCD intends to meet that increased demand for Carbon Farm Plans and Climate Smart Ag Technical assistance by growing our program with increased capacity and new funding sources. We also expect to expand planning and implementation assistance for pollinator & wildlife habitat establishment through a grant with the Wildlife Conservation Board if funded. Although our current Fellow was intended to work closely with the Farm-to-School program, contract delays and staffing changes postponed the project and the next Fellow will build upon and expand that program. The Fellow will also provide additional capacity in our water resources program, providing support to water supply planning and monitoring Finally, they would have specific time dedicated to expanding our community outreach through social media, newsletters, workshops, webinars, etc. in ways previous fellows did not have the time to devote.
1. Program support for Forest Management Planning: This project will include assisting forestry program staff and RPFs in the development and preparation of Forest Management Plans as part of the North Bay Forest Improvement Program. The fellow may work individually or as a team to conduct landowner interviews, collect forest inventory and other relevant data, model forestry data, prepare maps in ArcGIS, and write components of forest management plans. GrizzlyCorps Fellow assistance will help increase the number of landowners served through this program and promote land stewardship and active management of forest resources for myriad landowner goals and objectives.
2. Program support for cost-share incentives programs: This project will include assisting Forestry Program staff and staff from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide technical assistance to forest landowners around Mendocino County. Programs include three NRCS programs focused on environmental enhancement, oak woodland conservation, and forest health and fire resiliency. The GrizzlyCorps Fellow will also assist with the North Bay Forest Improvement program. Project activities will include conducting landowner site visits, collecting forest inventory data, developing maps in ArcGIS, and planning assistance. GrizzlyCorps fellow assistance will help increase the number of landowners served and increase the pace and scale of forest management activities.
3. Outreach and education services: MCRCD lacks the capacity for basic outreach and education services. We rely on program staff to conduct their own outreach and create necessary materials; we struggle with a consistent online presence. A fellow will be partially devoted to regular social media posts, videos, and newsletter development to engage stakeholders and the public about MCRCD programs and regional conditions. At the least, desired outcomes would include weekly posts to social media and a quarterly newsletter. GrizzlyCorps fellow may also have the opportunity to assist with the UC Cooperative extension Forest Stewardship Series, the Mendocino County Prescribed Burn Association, and the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, among others.
Over the past few years, California has committed to a significant investment in promoting active forest management through additional programs and funding. MCRCD intends to meet that increased demand for Forest Management Plans and technical assistance by growing our program with increased capacity and new funding sources. We also expect to expand planning assistance to build fire resilience and community capacity among rural forest subdivisions and road associations through a grant with the CAL FIRE Forestry Assistance Program if funded. MCRCD hosted a GrizzlyCorps Fellow during the inaugural 2020-2021 term; however, due to staffing changes a fellow was not hosted in this position during the 2021-2022 term. The addition of a GrizzlyCorps Fellow for the 2022-2023 term will greatly expand the capacity of the program and its ability to serve vulnerable forest communities in Mendocino County. Finally, they would have specific time dedicated to expanding our community outreach through social media, newsletters, workshops, webinars, etc. in ways previous fellows did not have the time to devote.
Organizational & Community Highlights
MCRCD has 12 employees and a budget of about $3M a year. It is organized into five programs: Water Resources, Sustainable Agriculture, Forest Health and Resiliency, Land Stewardship, and Operations. The GrizzlyCorps member would support primarily the Sustainable Agriculture Program and Water Resources Program but will have the opportunity to collaborate with all aspects of the RCD. Work culture at MCRCD is very collaborative but does require independent work; fellows can expect to work closely with staff members in the programs they are supporting. MCRCD is on the forefront of the sustainable agriculture movement in California and partners with neighboring RCDs, Carbon Cycle Institute, CSU Chico’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture & Resilient Systems, and many other organizations. Fellows will have the opportunity to learn from veteran professionals in the field and attend many educational workshops and events.
Mendocino County is about two hours north of San Francisco, California and has the motto of “wine, waves, and wilderness”. It is 2.2 million acres with only 86,000 people, a beautiful rural community that incorporates a wide range of what nature has to offer including the northern edge of both wine and redwood county, striking valley views, expansive oak woodlands, evergreen forests, and an entire coastal community with over 90 miles of world-renowned coastline. The main industries are timber production, tourism, wine, and an agricultural mixture of vineyards, orchards, small diverse farms, and cannabis. The host site is in Ukiah, Mendocino’s largest town with a population of about 17,000. Like many Mendocino destinations, the town is small but charming. Vibrant main streets house bookshops, cafes, art stores, and restaurants. It’s a small world in Mendocino County but with plenty to explore.