Staff Spotlight: Lukas Steinrueck, Stewardship Technician

March 30, 2023

Posted in: News Articles

In this month’s staff spotlight we welcome Lukas Steinrueck (he/him), who recently joined our team as a Stewardship Technician. Lukas moved to Sonoma County after graduating from Humboldt State University with a degree in Wildlife Conservation. Since moving here, Lukas has spent time working for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducting a variety of wildlife surveys, as a viticulture technician in the local wine industry, and most recently for the Sonoma Agricultural Commissioner’s office. Outside of work Lukas volunteers as a wildland firefighter with Fire Forward, and enjoys adventure sports like climbing and mountain biking. Read on to hear more about Lukas’s path to Ag + Open Space!

What’s your favorite Sonoma County place to get outside and why?
There are so many great places to visit in Sonoma County that it is tough to choose a favorite. If I had to pick one place to visit again and again it would be Sonoma Coast State Parks. Whether it’s to hike one of the many trails, escape the heat of summer days, climb at Sunset boulders, or just take in the coastal views, I will always enjoy visiting there.

What’s one fact, statistic, or interesting tidbit about land conservation that you enjoy sharing with others?
Protecting natural resources is often seen as the driving factor for land conservation, but what is often overlooked is the mental and physical benefits natural spaces can provide. Protecting agricultural lands helps provide access to fresh healthy foods, while being surrounded by natural spaces can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress levels.

What’s your proudest moment working in land conservation and why?
It’d have to be joining Ag + Open Space! I’ve had the privilege to work a variety of fulfilling jobs, but working for an organization whose goal it is to protect natural and agricultural lands in the county I call home has been my proudest moment to date.

What compelled you to pick a career in land conservation?
Growing up I was lucky to be able to spend lots of time exploring, hiking, and camping in a variety of natural places. All that time spent outside helped me become the person I am, so I knew I wanted a career that involved preserving and studying natural spaces. 

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
If I had to choose one flavor it would be Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food, but it really depends on the mood I’m in!