2014 - 2015 APAEA Executive Committee


Elizabeth Burger

In 2012, I was one of six elected leaders of the revitalized APAEA and helped successfully reestablish APAEA into an effective organization.  As Chair, I seek to continue establishing and maintaining networks important to APAEA.  I also have a plan for increasing involvement of APAEA members.  I am passionate about improving diversity through outreach, recruitment, and mentoring, and hope to serve as an advocate for APA employees and the APA community. 

My career with the USFS began in 1997 as a STEP employee for the Sequoia NF, while majoring in Environmental Biology at UC Davis.  The next year I joined the BLM as a SCEP wildlife biologist in OR.  In 2003, I moved on as a BLM hydrologist.  By 2007, I returned to the FS on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF in Medford, OR.   Last year, I moved to Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Water Program Leader in the W.O.  Since I have been in the W.O., I have advocated for APAEA as an Executive Committee member at the national level. I have enjoyed a rewarding career over 15 years with supportive mentors and great opportunities.  I was able to serve in the MWSI Liaison position for APAs on a detail and have also been involved in outreach and recruitment since 1998. I was raised in a military family living abroad for most of my childhood, and returned to the U.S.A. before attending high school.  Although my dad is of German descent and from CA, and my mom is from the Philippines, my family has kept Filipino traditions at its core. I enjoy recreating outdoors and travelling internationally and within the U.S.A.

Executive Committee

Joan Louie, GIS Analyst (Northern Region, Regional Office, Geospatial Group)

I grew up in Boston, MA and spent much of my time in Boston’s Chinatown.  My “outdoor” experiences included squirrels, raccoons, pigeons and whatever I could glean from books and magazines.  In my last year of high school, I was lucky enough to take an Environmental Science class, which ultimately influenced my career path.

I received a bachelor’s in Wildlife Conservation from UMass Amherst and a master’s in Fisheries Science from NC State.  I started with the Forest Service as a fisheries biologist SCEP in 2008.  Currently I am a GIS analyst for the R1 Regional Office, where I work on a variety of collaborative projects in fisheries, wildlife, botany, fire and research.  To further my personal and professional growth, I enroll in leadership classes whenever possible, which have been extremely valuable for me.

I have high hopes for the future of the Forest Service.  I am thankful for those who gave me the chance to get to where I’m at now.  I want to provide those same opportunities for APAs and other students of color, who also come from the inner city and have to play “catch up” when competing with others who grew up in the outdoors.

Robin Gyorgyfalvy, Landscape Architect & Scenic Byways Leader (Pacific Northwest Region, Deschutes NF, Bend/Fort Rock Ranger District)

I'm very passionate about the Forest Service and hope to encourage younger APAs to get into the Natural Resources field.  I believe I have unique perspectives as someone who grew up in a diverse urban area and now live in the least racially diverse region of the country.  I have big picture ideas for reaching out to the younger generations of all backgrounds and hop to play an important role in diversity, recruitment, and retention.

I grew up in Hawaii surfing and diving and have led international planning and design teams throughout the Pacific Islands and Asia.  I have strong strategic planning, marketing, educational, design, and communication skills for creating more visibility, understanding, and awareness for Pacific Islanders and Asians.  One idea I have is inviting others to learn more about the Pacific Islands and Asian cultures by joining APAEA, supporting cultural connections, and creating global partnerships.


- Mt Holyoke College, BA – Studio Art/Sculpture

- Dartmouth College, Exchange – Environmental Studies

- University of Oregon, MLA and BLA- Landscape Architecture

Recent Honors and Awards (2012-13):

- Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects

- National Poster Contest Winner, Asian Pacific American Heritage

- Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative Award for Wildlife Undercrossing, Federal Highways Administration

- Award for Creating Educational Opportunities as Mid-Year Meeting Chair, Transportation Research Board Design Committee

- Extra Effort Award for Visitor Center Project in Egypt, Forest Service International Programs

- Invited Speaker to China, Hosted by State Forestry Administration and Changsha University, International Forum on Development of

National Forest Parks – “Shaping Public Spaces:  Conservation Education through Environmental Design”

Relevant Experience:

- Scenic Byways and Environmental Design Program Leader, Deschutes National Forest – promote cultural tourism, conservation education through art, Native American partnerships, haiku workshops, cultural byways website

- Newberry National Volcanic Monument Director – create cultural awareness through Warm Springs Indian Reservation partnership

- Public Affairs & Partnerships Staff, Deschutes National Forest

- Conservation Education – author of award-winning book “Legends of the Hawaiian Forest” which uses storytelling as a tool to preserve nature and culture

- Deschutes Cultural Coalition Board of the Oregon Trust

- Bend 2030 Community Vision Board (Board’s First Chair) – Focus Area Culture, Humanities, Arts, Education

Danielle Cochran, Resource Specialist (Pacific Northwest Region, Deschutes National Forest, Supervisor's Office, Timber Sale Accounting)

I have worked for the Forest Service for 14 years. I am motivated to work with fellow employees who are committed to the complexity of our job: managing the land, providing for safe, effective all risk incident management and world-class recreation opportunities. I’m very organized and connect easily with people. I am excited to be a part of APAEA and love the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board.

I grew up in a very small, rural community. My grandmother was of Japanese descent and grew up in Hawaii. She lived a mile from me growing up and instilled in me a deep respect for the land and resources that surround us. I think it’s important to reach out to the APA community and promote government work as meaningful and respectable. As an employee I’ve worked in the field and in administration. I was a dispatcher for several years, have worked on wildland fire handcrews, been a wildland fire rappeller and now work as a Forest Products Financial Assistant. I graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Physiology.

I love the outdoors and working for the agency. I would like to be involved in recruitment and retention of a diverse and motivated workforce who are committed to managing the land and natural resources for generations to come.

Annette Delos-Santo, Equal Opportunity Specialist (Pacific Southwest Region, Regional Office, Civil Rights) 

 - Started with the Forest Service in 2003.  Currently serve in a dedicated position as the Region 5 Asian Pacific American Special Emphasis Program Manager.

- Blend of natural resources management and human dimension.  Worked for two natural resource federal agencies (Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management), which resulted in gaining the human element aspect of being an equal employment opportunity advocate, as well as having an understanding of land ethics.

- Leadership.  Graduate of Executive Leadership Program (ELP), USDA, Graduate School.  Developed leadership skills and executive core competencies through experiential assignments.

- Education.  Graduated from University of Utah, B.S Geography (Emphasis on Environmental Studies and a minor in Urban Planning).

- Core values.  Team work; quality relationships; resilience

- Strengths.  Interpersonal skills; technical credibility; customer service; attention to detail; flexibility; developing networks and contacts through outreach.

- Mentor.  Mentored employees in Region 5 through an established and formal mentoring program.  Also mentored high schools students through partnership.

- Statistical workforce data – EEO Management Directive 715 (MD-715).  Interpret workforce data to aid in correcting disparities between the Forest Service’s underrepresentation and the Civilian Labor Force statistics.

Whether elected to a leadership position or as an executive committee member, the following demonstrates my ability to work collaboratively.

It is exciting to devote my passion and career skills that align with APAEA’s vision to advocate and connect with Asian Pacific Americans as individuals, as well as communities.   Growing up as a Pacific Islander in Hawaii (where diversity thrives) provided a lifelong enthusiasm leading to:  1) a genuine willingness to aid people through being inclusive; 2) the ability to work in a collaborative environment; and 3) an appreciation of cross cultural values.

Chinling Chin, NEPA Planner (Pacific Southwest Region, Angeles National Forest, Supervisor's Office)            

I joined the Forest Service in 2011. I first volunteered to put an APAEA brochure together using existing information and I participated on a few executive committee calls. I loved the mission and the vision of this group. I believe that Asian American employees have a responsibility to reach out to our community. Promoting diversity and inclusion is one of my many interests. I believe that joining APAEA is an effective way to make changes.

Chinling Chen is a Natural Resources Specialist/Biological Scientist at U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Forest Service. She works in the Ecosystem Services and Markets program area in the State and Private Forestry Division. Her duties include communicating about ecosystem services relate topics through a monthly newsletter, convening meetings for agency stakeholders and catalyzing through administering grant funding for pilot projects on the ground. Her background is in Environmental Economics and Policy. She holds a Master’s Degree of Environmental Management from Duke University. In the past, she worked as a research assistant in the Congressional Research Service, a Soil Conservationist at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and an environmental education outreach intern at a local city government. Originally from Taiwan and moved with her family to Texas after high school, Chinling is interested in Asian American issues in general. Chinling enjoys running, swimming and cooking.