2016 - 2017 APAEA Executive Committee


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

I believe 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. 

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 fluent Mandarin. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, swimming, and cooking.

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.

Irvin Fox-Fernandez, Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief (Washington Office, 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.

Anne Poopatanapong, Assistant TES Wildlife Biologist (Pacific Northwest Region, Regional Office, Natural Resources)

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) intern (now Pathways) with the Pacific Southwest 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 Los Angeles gal.  In 2000, I converted to a permanent full-time on the San Bernadino National Forest (Southern California).  I stayed on the San Bernadino 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 two future APAEA girls.

Feliciana "Fely" Schaible, Investigative Assistant (Northern Region, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Law Enforcement & Investigations)

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 with other regions.

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 was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the United State 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 the 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.

Arvind A. R. Bhuta, PhD, GIS, Ecologist (Southern Region, National Forests in Alabama, Supervisor's 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. 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 amtoday. 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!