Colorado State University, B.S. Forestry with a concentration in fire science, 2007
Colorado State University, M.S. Forestry, 2009
Why do you do the work that you do?
I love the outdoors and I want to make sure that the resources are available into the future.
Describe the type of work you do on a day to day basis:
The San Bernardino National Forest is a very complex forest near the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The three largest program areas that define how the Forest operates are Fire, Recreation, and Special Uses. I fill multiple roles on the Forest, including Forest Planner, Environmental Coordinator, and Project Team Leader. I manage all aspects of the Forest Plan, including litigation, monitoring, and implementation. I ensure that the Forest is complying with NEPA, NFMA, and all other applicable laws, regulations, and policies when analyzing projects. I have worked to improve the planning capability on the Forest by teaching NEPA courses and developing training opportunities. I ensure that resource planning across the Forest meets the level of quality that is expected by the Region and Forest leadership, and I manage all appeals at the forest level. I work with the Forest Resource Staff Officer to analyze and plan annual budgets for all resource areas within the staff. I lead teams in the analysis of projects across the Forest, including hazardous fuels reduction projects, range allotment management plan projects, special use authorization projects, mining expansion plans of operation projects, and recreation site development projects; and I am the COR for NEPA analysis contracts on the Forest.
How did your degree prepare you for your present position?
Through my Master’s degree I was able to apply for the Presidential Management Fellowship, which allowed me to compete for a position in the federal government with an accelerated career path. My degrees in forestry and seasonal work experiences made me a great candidate for the USDA Forest Service. I accepted a two year fellowship position on the San Bernardino National Forest as the NEPA Planner. The fellowship has a requirement of an automatic promotion after a year, 80 hours of training, and at least a 4 month detail.
Who was an early inspiration for you?
My dad has worked for the Forest Service since I was little and so I have had a direct connection to the outdoors and the Forest Service for most of my life. My dad’s influence allowed me to explore all the great opportunities that the outdoors has to offer.
What faculty member had the greatest impact on you?
My graduate advisor, Dr. Yu Wei had the greatest impact on me at CSU. I did not take a class with Dr. Wei until my last year as an undergraduate, but he inspired me to pursue a graduate degree.
What advice would you give to students?
Find something that you really love to do and figure out a way to do it.
Don’t do something just because it is expected or you can make a lot of money.
Enjoy every minute of college.
What words do you live by?
“If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose.” - Celestine Chua
What organizations were you involved in at CSU?
Xi Sigma Pi – Forestry honor society