Jesse Trace

Restoration Ecologist


Jesse is a central coast transplant. He grew up on a farm Northwest of Chicago but spent extended winters and summers in Cayucos escaping the cold during elementary school and junior high. This early taste of the California central coast climate brought him back out West for college where he got his undergraduate in Sociology at UCSB as well as a year and a half studying abroad in Andalucia, Spain. After college he had a short stint as a fundraiser for non-profits. His desire for more direct action in conservation, coupled with the chance to backpack around South America, took him to Costa Rica where he worked in rural community based sustainable development and conservation. He received a master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the University of Costa Rica. After graduation he returned to his beloved California central coast. As farm manager and land steward of his family’s avocado farm, he is applying lessons from permaculture design and watershed restoration to create a model for local food system resilience in a future of drought and deluge. In his free time he likes to hike, plant trees, think about systems, and research our fascinating local history.