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When GIS technology talks, Ray Wolf listens. He listens in Florida or New York or California, or anywhere else that Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping technology is being discussed at national or regional workshops.
And then he brings all his new-found knowledge to a cubicle on the second floor of the Emrick Technology Center in Hugh Moore Park, Easton, where Ray serves as a multiple-day-a-week volunteer for the D&L. Ray helps Silas Chamberlin display imagery of the D&L Trail, conduct mapping of properties along the trail, perform GIS measurements of distances between D&L trailheads, and other tasks that keep the D&L at the top of the mapping technology curve.
What keeps Ray motivated to provide his skills at no cost? For starters, Starbucks coffee. It is unusual to see him enter the office without his morning container of caffeine. Ray’s background? He was employed professionally as a GIS specialist for Lockheed Martin. Why did he volunteer? Ray explains it very clearly.
“I was seeking to volunteer for a non-profit organization that might benefit from my professional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills for electronically mapping trails, conservation initiatives, historical locations and the environment, “ he says. “The D&L leadership, which supports those areas of interest through their activities, encouraged my participation in their well-developed GIS capability.”
And the rest, as they say, is history. Ray arrives much the same time staff does and fits right in with the D&L’s casual atmosphere. He likes to run and bicycle and is an aficionado of historic maps (we wonder where that fascination comes from?). Ray and Silas discuss topics that only they comprehend and the rest of the staff marvels at how fortunate the D&L is to have such a unique volunteer in their midst.
Ray, who began his D&L volunteer stint in January, is looking forward to more techno challenges. “I’m prepared to perform mapping of 2010 census data relevant to the D&L and am currently preparing to initiate a map inventory of D&L signs along the more than 160 miles of the Corridor and its trailheads, to support planning, acquisition, and maintenance of those directional aids and displays.”
There was a guy named Christopher Columbus who could have used Ray Wolf. Sorry, Chris, we have him now, and we’re not giving him up.