Karen Gaffney


Karen Gaffney oversees the Conservation Planning program at the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District. Previously, she was a CEO of West Coast Watershed - a small dynamic partnership focused on watershed planning and ecological restoration in coastal watersheds. Her work focuses on multi-benefit projects that enhance ecosystems as well as local communities and economies. As a restoration ecologist, she has engaged in conservation projects throughout California, with a strong focus on the vitality of river ecosystems. She helped to facilitate the North Coast Resource Partnership, working with a diverse coalition of Northern California agencies, tribes, NGOs and businesses to bring over $45 million in funding to the North Coast region for integrated projects focusing on clean drinking water, healthy watersheds, climate change and community vitality. Her graduate work at Sonoma State University focused on riparian corridor function in the Russian River watershed. Karen serves on the Department of Conservation's Watershed Advisory Committee, is the past president of the Society for Ecological Restoration - California, and has served on the board of the Watershed Management Council. She teaches Watershed Ecology and Restoration at Santa Rosa Junior college.

Fellow Activity

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Sonoma State University, MS
Current Position:
Conservation Science & Biology
Energy & Climate Change
Land, Open Space, Smart Growth
Water Resources
Currently Working On:
economic valuation of conservation; Climate Action Through Conservation; Urban Farm
14738 Chalk Hill Road
Healdsburg, California 95448
(707) 565-7360 x2

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