Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

Recent UW-Eau Claire Alumnus Works Creating Maps of Antarctica

RELEASED: April 28, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — A recent University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus has been using his knowledge of geographic information systems to create maps for all operations at the McMurdo and South Pole Stations in the Antarctic.

Jacob McDonald, who graduated in December 2007 with majors in geography and American Indian studies, works with Paul Morin, director of the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center in the department of geology and geophysics at the University of Minnesota.

The goal of the AGIC is to bring together more than 50 years of research data and maps from individual investigations in the Antarctic, so that in the future, all geospatial information on the Antarctic will be available in one place, said Morin. After the AGIC was established, requests for support were immediate and they needed someone with McDonald's experience to begin answering requests for information, he said.

McDonald, who's official title at the AGIC is GIS technician/cartographer, is creating new maps from existing data sources and adding basic data to existing products.

"I was brought on to make maps of helicopter landing sites and fixed wing landing sites for the operations people in Antarctica," McDonald said. "I also was head cartographer on a series of daily updates on the progress of shipping vessels as they left their ports in America, New Zealand or Sweden on their way to McMurdo Station to drop off supplies.

"Currently, I am working on a project that was 50 years in the making. Since the 1950s, systematic aerial photo surveys have been shot in Antarctica, and my job is to geo-reference these photos so information such as glacier advance or retreat, sand dune movement, and other earth science data can be studied by scientists working in Antarctica."

McDonald began his work in December 2007 and was promised a couple of months. But Morin was so pleased with McDonald's work that he has been asked to stay on indefinitely. McDonald said he will work through the summer until he is ready to leave for his first semester of graduate school at the University of Georgia.

McDonald was recommended for the job by Dr. Harry Jol, professor of geography.

"Morin became aware of our program through an invitation to speak at our Earth Science Seminar Series," Jol said. "He continues to be involved with UW-Eau Claire through collaborative programs such as class field trips to Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory and the Science Museum of Minnesota."

-30-

NW

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.