Laguna

ONE OF MY MOST DIVERSE JOBS—FROM 2005 TO 2008—was working for the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization. In four years I contributed substantially to the re-formation and growth of the organization. I am proud of my achievements across a variety of mission-critical tasks, including:

Writing and publishing

  • Co-authoring the 557-page Restoration and Management Plan, Enhancing and Caring for the Laguna.
  • Contributing to the 308-page conceptual model for watershed stewardship, The Altered Laguna, which was a catalyst for the water pollution reduction program now under way.
  • Authoring Laguna Tales, the docent field guide to the watershed, used in naturalist-led walks in the watershed.
  • Publishing both the Conference Program and the Conference Proceedings for the 2007 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium.

Community outreach

  • Speaking to city councils, county supervisors, resource agency boards, and community groups to promote the findings of the Restoration and Management Plan.
  • Establishing the Laguna Stakeholder Council, a forum for agencies, cities, non-profits, farmers and ranchers, and interested citizens to learn, share, and discuss the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed.
  • Co-sponsoring the State of the Laguna Conference, which brought together 450 participants, over a four-day period, to hear about the science, restoration, education, and community of the watershed.
  • Participating in public programs—variously sponsored by Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sebastopol, Sonoma County, Bay Area Open Space, and Sotoyome Resource Conservation District—that brought the Laguna de Santa Rosa into the planning process.
  • Outreaching to the many non-governmental organizations, ad hoc neighborhood groups, advocacy and trade groups, farmers and ranchers, and private citizens, who all contributed to the community’s shared voice.
  • Giving lectures and hosting field tours for university students, agency personnel, grant managers, prospective donors, and interested citizens.

Geography

  • Establishing the organization’s Geographic Information System (GIS), bringing together two-hundred gigabytes of spatial data, while supporting the organization’s programs and projects with the creation of over three-hundred maps.
  • Providing the watershed’s first in-depth geographic analysis.
  • Helping to form the regional Conservation GIS Network, a group that meets twice a year foster a sense of community among the area’s conservation GIS practitioners.

Project management

  • Managing the contracts, invoices, and budgets for the $470K Restoration and Management Plan project.
  • Managing the ecological restoration project for Cunningham Marsh, coordinating volunteers, starting a community outreach effort, and overseeing contractors, deliveries and budgets.
  • Designing and installing irrigation distribution systems for ecological restoration projects.
  • Managing interns and volunteers for project-specific tasks.

Lessons learned

I was very fortunate to have had the freedom to direct my efforts towards a variety of mission-critical tasks while working for the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. My proficiency in public speaking and community outreach are entirely due to this job.  My capabilities in project management—which have always been a strong point for me—were reinforced by the challenges of the work.  My skills in map-making and geographic analysis were deepened.  My writing, graphic arts, and publishing abilities were put to good use.

The Laguna de Santa Rosa scenery

Laguna de Santa Rosa scenery

At work on the Middle reach restoration project

At work in the Laguna