Plant Material Development Project Manager Sunny Saroa is one of the IRC team members working at the heart of the plant materials program. Having worked at IRC for a year and a half, Sunny handles the supply chain of native plants and seed for IRC’s restoration and enhancement projects. Day-to-day, Sunny oversees activities within the plant development program, working with IRC staff, volunteers, and contractors to develop plant materials through wild collection, seed production at the Native Seed Farm, and nursery production...
Prior to joining IRC, Sunny worked on a range of projects including post-fire vegetation monitoring, active restoration projects in chaparral and desert ecosystems, and nutrient cycling experiments in coastal sage scrub and desert ecosystems as a research lab manager in restoration and invasion ecology labs.
“Working in restoration labs, I was aware of IRC’s work in the past,” said Sunny. “After hearing there was a position in Plant Materials, I figured I’d be a good fit and was especially interested in working on a larger scale.”
With seed harvest season in full swing, Sunny is currently focused on managing seed harvesting at the Native Seed Farm and planning for future seed collection on the Landmarks.
“My favorite part about my job is working with plants, learning more about them and getting people excited about them,” said Sunny. “In addition, I enjoy working to restore habitats on a landscape scale and knowing that I’m making a direct contribution to conservation.”
When Sunny isn’t spending his time working on plant materials projects, he enjoys hiking, botany, playing video games, board games and D&D. He can also be found cooking, baking and catching up on the latest movies and TV shows. Sunny also enjoys finding his favorite spots on the Landmarks while managing the plant materials program.
“I recently visited Dripping Springs for the first time, so I’d say that’s my current favorite, but a close second is Hangman’s Tree Road. Both are unique and interesting spots on the Irvine Ranch Open Space and have several species that aren’t as common in other areas. I have yet to visit Buck Gully, so that may alter my preferences in the future,” said Sunny.
For more information about Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the plant materials program on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit IRConservancy.org or follow the Conservancy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.