Valerie Hipkins, Director

Valerie Hipkins.
Valerie Hipkins


  • PhD in Genetics and Forestry from Oregon State University (1993)
  • MS in Forest Physiology from Oregon State University
  • BS in Forestry from Humboldt State University

Work History

  • January 1998 to Present: Director, National Forest Genetics Laboratory (NFGEL), USDA Forest Service.
  • December 2009 to January 2011: Acting Program Manager, Conservation of Biodiversity, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station.
  • January 2009 to May 2009: Acting Program Manager, Sierra Nevada Research Center, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station.
  • October 1993 - December 1997: Assistant Director, National Forest Genetics Laboratory, USDA Forest Service.

Career Interests

Valerie has a strong interest in putting science to work to solve the problems encountered by resource managers. She would like to drive programs that are capable of solving resource challenges we face today and those emerging issues that we will encounter in the future.

As Director of NFGEL, Valerie is responsible for project development, client relations, scientific reporting, and administrative duties including budget planning for the unit. NFGEL provides genetic testing and information for integrated solutions to on-the-ground problems faced by natural resource managers and policy makers. Information about genetics helps assess past, current and future biological changes, and provides implications for management options in the future. NFGEL's work is national in scope, spanning the boundaries between Regions, Agencies, and non-government groups, and impacts many different management projects across our nation’s landscapes.

Contact Information

Office phone: 530-622-1609
USDA Forest Service
National Forest Genetics Laboratory (NFGEL)
2480 Carson Road
Placerville, CA 95667