PORTLAND, Ore. April 13, 2012. Gretchen
Nicholas has been selected to lead the Resource Monitoring and
Assessment (RMA) Program at the Forest Service’s Pacific
Northwest (PNW) Research Station. The RMA Program conducts inventories
and research activities in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon,
Washington, and the Pacific Islands. It is one of four programs
across the country that collectively make up the national Forest
Inventory and Analysis Program.
Nicholas has served as the Deputy RMA Program Manager since March
2010 and has been the Acting RMA Program Manager since January
2012, providing supervision for 145 employees and managing an annual
budget of about $14.8 million. Before joining the Forest Service,
she was with the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
where she was the manager for silviculture, research, and monitoring.
She also managed DNR’s Lands Division for 5 years and was
a regional manager for the South Puget Sound Region for 3 years.
Prior to her DNR tenure, she worked for International Paper in
Idaho as the manager for the Idaho log yard, as unit forester supervising
forest management activities, and as a regional supervisor for
forest inventory. Nicholas holds a B.S. in forest management from
the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from St. Martin’s
The RMA Program improves forests and rangelands by developing and applying
inventory and monitoring methodology to maintain current comprehensive inventories.
It also conducts multiscale assessments of the status, trends, and prospective
futures of the region’s ecosystems.
Nicholas succeeds Charles Peterson who retired as the RMA Program
Manager in December 2011. Nicholas’ report date is April
22 and she will be stationed in Portland, Oregon.
The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon,
and Washington and about 425 employees.