The Conservancy’s new Stewardship Associate Izaac Tompkins and Stewardship Manager Andrew Nguyen monitor a new construction site on The Preserve. Photo by Alix Soliman.
August 26, 2021
By Alix Soliman, Communications & Outreach Coordinator
Over the past few months, the Conservancy has restructured its Stewardship Program to better serve The Preserve community and safeguard the protected values of 8,000 acres of conservation easements, or Openlands, that the Conservancy holds in trust. With Stewardship Manager Andrew Nguyen and Stewardship Associate Izaac Tompkins joining the team, the program is designed to prioritize partnering with landowners to find win-win solutions for people and the land.
Andrew’s most recent position was with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California where he created the first formal land stewardship program for the 583-acre, easement-encumbered property. Before working at Djerassi, Andrew was an AmeriCorps member serving with the Department of Environmental Conservation in Vermont where he worked with private agricultural landowners to establish conservation easements on their properties. Working with AmeriCorps required Andrew to collaborate with diverse stakeholders where he thrived talking to people about their land. Originally from the Washington DC area, Andrew has an undergraduate degree in Biology from James Madison University in Virginia and a Master of Environmental Science & Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science at UC Santa Barbara.
Andrew Nguyen compares his birds-eye-view map with the Homeland boundary posts he sees on the ground. Photo by Alix Soliman.
Izaac joined the Conservancy after working as an Environmental Assistant with the County of San Luis Obispo Public Works to conduct the research, monitoring, and mitigation of roads and bridge projects throughout the County. Born and raised in Kansas City, Izaac earned his B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he formed a bond with the unique ecosystems and endemic plants of California’s Central Coast.
“My favorite part of the job so far is getting to interact with different people that all share a common goal,” Izaac said. “Landowners, architects, and contractors all work harmoniously to achieve their vision and are invested in ecologically-minded development.”
Together, Andrew and Izaac are a resource for landowners and contractors from the start of the design and review process through the end of construction and beyond. Committed to preventing easement encroachments through education and coordination, our new stewardship team works closely with the Design and Review Board (DRB), Design and Construction Services (DCS), and the Conservancy’s Ecological Management Team.
A top priority, the Conservancy’s stewardship staff works with landowners to actively support The Preserve’s long-term vision of a place where both people and wildlife thrive. Andrew and Izaac’s goals are to provide guidance for best Openlands management practices, answer technical questions about conservation easements, and resolve easement compliance issues amicably.