Teri Dane '06 is Mapping Gulf Oil Spill
MACHIAS, Maine – Teri Dane, a 2006 University of Maine at Machias graduate, is putting the skills she learned in her geographic information systems courses at UMM to good use—she’s mapping the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dane is a GIS analyst/technician for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in its Center for Spatial Analysis. She is part of a team that prepares maps for the center’s Oil/Hazardous Spill Response and Planning section. The team is primarily responsible for updating the Geographic Response Plans and the Environmentally Sensitivity Index.
When the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico, exploded and sank on April 20, Dane and her team were called in to map the environmental impact of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil that were leaking into the water.
Since the incident began, the team has been updating maps of the oil spill daily to provide the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Environmental Protection with a clear image of the gulf from the MODIS satellite. The maps assist officials in developing response and clean-up strategies, in prioritizing response efforts, and in assessing damage after a spill.
Dane credits her education at UMM with preparing her for her role in monitoring the disaster in the gulf.
“The tools and skills that I learned [at UMM] are the same tools and skills that I use today at my job,” says Dane, who received her bachelor’s degree in marine biology.
“Through the classes that I have taken [in GIS], I have gained valuable skills to apply to real-world situations and applications, especially in my current position.”
After graduating from UMM, the Tilton, New Hampshire, native spent time working for Project S.H.A.R.E., an organization that maps salmon habitat in Downeast Maine, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
“Receiving my B.S. in Marine Biology from UMM has opened many doors. From the first day of classes in fall 2001, I had hands-on experience in the field. I would not trade my education from UMM for another school.”