*This position has been filled*
Santa Rosa, CA
Promoting a shared culture of conservation in our community (filled)
Degree in field related to communications, education, natural resources, physical/biological sciences, environmental studies
Comfortable with public speaking and working with youth
Strong written and verbal communication
Computer skills, organized, and understanding of social media
Ability to work in both rugged outdoor settings and in stationary positions
Enjoys engaging youth conservation action
Spanish Fluency a plus
Openings: 0 of 1
Education & Outreach
Goals & Needs
The Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) is a local government agency dedicated to bridging the needs of the community and natural resources by empowering people to strengthen the resilience of Sonoma County. In existence since 1946, we have built a strong reputation among land managers and partner organizations, which enable us to bridge disparate interests and make good work happen on the ground. Our county has been hit hard by the impacts of climate change, in the form of wildfires, floods, and drought, driving our organization to be more adaptive than ever to serve the needs of people and natural resources. The RCD works with a varied network of partners to harness this opportunity through outreach, planning, and implementation to engage, educate, and empower our community through technical assistance strategies. Our Strategic Plan 2021-2024 illustrates the RCD’s vision and mission to engage with all community members in equitable ways, create programming that advances solutions to address our most pressing natural resource concerns and climate resiliency, to promote a shared culture of conservation among our diverse community, to enhance our ability to adapt effectively to meet our community’s needs, while also supporting transparency and a healthy work culture among our dedicated board and staff.
The Grizzly Corps Member will help build the RCD’s capacity to meet these community needs in several key ways: (1) supporting the execution of the RCD’s Strategic Plan and External Engagement and JEDI Committees’ work to track plan goals and make recommendations on implementation; (2) conducting community research to learn more about under-resourced communities and nontraditional RCD partners which reflect the demographic composition of the county to inform RCD programming and outreach; (3) creatively engage our diverse communities around our mission of conservation by leveraging digital collateral and social platforms while exploring new approaches to reach community members; (4) supporting the RCD’s sustainable agriculture youth education programs and working with staff to coordinate and implement in-field programming. The Member’s service will inform and expand RCD communications strategies and promote a shared culture of conservation that focuses on the interdependence of the community and the land. With the bulk of the RCD’s work and messaging focused on resilience and carbon sequestration, the Member’s efforts will have a lasting impact on these assets in our community. The Member will work one-on-one with the RCD’s Education and Communications Manager and engage with other staff on an as needed basis.
Capacity Building Projects
Project 1: Communications Planning for Inclusive Community Engagement: The Member will work with the RCD and team to support the execution of the RCD’s Strategic Plan and External Engagement and JEDI Committees’ work to track plan goals and make recommendations on implementation. They will conduct community research complementing the RCD’s existing efforts to learn more about under-resourced communities and nontraditional RCD partners which reflect the demographic composition of the county to inform RCD programming and outreach. Working from our new Regional Regenerative Agricultural Communications Plan, the Member will assist in developing an RCD-wide conservation communications plan. Lastly, the Member will support with creatively engaging Sonoma County’s diverse communities around our mission of conservation by leveraging an array of digital collateral and social platforms. Building the RCD’s communications capacity and community reach will empower Sonoma County residents’ ability to be resilient against the impacts of climate change and be part of the sequestration solution.
Project 2: Inspiring Youth and Community Conservation Connections: The Member will work with the RCD team to support the planning, coordinating, and delivery of our long-standing agriculture and conservation youth programming for the academic year 2022-2023 and assist in the development of two new on-farm events for community members. Our programs for elementary and high school youth have been expanding and adapting to support students of Sonoma County for over 25 years. These well-established programs support social emotional learning, provide hands-on experiences at local farms and ranches, allow students to explore their local food systems and connections with climate resilience, support career pathway exploration, and foster an equitable and fun learning environment. Our Ag Heritage Series events will focus on bringing our community to connect with local sustainable agriculture and nature through engaging and accessible activities. The Member will work alongside the Education and Communications Manager to implement all aspects of these programs from curriculum development to leading activities on the land with students. Desired project outcomes are: (1) support youth program implementation and efforts to support program expansion; (2) create a formalized tracking system for our high school students and alumni; (3) explore funding approaches to support Forest Education pilot program; (4) develop two on-farm events for the community to experience and engage with working lands of Sonoma County. The member will increase the RCD’s capacity to grow our service niche and provide more youth and community members with existing and new programming opportunities.
In 2020, our last Member helped build local capacity to combat climate change through management of ag and forest lands. This Member focused on improving community resilience to climate change and increased carbon sequestration by helping the RCD with the development of Forest Management Plans, Carbon Farm Plans, and Farm Plans; helping with initial development of forestry education offerings; researching and assessing the feasibility of the RCD participating in efforts to improve Monarch Butterfly habitat; and coordinating with community organizations to track local efforts around fire resiliency and forest health, in order to support the development of larger scale programming addressing these issues. The Member we are currently seeking will focus on increasing the communications and education capacity of the RCD with an emphasis on understanding under-resourced communities. We are in the first year of implementing our Strategic Plan which outlines a breadth of goals and strategies to engage our community and partners equitably and leverage well established existing relationships.
Organizational & Community Highlights
The RCD team is a close-knit group of 15 who value service to our community, conservation of natural resources, and teamwork to accomplish these goals. Our workplace is casual and flexible. We work hard and look for ways to have fun together. Serving with the RCD presents an excellent professional development opportunity in that the Member will work closely with and learn from a multidisciplinary team which includes two Professional Engineers, a Registered Professional Forester, a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, and other professional staff with a diversity of natural resources experience. As a team, we value helping one another learn and succeed. We pitch in to help teammates during busy times, and we support cross-training through teamwork and field shadowing. A hallmark of our organization’s success is our trusting relationship with rural and agricultural landowners. The Member will have the opportunity to grow professionally by interacting with key partners and landowners that have a breadth of land management experiences. We work with land uses such as forest, vineyard, and dairy; with landowners who have owned and farmed their properties for generations, and with others who are new to farming; with those whose views on conservation and management are more traditional, and those who are seeking to try new and innovative practices.
The RCD’s office is located in Santa Rosa, the county seat of Sonoma County. While Sonoma County is a relatively rural county, the Santa Rosa metropolitan area is the largest on California’s North Coast. Our county is home to bountiful hiking trails, a variety of ocean beaches, and the Russian River which has been a popular recreational destination for locals and tourists for over 100 years. Our local food scene is burgeoning, including organic produce, artisan cheese, fresh roasted coffee, food trucks and pop-ups, and restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining. We are a craft beer mecca, a wine region that was named 2019 region of the year by Wine Enthusiast magazine, and home to an increasing number of craft distilleries. Our country roads offer spectacular vistas, as our local governments have been thoughtful about maintaining community separators and protecting land with scenic and cultural value. It doesn’t take long for a visitor to understand why Forbes listed Sonoma County as one of its top 20 destinations for 2020, and in the same year Frommer’s readers voted it the best destination in the world.