Friday, October 5, 2012

Alumni Spotlight: Buffy Conrad '08

        It is a goal in life to find something worthy of passing on to your children. WC GIS Lab Alumni realize that the power and potential of geospatial technology is a treasure trove of possibility today, and tomorrow. Buffy Conrad ’08 not only returns to WC to assist in the GIS Summer camp as “Counselor Buffy,” but she brings her daughters and their friends, and is excited to volunteer this summer while her son attends.
     An Archaeology major, Conrad took introductory GIS classes and worked in the GIS Lab for only 6 months. During her time in the Lab she was able to undertake a variety of projects related to archaeology, history preservation and land use. She updated the Kent County Historic property attributes, organized data for the Archaeology Predictive Model, digitized the St. Michaels development project in its early stages, geo-coded crime mapping address data, actively collected data in the field and made many maps. After graduation, Conrad worked on staff in the Lab as a GIS Specialist for 6 months. 
      It is the skills learned at WC GIS that landed Conrad her current position. “Thanks to my time in the lab and Stew Bruce’s infinite patience and encouragement, I was hired in 2009 as a GIS Analyst with the Maryland State Highway Administration, Office of Highway Development.” Here she has been a trend setter in developing a set of display standards for her office and coordinating a team to develop enhanced interoperability between Microstation roadway design files and ArcGIS mapping displays. “I have also been involved in teaching GIS to other office staff,” notes Conrad, “I am currently interested in learning 3D rendering techniques and gaining experience in database management.

     In addition to continuously learning and advancing, Conrad believes WC GIS students need to “learn as much as you can, and take responsibility as a learning opportunity as you may find yourself engaged in aspects of work you didn’t expect to be doing. Try to be prepared in advance for situations before they present themselves.”

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