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Resource Conservation district of greater san diego county

Lakeside, CA

rcdsandiego.org

Increasing Capacity for Wildfire Resilience and Regenerative Agriculture in San Diego County

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Passionate about conservation, agriculture and/or wildfire resilience

  • Academic background in environmental science

  • Passion for serving the community

  • Strong people skills, good communication, and comfortable outdoors.

  • Desired skills:

    • mapping (Arc GIS or other)

    • monitoring

    • data management

Openings: 2 of 2

rcdsd.jpg
Focus Area: Agriculture/Fire

Regenerative Agriculture, Fire Preparedness & Management, Education & Outreach

projects breakdown

Research

10%

Planning

10%

Implementation

40%

Education & Outreach

40%

Goals & Needs

Project 1: Forestry & Fire Fellow

The RCD of Greater San Diego County has a robust Fire Prevention and Forestry Team that seeks to add one Fellow to assist in our regional wildfire resilience efforts, including educating homeowners about defensible space and structure hardening, supporting with community programs such as vegetation chipping, defensible space assistance, Goldspotted Oak Borer treatment, and more.

 

In 2024, we launched a brand-new Home Assessment Program, which builds upon our existing preparedness and defensible space programs by providing onsite education and specific recommendations for wildfire resilience improvements to residents. You will learn from partners and researchers the basic principles of home ignition reduction, structure hardening, defensible space zones, and fire behavior, before supporting in the field!

 

Fellow will work directly with the Forestry & Fire Prevention team under the direction of the Forestry & Fire Prevention Technical Assistant (a former GrizzlyCorps Fellow) and will gain experience at the San Diego regional level with many of our local project partners such as: local Tribes, Fire Districts, USFS, BLM, CAL FIRE, State Parks, SDSU, UCANR and community Fire Safe Councils. Tasks may include: research, training, conducting home assessments, writing recommendation reports, visiting demonstration project sites, planning and conducting meetings, collecting and organizing data, developing outreach materials and conducting outreach, promoting the project, updating our website,

Project 2: Agriculture Fellow

Join the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County Agriculture team and contribute to connecting and serving local farmers and ranchers in the San Diego region with conservation practices. San Diego continues to top the USDA agriculture census for the most agricultural producers out of any county in the country. Meanwhile, San Diego producers also lead nation-wide with managing scarce water resources with efficient technologies and preserving wildlife habitat in the most biodiverse county in the mainland Unites States. The overall goal of the position will be to connect with farmers who are interested in climate-smart agriculture and have a desire to learn about the broad diversity of agriculture and habitat types in San Diego County. RCDGSDC has more than two decades of experience with regenerative agriculture through Healthy Soils demonstration projects, assessing producer needs and supporting with practice implementation like compost application and planting native hedgerows.

 

Fellow will work directly with the Agriculture team under direction of the Community Programs Manager, and will gain experience at the San Diego regional level with many of our local project partners. Project tasks may include verifying active farms through direct calls, mailers, farm visits, attending farmer's markets, and database management.

Capacity Building Projects

Project 1

Our wildfire resilience programs include a coordinated effort to improve wildfire resilience on all scales, across all lands by focusing on topics such as educating community members about wildfire prevention and preparedness, reducing Goldspotted Oak Borer threat, and providing fire management resources to local communities and partners.

The role of the Fellow in these programs will be as follows:

 

Home Assessments (2-3 days per week)

  • After being trained on home hardening and defensible space principes, helping to schedule and complete home assessments.

  • Documenting this process with a survey tool and photos and utilizing this data to compile a recommendation report with supporting resources.

 

Other activities/ programs (2-3 days per week)

  • Supporting outreach and education with community Fire Safe Councils and individual fire agencies. The success of the home assessment and assistance programs relies on strong partnerships. The Fellow will assist with collaborating with partners for outreach, events, and education opportunities.

  • Supporting the GSOB treatment cost-share program with data tracking, billing, and GSOB monitoring.

  • Supporting story-telling through blog posts, social media posts, and other project highlights.

 

 

Project 2

Verifying Agricultural Producers (2 days per week; primary project)

  • From the office: Calls and mailers to uncontacted farms

  • In the field: Visits to farming communities and farmer's markets.

  • Compiling farm profiles and needs for active farms.

  • Deliverables: Database of known and verified farms, report on primary needs.

 

How this supports the RCD: Our agricultural team is always working toward expanding our services, but often does not have the capacity for outreach when we are busy in the field and with administration of programs. Having the support of a fellow to contact farmers and ranchers will not only extend the reach of our agricultural technical assistance but will also get producers more familiar with what an RCD is, which is not a familiar resource in our region.

 

Assessing Farm Resources (1 1/2 days per week)

  • Supporting Programs Manager with pollinator habitat assessment and implementation (design, implementation and monitoring)

  • Supporting Farm Planner with resource concerns and practice eligibility

  • Supporting Programs Coordinator with soil testing

  • Supporting Irrigation Technician with irrigation evaluations

  • Deliverables: Profiles of farms with restored habitat, report on common resource concerns

How this supports the RCD: Assistance with field work is really helpful for our team. We are always open to having fresh perspectives and appreciate additional experience and/or education that a fellow could bring to enhance our technical assistance.

 

Advocating to Community Representatives (1/2 day per week)

  • Tabling at community events

  • Shadowing Hub Coordinator for advocacy to public officials and regional partners

  • Deliverable: Flyer to educate general public about agriculture in San Diego

 

How this supports the RCD: Outreach supports our team’s capacity in several ways. Having a fellow’s support with advocacy means we can attend more events to boost visibility of our programs, conduct timelier and more consistent follow up with people engaged at events, and share the duties of event prep. 

Organizational & Community Highlights

The RCD of Greater San Diego County office is located in San Diego County—specifically Lakeside, a suburb of City of San Diego. Our service area (San Diego County) is extremely diverse in culture, resources, and geography. 

 

Working with our organization, you will have the opportunity to work with numerous partner organizations and communities throughout the County. Work will primarily take place at the main office in Lakeside, however, fieldwork, events, and site visits will be necessary, and working from home part-time is amenable. 

 

The RCD's main office encompasses 12 team members who work on an array of program areas such as: pollinator habitat, school gardens, watershed education, regenerative farming, soil health, forest health, and fire prevention. We also manage three other sites: a regenerative educational farm, and two community gardens. Fellows will interact with each of these team members, and also gain familiarity with special districts, grants, budgets, and administrative functions, as desired.

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