Feature

Forest Service Rookie an International Inspiration

John C. Heil III
U.S. Forest Service
May 24th, 2016 at 1:45PM

A photo of Angelica Perez-Delgado (far right) with an international drilling crew.
Angelica Perez-Delgado (far right) with an international drilling crew, worked on disaster relief in the nation of Georgia as one of her first assignments with the Forest Service. Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service

Six months after being hired by the U.S. Forest Service, Angelica Perez-Delgado made a major impact, including international assistance to the country of Georgia, on her way to being named Rookie of the Year for the Pacific Southwest Region late in 2015.

When a major storm event triggered a landslide in the Black Sea facing nation of Georgia in early this past year, destroying roadways, the country turned to the U.S. Forest Service for assistance. Almost immediately, Perez-Delgado started assisting the Forest Service project team for Georgia with support in mapping and computerized drawings.

The recent Chico State University grad, from Burney, Calif., was hired by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest as a Civil Engineer less than one year after graduating college and was already involved in an important international project.

“She did a great job with email instructions and coming up with the product that was needed in the summer of 2015 right after the landslide,” said Rene Renteria, geotechnical and dams group leader with the U.S. Forest Service. “When I had the opportunity to create a team to go over to Tbilisi, Georgia this past January through February, I wanted her civil engineering skills. I was impressed right away with her go-to attitude.”

A photo of Angelica Perez-Delgado takes a selfie in the freezing temperature of winter in the mountain of the nation of Georgia.
Angelica Perez-Delgado takes a selfie in the freezing temperature of winter in the mountain of the nation of Georgia.

For Georgia, Perez-Delgado designed the new roadway alignment and tunnel location outside the boundaries of the landslide using LIDAR, Autocad and Civil 3D.  She provided everything needed, including plan and profile drawings and calculations in metric, to begin construction for emergency response.

Angelica provided drawings of what the roads should look like to include a retaining wall, culverts and estimates on how much the costs would be for local contractors. Oftentimes, her work included standing outside in minus 10 degree Celsius doing surveys.

That didn’t stop her from getting the job done, in fact, Perez-Delgado was more concerned about her colleagues in Georgia. “They have such a crazy work ethic there,” she said.  “One guy didn’t even have a warm coat or gloves, but here he was out there with me in such cold weather. I told him to take a break and warm up his hands in the car.”