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Taj Hittenberger

Fire Stewardship Ecologist

As Fire Stewardship Ecologist, I work in close collaboration with local partner organizations to expand regional capacity around prescribed and cultural burning for a wide variety of social and ecological benefits in many of California’s fire-adapted ecosystems. I assist landowners and managers in planning and conducting ecologically informed prescribed burns on private lands, and work with Point Blue staff to develop applied research and monitoring projects that analyze ecological responses to fire and provide regionally-specific guidance to fire practitioners in the safe, effective use of prescribed and cultural fire.

I was born and raised in the Petaluma Valley and received a BS from UC Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies, where my research focused on water management and Coho salmon conservation in the Russian River watershed. Prior to joining Point Blue, I worked around Sonoma County performing riparian and wetland restoration, wildlife and vegetation monitoring, fire fuel reduction, and natural preserve management. I love working with land managers and agricultural producers to help them meet their ecological, economic, and social goals.

In my free time, I enjoy propagating native plants, playing guitar, hiking, swimming, chipping away at a big stack of books, and trying to resist the world of gadgets and technological distractions.