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KGS honors outstanding employee, Geography alumna Eileen Battles

Friday, January 13, 2017

LAWRENCE — Eileen Battles, research project manager in GIS services at the Kansas Geological Survey, has received the fourth annual KGS Outstanding Support Staff Recognition Award. The KGS is based at the University of Kansas.

Battles is a member of the team that operates the Kansas Data Access and Support Center (DASC), which serves as the GIS data clearinghouse for the state of Kansas.

A GIS (geographic information system) is a computer system used to collect, combine, store, analyze and display a variety of data and graphics that can be linked to specific places on the Earth’s surface. Examples of graphics and data stored on a GIS include satellite images, historical aerial photographs, and the location of roads, cell towers, wetlands, fire stations, pipelines and ZIP code boundaries. Various GIS images and data can be combined onto one map.

A key component of DASC’s mission is providing GIS-related services to state and local government, and Battles serves as liaison to those entities.

“Eileen has met with representative from numerous state agencies and set foot in just about every county across the state,” said Ken Nelson, GIS Services manager at KGS. “Whether responding to a customer or giving a presentation at a conference, she maintains a great rapport.”

Over the past year Battles has been working with the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council on a project that will enable next-generation 911 services for the citizens of Kansas. She coordinated training and outreach opportunities, helped develop the program web portal, created county map templates and helped develop program policies and standards.

“In typical fashion, Eileen provided leadership, fostered strong relationships, and strengthened a strategic alliance between DASC and the 911 Coordinating Council,” Nelson said.

Battles is also actively involved with the MidAmerica Geographic Information Consortium (MAGIC), a regional nonprofit outreach organization. She served as lead planner and chairperson for the 2016 meeting that brought together GIS specialists from seven states and representatives from several private companies and government agencies.

“Eileen exemplifies the spirit of this award,” said Rolfe Mandel, KGS interim director. “She consistently steps forward with her time and expertise, providing priceless service to various agencies and entities that request geographic information related to Kansas.”

Battles was presented a cash award and certificate during a KGS recognition ceremony in mid-December. The award, established in 2013, is presented annually to a member of the KGS support staff excelling in such areas as innovation, problem solving and leadership.

The Kansas Geological Survey, a nonregulatory research and service division of the University of Kansas, studies and provides information on the state's geologic resources, particularly rocks, minerals, oil and gas, and groundwater.

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