Working Lands Outreach Coordinator
As Outreach Coordinator with the Working Lands Team at Point Blue, my work focuses on scaling up carbon monitoring across the state and in select pilot locations nationwide. Our team develops protocols that measure the impact of conservation practices on agricultural lands, from soils and roots to grasslands and forests. I believe strongly that conservation science is most impactful when informed by the experiences of land managers, and that scaling our impact on the land we rely on for the business of life is a fundamentally collaborative act. I’m excited that my position focuses on just that–bringing land managers and technical service providers into the fold through science communication and protocol trainings. Over time, my work will refine and evaluate the frameworks we’ve developed to track key indicators of ecosystem health under systems of perennial restoration, targeted grazing, cover cropping, and more.
In 2020, I completed a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies at U.C. Berkeley, where I contributed to projects focused on the genetics of amphibian disease, rangeland management, and spatial data analysis. I quickly dove into ornithology and spent the next year working with acorn woodpeckers along the central coast, blackbirds in the ag fields of central North Dakota, and waterfowl habitat mapping in the Sacramento area. I came to Point Blue as a Rangeland Carbon Monitoring Technician in the beginning of 2022, excited to contribute to a project designed to evaluate the impact of habitat restoration projects on rangelands across California. My background in both wildlife and agriculture motivated me to find work that addressed the intersection of land use and food systems in the complex ecologies and management histories of my home state.
These days, I’m delighted to be based out of West Sonoma County on the Russian River, although I’m often found at Point Blue’s Petaluma headquarters getting dirty with soil samples or meeting collaborators in the field. Otherwise, I’m likely practicing wildlife photography on neighborhood birds, picking on a guitar, cultivating mushrooms in my backyard, or grabbing a beer at the local dive bar.
Email: Avalon Cook