Michiko Martin

Michiko Martin, Keynote Speaker

USDA Forest Service

Michiko Martin is the Regional Forester for the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service and provides an essential role in carrying out agency goals enhancing shared stewardship opportunities with partners, meeting high-priority restoration goals across critical landscapes, protecting communities from wildfire, and providing the numerous benefits that flow from healthy forests and grasslands by strengthening all people’s connections with the land. She leads more than 2,000 employees and oversees 20.6 million acres of national forests and grasslands in Arizona and New Mexico.

Michiko brings over 34 years of federal government career experience to her position.  Michiko joined the USDA Forest Service in 2014 as a national director and from 2014-to 2021 has served as the Director of Conservation Education; Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources; and the Acting Director of Engineering, Technology and Geospatial Services.

Prior to joining the Forest Service, Michiko worked for 12 years as the Chief of Education, Outreach and New Media for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce. Michiko also served as a commissioned naval officer for 12 years, working as a meteorologist and oceanographer. She directed the daily operations of an environmental support unit to naval forces in Okinawa, Japan, and assisted in the operation of global atmospheric and oceanic numerical models.

Michiko is a recognized expert in the field of environmental education, having served three years on the Board of Directors for the National Marine Educators Association, twice serving as an issue editor for Current, a nationally-recognized education journal for ocean education, and currently serving on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Commission on Education and Communication.  She also has outstanding proficiency in science and engineering, with an extensive background in environmental modelling and numerical forecasting.  Additionally, she has participated in oceanographic research cruises and holds a naval qualification to operate small boats. 

A native of the Ryukyuan Islands, Michiko earned a Bachelor of Science in physical oceanography at the United States Naval Academy. She later earned post-graduate degrees, including a Master’s of Science degree in oceanographic engineering jointly conferred by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; and, a Master’s degree in educational leadership at Troy State University.  She holds memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, the Oceanography Society and the American Meteorological Society, among other professional organizations.