INTRODUCTORY BLOG POST

Here I am at Eastview Geospatial in Minnesota. The walls are covered with Russian Maps of U.S. cities. The one in front is of Minneapolis, MN

As strong as people’s reactions are in the middle of a crisis, though, one tends to leave behind the lessons of a crisis as quickly as one can. But maybe this time around its different; it’s disruptive enough that it changes what we imagine it takes to be resilient, so I don’t know. We have to get on the other side of the tunnel to find out. Eventually, when night reemerges into the light of day, the work of creating a future path will begin in earnest.

I arrived in New Mexico in 2006, a 30+ hour drive from East coast to the Southwest. The job that brought me there lasted about a year. Maintaining bills of materials for jewelry components, the same gig I had in NY wasn’t meant to be. Some time later I scored a summer internship with the National Park Service (NPS) in the Historical Preservation office as an office admin. While also working as a Field Marketer for a tobacco company. The latter lasted five years until industry changes forced business layoffs.

My previous work in database data validation certainly came in handy. I applied for a Federal education grant for displaced workers. That permitted me to graduate with an AAS in Geographic Information Technology from Central New Mexico Community College.

Along the way I had scored an internship in Rome, Italy with the Italian Government at the National Aerial Photography archives called the Aerofototeca (AFN). The archive needed help digitizing and geo-referencing declassified World War 2 Aerial Imagery. The opportunity tied so well with school studies and a recent read called Operation Crossbow: The Untold Story of the Search for Hitler’s Secret Weapons. I have always been keen about placed based learning and the power of developing a story around historical artifacts. Between the NPS and the AFN I could see the potential.

After graduation I volunteered at the International Cartographic Conference in D.C. Eastview Geospatial in Minnesota had a kiosk there; I soon found myself moving to Minnesota to work with their metadata librarian on metadata validation. The plan all along was to apply for a Federal position which usually required one year work experience.

In the Fall of 2018 I started pursuing an MS in Geographic and Cartographic Science at George Mason University and applied for an internship with USGS.

Currently I am a Pathways Student Intern with the United States Geological Survey’s National Geospatial Program Topographic Data Services Team. It’s been two years working there on a PT basis and realized I needed to learn about presenting technical science information to distinct audiences. I help update the website and a few other communications materials.

Last semester I took History 680 with Dr. Robertson which is my first foray into formal digital history coursework. My OMEKA final project was titled “Italian Cities – 1943- 1945” using primary material from the Aerofototeca Nazionale (the Italian Photographic Archives in Rome). The exhibit provided an overview behind the use of Aerial Reconnaissance imagery during WW2 Italy focusing on target observation objectives. The exhibit has now closed due to my agreement with the Italian National Archives. Their photography is copywritten, however, the AFN has notified me that they would like to post a modified version of my exhibit to their archives official website. I will be working on that during the summer in its new form. Stay tuned!!!

While my technology skills aren’t extensive, I do have basic Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator use, video editing, WordPress and Drupal CMS experience and some html use. I have used ESRI Storymaps and a few AGOL app builder widgets. Programming hasn’t been easy for me at all. Currently I am looking into Arcade the ESRI expression language to use with their web apps.

My interest in taking this course is to become aware of how to communicate information with various audiences. Specifically, presenting science information to various stakeholders. Ideally, I would like to use my final project for that purpose. Also awareness of tools and techniques outside my domain that can support communicating with specific audiences.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *