top of page

Marin wildfire
prevention authority

San Rafael, CA

Building Support and Capacity for Wildfire Resilience in Marin County

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Strong communication skills both verbal and written and sufficiently confident to reach out to stakeholders and community members, plan next steps and move forward independently while keeping others informed.

  • Good listening skills, a respectful, curious attitude and the ability to understand other people’s perspectives and opinions are desired.

  • Good research skills, and the ability to prepare a report and deliver a presentation upon completion of the project.

  • Driving record in good standing and willingness to be “on the road”, traveling between various areas of the County.

  • An interest and some knowledge in natural resources management, fire, communication, and/or related topics.

Openings: 1 of 1

Schmitt_Maria_Riparian Restoration Project (1).JPG
Focus Area: Fire/Forestry

Public Education and Outreach, Fire Preparedness and Management, Natural Resources Management

project breakdown







Education & Outreach


Report Writing & Presentation


Goals & Needs

MWPA was formed in 2020 to implement comprehensive wildfire prevention, mitigation and emergency preparedness activities, in coordination with its 17 local member agencies. To plan and implement this work, a balance must be struck between stewarding the natural landscape and conducting vegetation management activities that reduce fire risk. The Fellow will help MWPA build support for much-needed land stewardship for reducing wildfire risk and will help build capacity for planning and implementation of projects and programs.

Capacity Building Projects

Part 1. Building Support. 

This requires building a common understanding among a wide variety of stakeholders on a long list of topics such as climate change, increasing wildfire risk, ecologically sound methods for managing fire hazardous vegetation, resident preparedness, fire smart landscaping, creating a resilient landscape to allow continued persistence of sensitive plant and animal species, and other topics. The main stakeholders identified to date include: National Park Service, Marin Municipal Water District, North Marin Water District, Marin County Parks and Open Space, California State Parks, OneTam, UC Cooperative Extension, Marin Master Gardeners, Marin RCD, Marin Conservation League, Fire Environment Resiliency Network, Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership, Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society, FireWise communities, Fire Safe Marin, local leaders, and community organizations, large private landowners, homeowners, and renters.

In order to help build support for such work, the Fellow will:

  • Research effective messaging for various stakeholders and work with MWPA staff and partners to create and grow a public relations campaign to:

    • Encourage residents to take action to adapt to wildfire;

    • Help residents and stakeholders better understand the science behind adapting to wildfire and the projects and programs that MWPA is implementing through the creations of public outreach materials, website content, webinars, public field trips, etc.; and

    • Help fire agencies better understand how to incorporate thoughtful natural resources management into their efforts by helping host training sessions with experts.

  • Assist with a public education survey/study to better understand how to improve outreach to all residents, including those who are lower income and non-English speaking.

  • The final deliverable will be a set of social media posts, messages, photographs, videos, public education materials, and other materials as well as a presentation to MWPA staff on lessons learned during the year.

Part 2. Building Capacity. 

Support planning and implementation of MWPA-funded shaded fuel breaks and other projects in Marin County. MWPA consists of 17 Member Agencies that range from large well-funded fire agencies and cities to very small volunteer-run organizations. The MWPA manages much of the environmental compliance and analysis for Member Agency projects along with many local, State, and Federal partners. In order to help build capacity for such work, the Fellow will engage with project planning and implementation efforts, such as:

  • Working with partners (environmental organizations, academic organizations, land management agencies, and consultants) to help build an ecological monitoring program for shaded fuel breaks if grant funds are acquired.

  • Monitoring current vegetation management projects in the field through photo documentation, etc.

  • Environmental compliance (CEQA, permits, etc.), especially for smaller coastal Member Agencies;

  • GIS as MWPA builds a new GIS program; and

  • Long-range planning, such as helping build annual work plans.

The final deliverable for this effort will be a presentation to MWPA staff to help identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for building capacity for creating a more resilient county. And, if grant funding is acquired, a presentation on an ecological monitoring program for MWPA-funded projects.

Organizational & Community Highlights

Marin County's wildlands, natural vegetation, and climate make our neighborhoods beautiful and desirable places to live but also leave residents and visitors vulnerable to wildfire. Marin has significant portions of the County included in moderate, high and very high wildfire severity zones as outlined in CAL FIRE’s fire hazard severity maps. The County learned important lessons starting in 2017 with the North Bay Fires, and the creation of MWPA approved by the voters in March 2020 is the direct result of the devastating fire seasons residents have witnessed and experienced first-hand. 

At the same time, Marin has a strong tradition of land and environmental preservation. The Fellow can expect to gain significant professional development experience navigating the space between land preservation, fire prevention and ecological practices.

As a new agency dedicated to advancing fire prevention through the most advanced technological and environmental practices, MWPA includes a handful of part-time and full-time staff (Executive Officer, Planning and Program Manager, Management Analyst, Grants Specialist, and Vegetation Management Specialist) as well as several independent contractors who will work with the Fellow. The Planning and Program Manager will supervise the Fellow. The MWPA works very closely with its 17 member agencies (list available on website). MWPA is built upon the existing strong partnerships and solid relationships between fire agencies, local governments, land management agencies and State and Federal partners, and the Fellow can expect a lot of exposure and opportunities to interact with MWPA’s network of stakeholders.

bottom of page