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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Ventura County Resource Conservation DistrictCandidate for Director

Photo of Melissa Baffa

Melissa Baffa

Educator/Nonprofit Executive
8,275 votes (13.16%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Conservation and restoration of natural habitat - including projects to restore our watersheds (lakes, rivers, and streams), ultimately benefiting the health of our beloved ocean in the process.
  • Water conservation - partnering with private and public landholders to implement water conservation best practices, especially in light of the historic drought we find ourselves in.
  • Removal of invasive species - these crowd out and out-compete native species of plants and animals, disrupting natural habitats, and decreasing populations of native species.



Profession:Educator/Nonprofit executive
Development Officer, Foundation and Corporate Relations, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (2016–current)
Vice President, Program and Volunteer Services, Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast (2015–2016)
Director, Outdoor Experience and STEM, Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast (2014–2015)
Executive Director, Friends of Channel Coast State Parks (2012–2014)
Executive Director, Gull Wings Children's Museum (2008–2012)


California State University, Northridge Single subject teaching credential, secondary level, Biological sciences (2001)
California Lutheran University Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences (1995)

Community Activities

Vice-President, board of directors, Ventura County Leadership Academy (2016–current)
Board member, Ventura County Women's Political Council (2016–current)
Steering committee member, Ventura County Nonprofit Leadership Council (2015–current)
Secretary, executive committee, Ventura County Leadership Academy (2013–2016)
Board member, California League of Park Associations (2014–2015)


Melissa Baffa serves as a Development Officer for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for nine years, most recently as  the Vice President of Program and Volunteer Services for the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast. Prior to joining the Girl Scouts, she served as the Executive Director for Gull Wings Children's Museum and Friends of Channel Coast State Parks. Baffa, who is also a teacher, has taught middle school science in Simi Valley, and marine biology in the Upward Bound program based at California Lutheran University. She has also worked as a research associate at Amgen.

Melissa also serves as a Lead Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), sailing aboard Dr. Robert Ballard’s E/V Nautilus in 2015 and 2016. She explored the Galápagos Islands and the ocean off of Southern California during her expeditions and uses the experience to educate the public about ocean exploration.

An avid nature and outdoors enthusiast, she is also active in her community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Ventura County Leadership Academy and the Ventura County Women’s Political Council, as well as the Steering Committee of the Nonprofit Leadership Council. Melissa is also a member of the 40 Under 40, Class of 2013, awarded by the Pacific Coast Business Times to recognize emerging leaders in the Tri-Counties Region.

Baffa graduated from California Lutheran University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, later earning a post-graduate teaching credential at California State University, Northridge. A mother of three children, she lives with her family in Ventura, California.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (1)

  • Linda Parks, Ventura County Supervisor

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