IT Professionals Day - Tiffany Norman

Tiffany Norman with taxidermy specimen in front lobby of Tahoe National Forest Supervisor's Office, Nevada City, CA
Tiffany Norman with taxidermy specimen in front lobby of Tahoe National Forest Supervisor's Office, Nevada City, CA


NATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) PROFESSIONALS DAY is observed every third Tuesday in September. This year it is recognized Tuesday, September 18. National IT Professionals Day is a day set aside to honor the highly-respected technical professionals we rely on to keep our computers running proficiently. Specialists in IT typically focus on a specific aspect of the computer world. Specialty areas include network analysis, system administration, security and information assurance, IT audit, database administration, web administration, and more.

Tiffany Norman started working with the U.S. Forest Service only three days after she graduated high-school. Tiffany’s sister also worked with the U.S. Forest Service in the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). The District Ranger of Los Padres National Forest in Santa Maria, California was Tiffany’s neighbor and liked to get the young people in the neighborhood involved with the Forest Service. Tiffany is glad she started because she’s been with the Forest Service ever since.

Her first job with the Forest Service was on a Fire Crew as a “13-13” which meant she was guaranteed to work 13 pay periods during the busiest time of the year. When she was not working full-time, she attended California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) majoring in Forestry and Natural Resource Management. This university had a mandatory computer curriculum with all its degree programs.

Tiffany always loved playing with computers. She spent a lot of time in gaming arcades playing Space Invaders, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Defender and Tempest. Computers and gaming has always been her passion. The first personal computers she was interested in was the Sinclair, the Commodore 64, ATARI 2600, the Apple II plus (way before the Macintosh) and the Coleco handheld games. The first computer language she ever learned was BASIC, which taught her how to program computers doing loops, recursion, calculation and computation.

Tiffany enjoyed using the computer for statistics modeling and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The majority of Tiffany’s computer knowledge was learned on the job for the Forest Service. Her father also shared his computer passion with Tiffany. He built a Heathkit Computer, which was a computer that you would literally assemble yourself. Her father would spend a lot of time at Radio-Shack and was an avid Amateur radio operator.

Tiffany graduated Cal Poly with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry and a minor in Statistics. Math has always taken a lot of effort for Tiffany but, she knows how to use the tools to get the job done.

Before arriving to the Tahoe National Forest, Tiffany spent some time working at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest where she worked as a Hydrologic Technician and had the opportunity to work as a GIS/Tech. When Tiffany arrived at the Tahoe National Forest, she started in Natural Resources and worked with the Botany and Hydro Crews working on Stream Surveys and continued her education at Sierra College working on a second Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. She also stayed busy by enlisting in the ARMY National Guard for 6 years.  

In Tiffany’s current role at the Tahoe National Forest, she is a Web Master for the Forest Service’s internal intranet site. Her job involves her in the maintenance of internal websites for the Forest Service. She also edits Fire Behavior Videos for the Enterprise Team which she considers the "Special Forces" program of the U.S. Forest Service. Tiffany is grateful to have started with the Forest Service at such a young age and the Tahoe National Forest is grateful to have her.