Climate & Soil Specialist

Website Napa Green

Napa County Vineyard & Winery Sustainability Certifications

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Position Title: Climate & Soil Specialist
Status: Full Time (37.5 hrs/wk)
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Salary Range: $70,000-80,000

Napa Green is one of six sustainable winegrowing certifications nationwide, and one of only four programs that offers the opportunity for comprehensive, soil to bottle third-party certification for both vineyards and wineries. The Napa Green program has existed since 2004 and became an independent nonprofit in fall 2019. In April 2021, Napa Green rolled out a new Napa Green Vineyard certification, which is the first sustainable winegrowing certification to focus specifically on climate action, regenerative farming, and social equity and justice. Napa Green has set the ambitious goal for grower members to become carbon neutral with six years (two certification cycles) and carbon negative, or climate positive, in nine years.

Napa Green is grateful to have a close partnership with the Napa County Resource Conservation District, who has been piloting and leading Carbon Farm Plans (CFPs) and Irrigation Distribution Uniformity Assessments for regional growers. Napa Green is seeking to complement this work with an in-house Climate & Soil Specialist who can expand CFP and Irrigation Assessment capacity, and provide critical on-the-ground implementation support to winegrape growers. On the job training is available to build CFP and Irrigation Assessment proficiency, granted the candidate has essential agronomy and soil science expertise.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Conduct grower outreach to encourage and facilitate Napa Green Vineyard certification, answer questions, and provide resources
  • Facilitate vineyard Carbon Farm Plans, develop recommendations reports, discuss opportunities with growers
  • Conduct in-row and under vine soil sampling
  • Facilitate Irrigation Distribution Uniformity Assessments, develop recommendations reports
  • Provide implementation support for carbon farming practices (e.g., compost, cover crops, conservation tillage, hedgerows, reducing/eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides and Integrated Pest Management)
  • Organize and lead grower educational and training workshops
  • Assist growers with completion of interim “desk audits” and recertification
  • Collaborate in identifying and applying for relevant grants
  • Provide regular progress updates to Executive Director

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree (or comparable work experience) in crop science, soil science, viticulture, horticulture, agronomy, or a closely related field
  • 5+ years of work experience in the agriculture or natural resource management fields
  • A practical understanding of principles and practices of sustainable agriculture, including principles of soil health, water conservation, and integrated pest management
  • A practical understanding of:
    • Climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation in the California agricultural sector
    • Common farm equipment, including tractors, tillage implements (including in-row tillers), mowers, herbicide sprayers, seeders, and amendment spreaders
    • Irrigation scheduling methods and technologies, as well as best practices for water-use efficiency
    • Soil management practices, including conservation tillage, cover cropping, compost application
  • Excellent English written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to set priorities, manage time, work under pressure and manage multiple projects effectively
  • Strong map-reading skills, including ability to interpret topographic maps and aerial photographs
  • Strong computer skills, including ability to navigate the internet and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents
  • Desire to embrace the mission of Napa Green and work with growers to rapidly scale climate action and increase resilience
  • Must be willing to travel locally within Napa County, and regionally within the Bay Area
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license, good driving record, and proof of insurance at time of hire

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Master’s degree in crop science, soil science, viticulture, horticulture, agronomy, or a closely related field.
  • 2+ years of experience with vineyard development and management
  • Experience using COMET tools
  • Experience with writing, managing, and reporting on grants
  • Experience with public outreach, community engagement, and communications
  • Experience with developing educational resources and creating and delivering training programs
  • Spanish fluency or proficiency
  • Knowledge of government programs serving the agricultural community
  • Familiarity with Napa County’s geography, ecology, and environmental issues
  • Experience with grazing animals (sheep and goats)

WORK ENVIRONMENT
Work hours are generally 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. from Monday through Friday, however, some work outside of these hours may occasionally be required. Office work will either be from home or shared coworking space in downtown Napa. Local travel and field work will be required, almost entirely within Napa County. Must be willing to work outside on uneven terrain in all weather conditions.

COMPENSATION
Salary will range between $70,000 and $80,000 annually and will be commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications. Two-weeks paid vacation. No health or retirement benefits.

TO APPLY
Please submit a complete application to the attention of Anna Brittain, Executive Director, Napa Green, anna@napagreen.org. Your application should include:

  • Current Resume/CV
  • Professional references: A list of names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three people familiar with your professional contributions and qualifications;
  • Supplemental questions: Written responses to the following questions:
    • Describe why you are interested in this position. (150 words maximum)
    • Describe your experience using sustainable practices on a farm. What sustainable and regenerative practices to you believe California’s vineyard producers could most benefit from and why? (300 words maximum)
    • A grower has a ten-acre block of 20-year-old winegrape vines that are virus-infested and performing poorly. The grower would like assistance replanting this block to increase soil health, water retention, drought resilience, and on-farm biodiversity. Describe some of the practices and approaches you would recommend they consider. (300 words maximum)
  • University transcripts: All undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Unofficial transcript copies will be accepted for the application, and official transcript copies may be requested as the application review process moves forward.

To apply for this job email your details to anna@napagreen.org