APAEA Elections

National Chair and Executive Committee (Jan. 2016-Dec. 2017 term)

The National Chair and Four (of our five) Executive Committee Members positions will be elected this December to serve from January 2016 through December 2017. Elizabeth Berger is the Outgoing National Chair.  The Outgoing Executive Committee Members,  Annette Delos-Santos, Chinling Chen, Danielle Cochran, and Robin Gyorgyfalvy have served in their leadership roles.

Important election dates and deadlines
Download Nomination Form
Contact Elections Team: apaea.fs+election@gmail.com

Meet Our National Chair and Executive Committee Candidates

National Chair Nominee, CHINLING CHEN

NEPA Planner, R5 Modoc National Forest, Tulelake, CA


I believed in the mission of APAEA and would like to contribute in the next two years as chair.  In the past two years on the Executive Committee, I networked with lots of members and moved projects forward.  APAEA is a volunteer organization.  The contribution from members are truly appreciated.  Lots of coordination happens behind the scene.  I learned a great deal from previous chairs and would like to lead APAEA and continue the great work.


Chinling is a district NEPA planner in Northern California.  Project level planning and coordination is her focus.  She had worked on a vegetation treatment, fuel reduction, wildlife habitat protection and enhancement, insects and disease treatment, salvage, range land improvement and special use permit projects.  Her background is natural resource management and environmental economics and policy.  Chinling grew up in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin fluently.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, swimming and cooking.

Executive Committee Candidates


Investigative Assistant, Law Enforcement & Investigations Region 1, Idaho Panhandle National Forests

Taken at 2015 FAPAC National Leadership Training Rockville, DC
Taken at 2015 FAPAC National Leadership Training Rockville, DC

I will try to help in marketing APAEA not only in Region 1, but Nationwide.  Our heritage says a lot about us and preserving it is very important in this diverse Forest Service.  Outreaching and recruitment efforts by others are commendable and along that line, I hope the Newsletter I started this year will continue to spread the word and make APAEA known on a broader extent.  FAPAC 2015 proved to be a great way to network with people and given the chance to attend it again next year, I hope to do a lot more marketing and recruiting from other regions.


I was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the United States in May 1982.  My hometown on Naic, Cavite was south of Manila in the Luzon Island.  I am the youngest in a family of seven.  My husband was in the U.S. Navy and California was our home for 14 years.  We moved to Northern Idaho following my husband’s retirement from the Navy.  I worked at Lemoore Naval Air Station at the Chapman College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and then moved to the Public Affairs Office, started as a clerk and worked my way up to Deputy Public Affairs Officer/Community Relations Officer and Airshow Marketing Director.

I am currently the Investigative Assistant/Evidence Custodian of the Law Enforcement & Investigation unit on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.


Taxation, R8, Cooperative Forestry Unit, Washington DC


At Washington D.C. Headquarters, I’d like to contribute to APAEA by coordinating and connecting with the national leaders to provide support and resource to the smooth operation of APAEA and its programs.


Dr. Linda Wang serves as a National Timber Tax Specialist with USDA Forest Service.  She is an author on federal income tax and estate tax on forest land.  She advises state and federal forestry leaders on significant timber tax policies.  She provides leadership on timber tax educations to private forestland owners nationwide.  She has a Ph.D. in Forest Economics and a CPA certificate.


Assistant Facilities Engineer, R6, Okanogan-Wenatchee


Every individual is unique in their own way.  As an Executive Committee member, my contribution will be to provide equal opportunity from a diverse perspective.  My professional background includes but is not limited to sharing my experiences, expertise, and enthusiasm, while respecting the other members as we work together to produce results that meets the expectations of the association.


I was born in 1987 in a village in India as a Tibetan refugee and moved to the United States at the age of 9.  This transition still proves to be challenging adventure even to this day as I continue to learn about the world and the workings of our civilization.

Math was my favorite subject in high school, which led me to pursue Civil Engineering for my undergraduate degree.  During my junior year at University of California, Davis, I realized my passion, which led me to a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Environmental Engineering.  I currently have an Engineer-in-Training certificate and am working towards getting a Professional Engineer license.

My goal in life is to keep learning and to provide public service, which is one of the main reasons I am working for the Forest Service.  I started as a STEP at Stanislaus NF in Region 5, became a SCEP at Olympic NF in Region 6 and am currently an Assistant Facilities Engineer on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF in Region 6.  I am grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way.


Assistant TES Wildlife Biologist, R6, Regional Office


As a future APAEA EC member I hope to infuse the group with fresh perspective on diversity and inclusion.  I would like to expand APAEA’s ability to reach current and future employees using relevant media sources, energize current members to become more active in the organization and provide tools and products that are useful to our demographic group.  By “looking and thinking forward”, I hope to make APAEA a source of networking and support.


I’m a 16 year “green-blooded” Forest Service Regional Wildlife Biologist!

I graduated from the University of California-Davis with a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, with plans for graduate school.  While at UCD, I stumbled into the APAEA internship office and came out as a Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) with the Pacific Southwest (PSW) Research Station.  The agency paid for my entire Master’s degree.

I graduated with an M.S. in Biology from the University of Nevada-Reno and was offered another SCEP to pursue a PhD, but turned it down, as “Central Oregon” I thought was too remote for a young LA gal.  In 2000, I converted to a PFT on the San Bernardino National Forest (Southern California).  I stayed on the San Bernardino NF for 14 years, as District Wildlife Biologist.  I have converted several SCEP students, and mentored many undergrads/grads in their research, which has been absolutely rewarding!  Most importantly, I’ve always used my connections with APAEA to stay in touch with other colleagues as support and networking in my career.

I’ve recently moved to the Regional office (Portland, OR) in Region 6.  I’m married to another career Forest Service employee and have 2 future APAEA girls.


Forester (Biometrician), R6 Regional Office


I’m committed to the promotion of diversity and inclusion through networking within and across APAEA, different disciplines, other agencies, academia, and the public.  I find place and space fascinating; understanding how APAs enjoy and work within the context of natural resources fits with this.  I want to work to contribute to and expand the awareness and presence of APAs and other underrepresented groups in natural resources through technology, social media, meetings and conferences.


My background in natural resources is steeped in an interdisciplinary mix of ecology, environmental science, forestry, and geography.  The USFS is a great agency for me to apply my interdisciplinary skills and experience.  I just completed my first year in a permanent position as an analyst working under the Regional Biometrician in the Pacific Northwest’s Regional Office.  My passion for nature began when I was in college.  Prior to college, I lived a sheltered life detached from the natural world and had no idea about the ecological diversity of our planet.  At the urging of my parents to be a medical doctor, I majored in zoology at Auburn University in Alabama.  I was fortunate enough to choose the ecology, evolution and behavior tract which took me out into the field and down the path of where I am today.  It’s been a challenging yet enjoyable experience and I’m grateful that I’ve gotten the chance to work for one of the best agencies when it comes to managing our nation’s natural resources.  My parents (my dad is Indian and my mother is Filipino) are happy nowadays and impressed with where I have been able to take my career!

Irvin Fox-Fernandez

Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief, WO Business Operations


My enthusiasm for wilderness and biology frames my strong interest to share stories and enhance the work environment.  I have the communication skills and enthusiasm to augment APAEA membership and foster an inclusive spirit enriching the Agency.

With APAEA’s mission, I will promote the Agency’s cultural diversity and engage others through APAEA events and education opportunities.  My cultural norm to show hospitality and respect complements the appeal to expand these values with the FS and APAEA members.  I welcome the new friendships and am excited to share our cultural similarities and differences.


In the last decade, I have grown professionally and emotionally thanks to my family and peers.  I am learning to be an equal player in a hierarchical management structure.  Recently, I began a new job as the Executive Assistant for the Deputy Chief of Business Operations, WO.  I work on a strong team of great communicators.  Sharing my field experience with management, I contribute to a larger and meaningful team effort in strategic planning human resources, and budget accountability.

A year ago, we moved to DC for new family life experiences and career enhancement.  As a WO NEPA Specialist and the Acting Assistant National Wildlife Ecologist, I gained national FS perspectives through writing directives and analyzing proactive species conservation.  Prior to DC, I was the District Resource Officer on the Los Padres NF leading NEPA projects, providing biology expertise, and administering the Sespe Oil Field.  With BLM, I managed salmonid restoration projects, implemented the NW Forest Plan, and coordinated wildlife research.  My federal career began as an Assistant Refuge Manager for the USFWS, where  learned the complexities of urban endangered species management and the vital mix of NGO, city, county, state and federal partnership.

My enthusiasm for biology and wilderness began with explorations with my best friend looking for snakes and critters, eventually completing a zoology degree from UC Santa Barbara.  I spent 5 years thereafter as an outdoor educator and biological technician; my excursions expanded to weeks backpacking the southwest U.S. and trekking through Central America.  My inspiration is my active 8 year old son, whose excitement for life is unstoppable.  I enjoy running trails, camping, backpacking, family athletic and board game fun, and conversations with family and friends.


 Election Dates (all deadlines close 12:01 AM PST)


  • Membership registration forms DUE (for nominees who are not current members)
  • Requests for alternative to web-based ballot DUE

10/30/15   Nomination Deadline

11/3/15     Polling Open

11/27/15   Voting Ends  

  • Open to all APAEA members (permanent, temporary & retirees) in good standing, who have submitted their membership forms by 11:59 PM PDT October 30, 2015. Members who have already submitted their membership forms do not need to re-submit. If you participated in APAEA prior to our 2011 USDA official employee resource group recognition, and never got around to submitting a membership form, please take a few moments to complete your membership online.
  • Voting will be online. Eligible members will receive an email containing a unique link to their individual ballot. Requests for more accessible or alternate voting methods should be sent to apaea.fs+election@gmail.com before November 27th.
  • Voters may cast only 1 ballot. All APAEA members will be emailed an individual unique link to their anonymous ballot.
  • Voting will be open from November 1 and closes 11:59 PM PST November 27, 2015.
  • Election results will be announced in December 2016. For complete election rules, see APAEA Constitution and Bylaws.

We generally hold monthly 1-2 hr long conference calls and dedicate some time in between calls to make progress on projects.  You will have opportunities to hone your leadership skills, enhance your career development, support Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and strengthen Forest Service cultural competency. The Executive Committee consists of a great group of folks with a variety of skill sets, and we hope that you consider joining us!

Have a question about APAEA election?