Operations Director

North Santa Barbara County, Mid Santa Barbara County, South Santa Barbara County, Other
Full Time
Quail Springs

Operations Director 

Start Date: April 2024





Quail Springs is dedicated to practicing holistic, low-cost ways of designing human environments, as well as facilitating deeper understandings of our relationships with ourselves, one another, and our local ecologies. We are continuously evolving our practices in watershed restoration, water advocacy, and dryland agriculture, and we endeavor to practice regenerative land stewardship. Ultimately, our goal is to share by example, focusing our efforts to provide environmental educational access to all, especially with our neighbors throughout the Cuyama Valley. Quail Springs is many things; you can learn more about the work we do and how we live on our website and our Instagram



Founded in 2004, Quail Springs began as a site for nature immersion programming for underserved youth. Over the years, it transformed into a vibrant community and educational center, offering Permaculture Design Courses, natural building workshops, and other nature-based education intensives. The community built various earthen structures with materials harvested from the land, centered around a permaculture demonstration farm. Thousands of students would visit the site each year; Quail Springs has a longstanding international reputation for cultivating profound connection, inspiration, and transformation. Due to county compliance restrictions, we are not able to host onsite programming in this capacity. In recent years, we have shifted our focus to regional, grant-funded environmental justice programs in service to the people and land of the Cuyama Valley and beyond. We are in a unique, exciting time of transformation as an organization and as a community!



Quail Springs is located in the Cuyama Valley of southern California on the traditional homelands of the Chumash people. The nearest small townships are Ventucopa or New Cuyama, yet we are 1.5 hours from the nearest urban/suburban center. The elevation is approximately 3,600′ and the land is high desert, piñon-juniper woodland. The ruggedly beautiful Los Padres National Forest surrounds Quail Springs on three sides.



Quail Springs residents and staff are a dedicated group of solutionaries, farmers, artists, and land stewards who strive to live and work together in a way that creates an example of possibility for a regenerative human community. We foster a supportive culture through food, music, art, and reverent land tending; as well as sharing and exchanging skills and regenerative projects within the other communities we are a part of. 


Some of our collectively held values include: 

  • Interdependence rather than individualism
  • Ethical food sourcing
  • Investing in hyper-local economies
  • Working towards reciprocity with all that sustains us
  • Celebration of art and play


We live with off grid infrastructure, using solar power for electricity. We have limited wifi, and no cellphone service. Our communal shower is heated by a wood fired rocket stove. We share in cooking communal meals and cleaning shifts weekly. Each employee lives in their own yurt or earthen home, heated by wood stoves in the winter. You could describe our lifestyle as “rustic.” 



Since 2004, we have been building soil and growing food in a high desert climate. We supplement purchased organic bulk foods with our own dairy, eggs, meat, greens, and herbs throughout the year. The animals on the farm currently include a goat herd with milking does, a flock of layer hens, 2 livestock guardian dogs (Great Pyrenees), and a few farm cats. Employees can expect to contribute 3-5 hours to the farm each week.



Prospective candidates will embrace simple, remote rural living in community while working within the structure of a nonprofit organization. Quail Springs follows a governance model called Sociocracy. We aim to empower employees with decision-making power in their areas of work. While we are not fully non-hierarchical, we center equity and consent while still striving for efficiency. A successful applicant will have an interest in non-hierarchical/horizontal workplace structures and a commitment to exploring them with us. To learn more, check out our webinar from earlier this year.


Position Description


The Operations Director will work closely with our Program Director and Executive Director to coordinate our organizational operations. The Operations Director plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of Quail Springs by overseeing various administrative and logistical aspects of the organization. This position is largely self-directed and the right candidate will be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with staff and the community. This candidate will have an interest in rural communities and land-based living and be comfortable interfacing with the public digitally and in person. They will have high cultural awareness and sensitivity and experience working with people of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Spanish proficiency is highly desired for this position. Experience as an educator is a plus.


Primary Responsibilities


Administration and Operations (50%)

  • Ensure efficient day-to-day operations of the team
  • Create and update organizational policies and procedures to improve our internal resilience
  • Assist Executive Director with physical and digital record keeping, insurance, and other administrative management
  • Support Program Director and Executive Director with evolving our programming and organization structures 
  • Monitor info@quailsprings.org email and forward messages to appropriate team members
  • Check voicemails and mailbox weekly
  • Manage inventory – communal supplies, office supplies, merchandise 
  • Assist in troubleshooting technology issues


Hosting and Event Coordination (30%)

  • Coordinate and lead public and private tours of the Quail Springs site
  • Provide helpful and thorough pre-arrival/logistical information to guests for org-related visits
  • Plan and coordinate on and offsite programming events with the Program Director and rest of the team
  • Build relationships with org partners through thorough follow-up communication 
  • Oversee maintenance and beautification of the guest spaces and campgrounds
  • Facilitate monthly ‘All-Hands’ work party days for community to promote care, cleanliness, and maintenance of common spaces in preparation for site visits


General Support (20%)

  • Participate and facilitate team meetings within a Sociocratic structure
  • Support with grant funded projects on and offsite as needed. Support could include preparing meals, leading educational workshops, Spanish to English interpretation, assisting in community forums, and tabling at partner events on behalf of Quail Springs.
  • Collaborate with the community in ensuring health, safety, and well being of folks on the land as lead of quarterly People Care Circle meetings.


Qualities & Qualifications


Successful applicants are highly organized, flexible, solution-focused, forward-thinking, open to learning, and have an interest in equitable and resilient community structures. They will have strong computer and digital organization skills. They are personable, warm, and engaging, with a collaborative and playful spirit. Strong communication skills and an orientation towards leaning in during conflict will serve the successful candidate in this position. 


  • Spanish proficiency (highly desired)
  • Strong organizational skills (highly desired)
  • Strong computer and technology skills (spreadsheets, Google suite, Slack, Monday.com, etc.) (highly desired)
  • Strong work ethic and attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Grant management experience (desired, but not required)
  • Experience hosting/facilitating tours and educational programs/workshops
  • Self-directed d takes initiative on work and projects
  • Investment in community outreach and relationship building
  • Cultural sensitivity and adaptable working style
  • Exceptional communication skills and willingness to have difficult conversations, give and receive constructive feedback. Experience with NVC and/or conflict mediation skills is a plus.
  • Ability and desire to live in community and to work well in a team
  • Willingness to engage in community chores (laundry, cleaning, cooking, land tending etc.)


We are in a time of organizational transition – we appreciate your openness to a shifting role. With that, the position may also be flexible to accommodate the right candidate. If our desired qualifications don’t resonate, we encourage you to apply anyway!

To Apply

Fill and complete application: here

Once application is completed, please send Resume/CV and Cover letter to: admin@quailsprings.org

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Deadline: January 31st, 2024

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