Resource conservation district of
*This position has been filled*
Bridging Communities Through Pollinator Habitat Establishment; Helping to Develop Wildfire Resilience and Preparedness
Familiar with community development and social skills to engage with diverse communities
Can work in the field and on computer
Knowledge of or interest in California Biogeography/native plants
Social Media networking and engagement
Understanding of local government and environmental policy development
Openings: 0 of 1
Focus Area: Agriculture/Fire
Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Fire Preparedness & Management, Education & Outreach, Pollinator and native plant habitat development in urban areas
Education & Outreach
Goals & Needs
The Fellow will support multiple Resource Conservation District of Monterey County (RCDMC) programs and enjoy diverse field experiences. The primary programs are technical assistance and outreach for urban native plant habitats (a new work area for RCDMC) and the Forest and Fuel Management Program, which has existed for four years.
RCDMC has long supported the establishment of pollinator habitat on working farms throughout Monterey County and now seeks to build capacity to provide technical and logistical support for pollinator habitat in urban areas, specifically in the City of Seaside where the Member Supervisor has volunteered for four years. The Fellow’s efforts will support Seaside’s Tree City and Bee City USA program designations, extend outreach for an ongoing volunteer program that has established native pollinator gardens in nine public parks, engage more community members (particularly those who are under-represented, such as people with disabilities, BIPOC and non-English speaking individuals) and potentially provide training on best management practices for habitat maintenance or develop plans and inform policy recommendations. The Fellow will help develop a role for RCDMC among the program partners, including several non-profit organizations and commissions and departments of the City. The work will empower the partners to increase native plant habitat for imperiled invertebrates, stabilize and improve soil health (sequestering carbon and reducing water use), and increase the community’s resilience to natural and other disasters by fostering connections between neighbors across the city, fortifying a network of mutual support. Daily activities will vary substantially but may include: 1. Habitat maintenance with volunteers every Saturday; 2. Develop outreach materials about native plants/pollinators; 3. Design/implement outreach, informing residents and inviting participation; 4. Collaborate with partners and outside experts to provide engaging, relevant educational activities; 5. Attend monthly meetings of various project partners, support connections between them, and complete tasks between meetings to advance habitat initiatives.
As for the Fellow's participation in the Forest and Fuel Management Program (FFMP), a typical day may include creating educational wildfire content for residents or maps for fuels reduction projects, surveying fuelbreaks, monitoring project implementation crews or participating in a prescribed burn training. The FFMP creates understanding of how to live in a fire-resilient landscape, balancing public safety and the integrity of local ecological systems. Better disaster preparedness results from projects that engage the community to protect biodiversity, decrease emissions and sequester carbon.
Capacity Building Projects
The Fellow will build capacity, through networking, for RCDMC to develop a program providing technical support related to urban habitat activities in Monterey County communities. By providing technical and logistical support to several partner organizations already working on an urban pollinator habitat program in Seaside, and connecting the RCD formally with those organizations, the Fellow’s service will promote the availability of RCDMC as a partner organization with staff and access to funding channels, as well as external natural resource professional organizations, to provide local technical expertise for urban native plant and pollinator habitat planning and development. Developing native plant habitat in communities with blighted public landscapes (as are often found in lower income and historically under-served areas) will bring beneficial ecosystem and social services to those communities. By developing technically feasible implementation plans and providing both implementation support and training for community-based organizational staff and volunteers, the Fellow and RCDMC will help to ensure that well-intended ideas and efforts result in successful long-term habitat establishment. The Fellow will make presentations to community-based organizations and volunteers about RCDMC resources, and to RCDMC staff and board members about urban habitat efforts which may benefit from RCDMC support. These presentations will mutually inform partner organizations of the resources available within the network to build a more resilient community network and improve project success.
Organizational & Community Highlights
Monterey County is located on the Central Coast of California just south of the San Francisco Bay Area (about 100 miles from the City of San Francisco). The rich Salinas Valley extends through the heart of the County, making Monterey the third largest agricultural county in California. It also boasts the longest coastline of any California county and attracts more than 3 million visitors annually to destinations such as Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Big Sur. The geography is spectacular with abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, and the Fellow can expect to work in the field for a significant portion of their assignment, as well as to have opportunities to participate in multiple RCD programs, getting exposure to different parts of the county and a variety of professional networks. RCDMC is a relatively small organization and maintains a supportive, collegial environment. There are remote all-staff meetings once every two weeks to keep in touch about program progress, but most staff work within a small program unit, with more frequent contact with relevant partner organization staff and/or ‘client’ farmers and community members. All RCDMC programs are grant funded and, while certain core work areas are maintained, the nature of daily activities can vary depending on objectives associated with each funding source. There is always something interesting happening!