Staffing and Organization

The National Forest Genetics Laboratory (NFGEL) is staffed with a combination of permanent and temporary employees bringing over 40 years of experience in plant molecular, population, and conservation genetics. The lab also hosts 1 to 3 high school volunteer interns per year.

Staff Member Position Phone Number
Valerie Hipkins NFGEL Director 530-622-1609
Vacant Geneticist 530-621-6883
Randy Meyer Lab Biotechnician 530-295-3037
Jian Alsarraj Lab Biotechnician 530-295-3038

NFGEL Steering Committee

NFGEL is guided by a Steering Committee made up of Agency professionals with an interest in the genetic assessment of our nation’s resources. Steering Committee members:

  1. oversee and ensure the accomplishments of the agreed upon work of NFGEL,
  2. assist in setting national priorities for NFGEL workload, and
  3. assist in securing necessary resources to accomplish the program of work.

NFGEL Steering Committee Meeting Notes

NFGEL Steering Committee
Member Forest Service Deputy Area Position Location Phone Number
John Crockett, Chair National Forest System Acting Assistant Director - Forest Management Washington Office, Washington, DC 202-205-1495 
Tom Blush National Forest System Regional Geneticist Region 5,
Placerville, CA
Barbara Crane National Forest System Regional Geneticist Region 8,
Atlanta, GA
Keith Woeste Research & Development Molecular Geneticist and Hardwood Breeding Northern Research Station, West Lafayette, IN 765-496-6808 
Gary Man State & Private Forestry Acting Assistant Director - Cooperative Forestry – Urban and Community Forestry Program Washington Office, Washington DC 202-401-4416
Dave Pivorunas National Forest System Assistant Threatened Endangered, and Sensitve (TES) Species, Program Leader; Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants Washington Office, Washington DC 202-205-1213
Larry Stritch National Forest System National Botanist - Rangelands Management & Vegetation Ecology Washington Office, Washington, DC 304-274-6947
David Gwaze National Forest System National Silviculturist and Genetics Lead Washington Office, Washington DC 202-205-0854