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Marin wildfire
prevention authority

Sausalito, CA

https://www.marinwildfire.org/

Data-Driven Wildfire Mitigation Planning, Monitoring and Impact Analysis

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Good technical writing skills and attention to detail

  • Strong interpersonal communications skills and the ability to function well in a team environment

  • The ability to work in diverse environments, adapt easily to unforeseen challenges and a desire to contribute to their community as a whole.

  • An education background in environmental sciences, fire ecology, data (specifically GIS) collection and analysis, and/or marketing and communication,

Openings: 1 of 1

Focus Area: Fire/Forestry

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

project breakdown

Research

15%

Planning

25%

Implementation

50%

Education & Outreach

10%

Goals & Needs

MWPA, a joint powers authority between 17 jurisdictions, was formed in 2020 to implement comprehensive wildfire prevention, mitigation, and emergency preparedness activities, in coordination with its 17 member agencies.

 

The Fellow will support the implementation of vegetation management projects  from planning to implementation and on-going maintenance (environmental compliance, GIS, project scoping, projected risk reduction, etc) and provide field support such as landowner outreach, field GIS data collection, before and after photos and progress monitoring. The fellow can expect to support the delivery of public education by coordinating field trips, developing informational webinars and updating our library of scientific research and reports. 

 

Due to climate change, fire suppression policies and people living in the wildland urban interface, the wildfire environment has dramatically changed, and we are subject to more and more extreme wildfires.  The MWPA works to keep our communities informed, prepared, fire adapted, resilient and capable of withstanding a major fire limiting loss of life and major property damage while protecting our rich environmental diversity.

 

The Fellow’s work is in alignment with the GrizzlyCorps’ mission by providing education, research and planning, implementation, outreach, and exposure to specialized careers.

Capacity Building Projects

 

Position Description

 

This position includes efforts that build support and capacity for wildfire risk reduction projects. Our projects cover a wide variety of activities but some of the most relevant efforts for this position include vegetation management that makes our landscape healthier (ie reduces nonnative invasive plant cover and reduces the unhealthy buildup of vegetation that natural processes like wildfire would have thinned over time), reduces the severity of future fires (by reducing fuel load), and reduces risk to communities (by reducing fire intensity near homes and along evacuation routes etc).

  • Vegetation Management: Planning Process

    • Getting familiar with CEQA and other environmental compliance requirements, attend meetings and support research efforts

    • Getting familiar with fire behavior, forest health and other aspects of vegetation management best practices

    • Collect initial project scoping data in the field (fuel types, presence of invasive species, surface vegetation, ladder fuels and canopy data etc). 

    • Participate in project scoping discussions with a wide variety of partners (land owners, residents, fire agencies, environmental groups and more) based on initial project scoping data; refine data collection as needed

    • Ground-truth the assumptions made for the purposes of risk assessment

    • Support project planning efforts as needed

 

  • Vegetation Management: Implementation Monitoring

    • Help build a fuels monitoring program, including ecological and forestry metrics that will inform fire risk models and ecologically sound land management projects

    • In the field, collect monitoring data on a periodic basis, related to project implementation. Marin Wildfire has over 20 vegetation management projects in progress. Staff will provide training and resources for data collection. The Fellow is expected to ensure data collection quality control, alert staff to all discrepancies or issues with the process, and provide suggestions for improvements. 

    • Work with our GIS consultant to centralize data, ensure version control, extract outputs and respond to stakeholders’ questions etc. 

    • After being trained, manage other data collectors in the field and provide support and development opportunities 

    • Participate in monitoring decision making and discussions with project stakeholders

 

  • Building Support for Vegetation Management: Outreach and Education

    • Get familiar with Marin County communities, environmental compliance, natural resources, fire risk, fire behavior, and stakeholder concerns and get familiar with arguments both for and against the work we do.

      • Attend meetings with stakeholders and other partners

      • Review relevant materials, previous webinars, etc.

    • Public field trips

      • Work with the Project and Program Manager and the Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership to plan field trips to project sites (see field trip planning guide)

    • Webinar

      • Plan at least one webinar / panel discussion. Work with staff, and others to develop topic, line up speakers, advertise, and implement

    • Keep our online science library up-to-date with current peer-reviewed literature and case studies.

Organizational & Community Highlights

While the MWPA is a joint powers authority among 17 agencies, the MWPA staff is a small team – 7 full-time employees.  We are a tight knit group that takes a team approach in all aspects of our work.  More importantly, we support each other in everything we do.  The MWPA strives to provide many growth opportunities for our fellows.  The MWPA’s culture is one of public service.  We strive to do what is best for the constituents of Marin.  We do this through open, transparent, and honest engagement.  We promote collaboration at all levels, and we respectfully challenge assumptions so we can come up with the best solutions for our challenges.

 

The communities in Marin are very diverse in terms of their size, geography, demographics, and socio-economic status.  We have small coastal hamlets, ranching/rural, forested/semi-rural, suburban and semi-urban communities.  One thing that is common amongst all our communities is they are all well involved.  Our team enjoys working closely with our communities and find it rewarding.  Our member agencies vary in their size, capabilities and bandwidth.  Some have 1-2 full time employees and require large amounts of support from the MWPA while others have over 200 employees and require less support.  Due to our work in wildfire prevention, our communities are concerned about the work we are doing, and they are invested in our success because that means they will be at less risk from wildfire.  This brings a high level of engagement and involvement amongst our community members.  For example, we have formed a group called the Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership.  It is a partnership of many environmental stakeholders, community members/leaders and fire departments.  The goal of this group is to help the MWPA implement our wildfire prevention projects in an ecologically responsible way that promotes the preservation of our rich biological diversity while decreasing risk for our communities.

 

The partnership of government agencies, private businesses and the members of our communities is how we accomplish the objective of creating fire-adapted communities in the County of Marin.

explore region

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Developing a Field Training and Project management System

Forestry & fire recruitment program

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