faces of the forest

Meet Magaly Figueroa

She is well-networked, always on call, and has deep roots to the island and its people. Magaly (pronounced Mah-gal-ee) Figueroa is one devoted natural resources specialist for the U.S. Forest Service and its State and Private Forestry mission in Puerto Rico, her homeland, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is a program manager assigned to the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, located in a botanical garden on the grounds of the University of Puerto Rico.

Meet Lindsay Campbell

Lindsay Campbell joined the U.S. Forest Service soon after Sept. 11. Immediately she hit the ground running working on the Living Memorials Project, an agency initiative that gave grants to communities to use trees to create living memorials in remembrance of the tragedy.

Today the research social scientist is working at the New York City Urban Field Station and is a doctoral candidate in geography at Rutgers University while also competing on the U.S. National Team for fencing where she is ranked third in the country.

Meet Karren Alexander

Karren Alexander has worked for the Forest Service for almost 30 years, recently accepting the position as Special Assistant to the Director of the Controller's Operation Division Chief at the National Finance Center in New Orleans.


Karren started her Forest Service career the last summer before graduating from college and all of her federal career has been with the Forest Service. She was a quick study and very eager to learn and moved up in the organization. It is no surprise that Karren is a motivational speaker as well.


Meet Marla R. Emery

Marla R. Emery, a research geographer, speaks fluent Spanish and French, has a background in international relations and has worked with scientists around the globe. While working with the U.S. Forest Service’s Office of Research and Development, she discovered that rather than managing and writing for scientists she wanted to be a scientist with a focus on how people and ecosystems interact. So she completed her doctorate in geography at Rutgers University and began work on understanding how and why people use forests.

Meet Estelle Bowman

Growing up on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, N.M., Estelle Bowman aimed to one day return home, armed with a law degree, to work in her native community. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, Bowman’s experience on an Ivy League campus with a small American Indian and Alaskan Native enrollment evolved into an intercultural opportunity that eventually led to her string of careers serving American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Meet Bowman who, in June, joined the U.S. Forest Service as the assistant director of the Office of Tribal Relations in Washington, D.C.

Meet Ruth D’Amico

Born and raised in a small town near a fishing village in southern New Jersey, U.S. Forest Service fisheries biologist Ruth D’Amico dreamed of the beautiful, vast lands of Alaska. As a student at Rutgers University studying fisheries management and environmental policy, Ruth took a course studying natural resources in Alaska.

Meet Joel Holtrop

Joel Holtrop is living his dream. With almost 35 years of federal service under his belt, Joel will be retiring as Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service in early October. Joel has been working and mentoring others in his job that he so strongly cares about. “It’s not sufficient if I’ve helped accomplish sustaining forests during the length of my career. I’ve only done my job if I’ve set the stage for generations beyond my career.” 

You’ve had many positions within the Forest Service. How did you get to where you are now?