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White buffalo Land Trust

Lompoc, CA

https://www.whitebuffalolandtrust.org/

1. Watershed Restoration Outreach and Engagement

2. Watershed Restoration on Regeneratively Farmed Land

 

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Background: Fellows should have a background which
    includes coursework in areas such as Environmental Science and Ecology, Agriculture, Botany, Conservation Bioacoustics, Avian Population Studies, Community (Citizen) Science, Conservation Science, Communication, Journalism, Education, Evolutionary Biology, Biodiversity, etc.

  • Primary skills

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

    • Experience coordinating/facilitating community events/field trips

    • Comfort with public speaking.

    • Science communication. Ability to create engaging social media content. Volunteer leadership/coordination is a plus.

  • Secondary skills

    • Spanish language skills.

    • Detail oriented.

    • Strong organizational and time management skills.

  • Physical abilities: The terrain at JCR can be challenging, and the Fellow must be able to hike up and down hills and be comfortable being outdoors in a wide range of temperatures (40s-90s).

  • Primary desired training

    • GIS familiarity (preferred but not required)

    • Flora and fauna species identification

  • Important Traits: Inquisitive mind, passion for subject matter, optimistic outlook, easy-going nature, ability to be flexible with changing plans. Ability to work independently as well as part of a team. Comfortable working with audiences of all ages/diverse backgrounds.

Openings: 1 of 2 (Position 2 has been filled)

whte buafflo .jpeg
Focus Area: Agri-food Systems

Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Education & Outreach, Regenerative Agriculture, Volunteer Engagement, Watershed Management

project 1 breakdown

Research

20%

Planning

20%

Implementation

20%

Education & Outreach

40%

project 2 breakdown

Research

15%

Planning

20%

Implementation

50%

Education & Outreach

15%

Goals & Needs

 

Project 1: Watershed Restoration Outreach and Engagement

White Buffalo Land Trust (WBLT) practices, promotes, and develops systems of regenerative
agriculture for local, regional, and global impact. Our team of land stewards, researchers,
educators, and entrepreneurs is committed to re-designing agricultural systems in service of
soil health, watershed restoration, increased nutrient density, biodiversity, food security,
farmer livelihoods, and resilient communities. Our unique approach is circular: weaving
regenerative land stewardship with the education of our community and the training of current
and aspiring farmers and ranchers; meeting them where they are at and helping them to take
the next step on their journey towards regenerative practices. Innovative monitoring and data
collection measure and support scientific research which improves our land stewardship,
learning, and teachings. All this work brings regenerative products into the marketplace and
catalyzes the forces of supply and demand.
 
The Outreach and Engagement Fellow will support community engagement for the Watershed
Restoration Program at the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at Jalama Canyon Ranch (JCR).
Working closely with the Monitoring GrizzlyCorps Fellow and across the White Buffalo Team
(Research and Monitoring, Land Stewardship, Programs and Engagement, Communications and
Donor Engagement), the Fellow will work to engage and educate other farmers and ranchers
and the public about the impactful work of watershed restoration.

Project 2: Watershed Restoration on Regeneratively Farmed Land

The Watershed Restoration on Regeneratively Farmed Land Fellow will be responsible for the implementation, monitoring, and outreach around watershed restoration projects at the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at Jalama Canyon Ranch (JCR). The project’s initial stage will involve literature review and interviews with researchers to identify species of concern that may benefit by rangeland and riparian restoration. The Fellow will work closely with our Research and Monitoring, and Land Stewardship teams to integrate this information into the design and implementation of the restoration projects. Furthermore, the Fellow will be an integral part of the Research and Monitoring team in developing the protocols and monitoring the impacts of the restoration projects on local hydrology, and biodiversity. Finally, the Fellow will have the opportunity to lead outreach and communication initiatives focussed on engaging underserved communities around how watershed restoration can benefit local ecology and community.

 

Conventional grazing and management practices have led to significant degradation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity at rangelands across California, including at JCR. WBLT is implementing projects across JCR to revegetate and rehydrate our rangelands, and riparian areas, with the overarching goal of improving biodiversity through increasing the water, food and shelter available for wildlife. The Fellow will help design, implement, and monitor the restoration projects, as well as lead outreach events to engage with other lands stewards and community members around watershed restoration. 

Capacity Building Projects

Project 1: Watershed Restoration Outreach and Engagement

The project will begin with background research into the multiple restoration projects at JCR to
become comfortable with the similarities and differences of the projects and how they fit into
the larger context of the goals of White Buffalo Land Trust.  This will involve time on the land as
well as interviews with different stakeholders involved with the projects. Following the research
phase, the Fellow will begin to produce content for social media, write briefs for donor
engagement and work closely with our programs and engagement team to help be the bridge
between our research/monitoring and education efforts.
 
Conventional grazing and management practices have led to significant degradation of wildlife
habitat and biodiversity at rangelands across California, including at JCR. WBLT is implementing
projects across JCR to revegetate and rehydrate our rangelands, and riparian areas, with the
overarching goal of improving biodiversity through increasing the water, food and shelter
available for wildlife. Working alongside another GrizzlyCorps Fellow, the Outreach Fellow will

produce outreach materials and lead outreach events to engage with other lands stewards and
community members around watershed restoration. 
 
Our project aligns with the GrizzlyCorps’ goal of promoting regenerative food systems to
improve the health and adaptability of farms, ecosystems and communities. We are practicing,
promoting, and demonstrating RA to show that it is a viable means of growing food and
teaching and encouraging other land stewards to adopt these practices; this work aligns with
the GrizzlyCorps’ goal of incorporating RA practices, which can build resilience through
improving biodiversity, soil, and watershed health. Our organization will document and share
with other Fellows best practices on watershed restoration, biodiversity monitoring and
evaluation.


This position is mostly remote, with trips to Jalama Canyon Ranch (45 minutes north of Santa
Barbara) as needed. Some overnights may be required (housing will be provided). White Buffalo
Land Trust shares a co-working space in Santa Barbara with the SB Community Environmental
Council–the Fellow is welcomed and encouraged to work in this collaborative location.

Project 2: Watershed Restoration on Regeneratively Farmed Land

Declining biodiversity has been linked to a decrease in ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling, productivity, and resilience to pests and disease. Habitat degradation has significantly contributed to declining biodiversity on rangelands and other working lands. Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that can increase biodiversity by holistically restoring the water cycle, and improving ecological health, while providing support and resilience for farmer livelihoods. The Fellow will aid in the design, implementation and monitoring of restoration projects in the service of White Buffalo Land Trust’s mission of restoring our ecosystem through regenerative agriculture, specifically as it pertains to improving biodiversity. Being a contained watershed, Jalama Canyon Ranch provides an excellent opportunity for this impactful work.

 

The Fellow’s work with WBLT will lead to the development of the following resources:

  1. A definitive knowledge base of species of concern, towards whom restoration activities can be targeted. The Fellow will develop this resource through extensive review of literature and datasets, as well as by engaging with researchers and organizations in the conservation community. 

  2. Restoration design and implementation communication piece. This communication material will summarize how Resource 1 was created, and how the information was integrated into restoration design. 

 

Large-scale adoption of regenerative agriculture is a central aspect of our mission. The Fellow’s work on identifying focal species for restoration, and the application of that knowledge through restoration activities, will greatly enhance the impact of our restoration work. Additionally, a communication piece that highlights this framework of designing restoration projects, will enable us to reach other land stewards and community members interested in pursuing restoration activities.

Organizational & Community Highlights

Fellows will benefit from the large network of partners and contributors White Buffalo Land Trust has cultivated over the past five years. We are committed to our regional work while also being part of a global network of positive changemakers shifting resources towards projects, people, and processes that value and benefit the ecosystem services that we all rely upon. We have been inspired by many and work closely with like-minded partners to curate the collaborative network that will allow us the opportunity to do our best work and support others in theirs. These are some of the organizations that we are excited to be working with: The Nature Conservancy, Point Blue Conservation Science, Kiss the Ground, Community Environmental Council, The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, Terra Genesis International, the Bionutrient Association, UC Santa Barbara, Caltech, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, Savory Network, REGRARIANS, Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, Open TEAM, and Regen Network.

 

The Fellow will have access to a variety of training opportunities WBLT offers, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Savory Institute Hub - Holistic Management Intensive Training Course

  • Savory Institute Hub - Ecological Outcome Verification Course

 

The Fellow will be placed with two teams at White Buffalo Land Trust: Land Stewardship, and Research and Monitoring. The two teams work closely together, with past GrizzlyCorps Fellow Darian Rubow (22-23) serving as the main link between the two. The work experience will be hybrid, with remote work developing the monitoring protocols and training materials, and in-person field work focusing on research and monitoring. The Fellow will interact and learn from different arms of our team–a diverse, passionate, committed group of individuals. The Fellow will work closely with the Ecology and GIS Manager on all aspects of the project; the Director of Communications and Marketing to develop a more holistic understanding of the process of developing regeneratively grown products. This includes grapes from our 5-acre vineyard, elderberries, and livestock regeneratively grazed on 400-acres of grasslands; the Director of Programs and Engagement to learn how we communicate our work to diverse audiences. JCR is an inclusive, welcoming environment, and is an inspirational “living laboratory” for all those who observe and respect all the land has to offer. 

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