Tess Albin-Smith was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, where she attended Lowell High and SF City College. She has a BS in Renewable Natural Resources, and an MS in Range Management, both from UC Davis. Tess worked as a biologist and forester for the state for a total of 32 years, starting at the Dept. of Fish and Game, moving to State Water Resources Control Board, and in 1979 joined the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) as one of their first 2 female foresters, working in reforestation and prescribed burning programs. Tess became a CDF peace officer in 1993.
Tess has been married to Doug Albin for 38 years. In 1990 they moved from Sacramento to Fort Bragg with their two young daughters, Kelly and Jamie. Their son Alex arrived a year later and is a true native of Fort Bragg. Tess moved here to become the assistant manager for the Jackson Demonstration State Forest in charge of finance, recreation, and patrol. Later she became a state advisory forester and retired in 2007.
Tess plays percussion for the Symphony of the Redwoods and Gloriana Musical Theater, and she substitute teaches and drives school and tour buses part-time. The climate, the ocean, and the music is why the Albins will probably never leave the Mendocino Coast.