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May 2018 - present
Tejon Ranch Conservancy
- As a Bakersfield native, Mitchell grew up with the lore and scenic backdrop of Tejon Ranch. He first became affiliated with the Conservancy in January 2015 as part of the Environmental Educational Partnership Impacting Colleges and Careers (EPIC), which provided funding to conduct his thesis research on the Ranch. He joined the Conservancy as its Staff Biologist in May 2018 after three years of work as an environmental consultant. Mitchell specializes in plant ecology and physiology. His master’
As the world population grows, so does the demand for food, putting unprecedented pressure on agricultural lands. At the same time, climate change, soil degradation, and water scarcity mean that productivity of many of these lands is deteriorating. In many desert dryland regions, drinking wells are drying up and the land above them is sinking, soil...
Native saltbush, Atriplex polycarpa, shrub populations are widely diminished and fragmented in the southern San Joaquin Desert of California due to habitat conversion and invasion by exotic annual grasses of mostly Mediterranean origin. The role these grasses play in saltbush population demography is not well understood. We hypothesized that saltbu...
Invasive annual grasses are widespread across the arid Western United States, including native saltbush communities in the San Joaquin Valley of California. We hypothesized that the grasses limit saltbush seedling recruitment, leading to persistently invaded grasslands and thereby inhibiting saltbush succession. We predicted that this could happen...