“In my job, I really like mapping aspect and analyzing deed descriptions to see if they map correctly. We map oil and gas leases, look at the plat map and deed description, put maps into the ArtView program and maintain files. Going to work for me is like going to the playground — but at some point, I have to go home. I really love my job.
“I met my current boss as a fellow student at Brookhaven; he offered me an internship that I couldn’t take at the time, but the second time he offered it, I applied for the position and got it.
“This program is a good fit for me because I’m inquisitive and analytical; I don’t take what’s given to me at face value. I have to question if something will hold up under scrutiny, and why or why not.
“I took away from Belize a tremendous appreciation for a pristine environment — we need to keep it that way as much as possible and even though it may sound trite, to minimize our human footprint there. I became much more aware of recycling since on a remote island you have to take out what you bring in. The trip to Belize gave us experience, not just in theory or from pictures, but hands-on. We’d make mistakes in how we handled our field data, then figure out how to change it to get to where we wanted. I think we actually learned more from our mistakes than from doing things right.”
Cheryl Howerton earned a GIS Technician certificate from Brookhaven in December 2006. Formerly an administrative assistant for Brookhaven’s Geotechnology Institute, she began her current job in 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in political science from the University of North Texas; she was earning a GIS Technician certificate from UNT when she took a GIS class at Brookhaven one summer and then transferred to its program.