Skip to main content

Forests a Fascination Since High School for Legislative Affairs Specialist

Posted by Robert Westover, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service in Forestry
Feb 21, 2017
Katie Armstrong prepares to board the Glacier Discovery Train operated in partnership by the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Railroad. (Courtesy Katie Armstrong)
Katie Armstrong prepares to board the Glacier Discovery Train operated in partnership by the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Railroad. (Courtesy Katie Armstrong)

When Katie Armstrong read “So You Want to be a Forester,” like many high school students she wasn’t sure what career path she wanted to follow. So she decided to attend a summer forestry camp offered by Michigan Tech. After the camp she was hooked.

Then she set her goal on attending Michigan State University to study forestry.

“During my time at MSU one of my professors introduced me to urban forestry. I loved it so much I went back for a master’s degree in Forestry and Urban Studies,” said Armstrong.

But she had one problem at the time: She lived in Detroit, which is known more for cars than trees.

“When one thinks of working in the field for the Forest Service, the Detroit area probably doesn’t immediately come to mind but that’s where I began my career with the agency,” said Armstrong.

She was hired by the U.S. Forest Service as the Emerald Ash Borer liaison for the agency’s Northeastern Area just outside of Detroit.

“It was an exciting time as the Emerald Ash Borer had just been identified and I got to play a role in the multi-agency program to eradicate the beetle in its early days,” said Armstrong. “Later I worked as the Urban Connections Detroit Coordinator for the Forest Service. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about forests while encouraging Detroit youth to pursue careers in natural resources.”

A few years later, in 2009, Armstrong took a new job for the Forest Service in Washington, D.C. which led her to the position she now holds as a Legislative Affairs Specialist where, among many challenges, she helps prepares testimony for Congressional hearings for Forest Service leadership.

“Working in Legislative Affairs offers the opportunity to be involved in the legislative process and to better understand the relationship between Congress, the Executive Branch and the Forest Service,” said Armstrong.

Read more about Armstrong in Faces of the Forest, a feature that introduces the people, places and professions in the agency.

Category/Topic: Forestry

Write a Response

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.