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Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Judit Farquhar-Nadasi, Knowledge and Information Advisor in National Office.

At work

Judit relaxing outdoors.

Relaxing outdoors

Some things I do in my job include:

Looking after the library: updating subscriptions, buying books, finding articles, tidying and updating the collection, making our library useful for all DOC staff, providing images and giving advice related to images, visiting offices to help with library procedures, making the library services visible…

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Supporting research for all DOC staff—helping to find and provide what people need to do a good job.

The best bit about my job is:

Helping people. I really take it seriously and I love to do it well and make a positive difference.

Judit in stocks while on holiday up north.

On holiday with my family, we had great fun in a corn maze up North

The loveliest DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

When I received a book from Italy, with a handwritten thank you letter from a researcher who I had helped. (It’s added to our collection).

The DOC employee that inspires me most:

My team, the Information Services Team. We have a healthy working relationship here—working hard, but with plenty of laughs and chocolate.

We support each other well and we are here to help all DOC staff.

Judit's team in National Office.

This is my great team, the Information Services champs in National Office

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

Originally I wanted to become a psychologist, but I became a high school teacher in Hungary, Budapest (one of the most beautiful cities in the world) instead.

Also, I got a kiss from Leonid Brezsnyev when he came to visit my primary school in Budapest.

And many more things I could tell you over a coffee or two.

If I could trade places with any other person for a week it would be:

Mary Poppins. I would love to travel by umbrella.

My best ever holiday was:

It’s really difficult to choose as I have travelled a lot—all around the world.

It was not really a holiday, but I lived in Russia for half a year as an exchange student when I was at university. It was fun, challenging and very memorable. I love Russia.

If I could be any New Zealand native species:

I’d be a black robin, so I could take a good photo of myself and could add it to DOC’s image library—we really need one! Any native birds actually, so their number would be raised by one!

Black robin on a branch.

Black robin

Before working at DOC:

I was working at Victoria University’s library after we came to live in New Zealand. I enjoyed the academic environment—working with so many different people—and I loved my team.

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

From a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, If:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Flowers in Judit's garden.

I love colours. It is not me with green fingers in the family, but I am a great support person.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:

“It is not a sprint, it is a marathon”. I still think it’s a sprint though…

In work and life I am motivated by:

My family.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

“Keep calm and carry on”. What advice could I give to you? Coming from Europe, I think you New Zealanders do a much better job than other countries. I think New Zealand is a beautiful country. It is great that people are aware that we can develop our country and preserve its unique natural state as a place for generations to enjoy and treasure.

A New Zealand beach.

I love walking on the beach whenever I can

Question of the week…

What would you name an autobiographical book of your life?

“Seize the moment (each of them)”

Duane Wilkins, DOC’s Geospatial Services Manager.

Duane Wilkins

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies are used every day and everywhere and help us manage our world.

GIS creates maps, layer upon layer (pizza style!), showing relationships between people, places, and the environment. It can also help make some very cool games.

My children and their friends are mad on Terraria, WorldCraft and Kerbal Space Program—and they all use the GIS technology called GeoDesign.

Main photo: Boy playing computer game. Photo: Rob Allen | flickr. Three smaller photos underneath:  Screen shots of Terraria, DOC Maps and Kerbal Space Program.

Terraria, DOC Maps, and Kerbal Space Program
all use GIS technology

I had been trying to think about how I could tap into that youthful enthusiasm for computer games and turn it into something meaningful for DOC. International GIS Day gave me the excuse I needed.

Celebrate International GIS Day

Together with the rest of the New Zealand Natural Resource GIS Group I set about creating an event for Wellington’s Year 5–10 students and their teachers.

It’s going to be held on Thursday 21 November 2013 (International GIS Day) and will give kids a chance to learn about GIS through an interactive, hands on GIS experience. We’ll have video, computers, GPS devices and other activities.

This year we’re looking at how imagery from satellites is used to discover change over many years. My son and I are even building a huge model satellite for the event—we’ve studied the various designs and even talked with a scientist from NASA!

Duane's son Gideon making the satellite.

My son Gideon putting the finishing touches on our replica Landsat 8 satellite

Artist’s rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit. (NASA).

Artist’s rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit (NASA)

There will be giveaways, a sausage sizzle and the chance to take a look at one of New Zealand’s most environmentally friendly buildings.

Learn more about the GIS Day event

We’re on the lookout for a satellite designer!

As part of the celebrations, we’re running a satellite design competition for kids.

Bob, Bill and Jeb from SQUAD.

Kerbal Space Program is one of many games that use GIS technology

The team from SQUAD (developers of Kerbal Space Program) will help us judge the most creative satellite design.

Learn more about the satellite design competition for kids

GIS Day is all about helping us understand the role geography plays in our lives and the technologies we use to keep the country running.

Duane’s job is to make sure people have access to maps, and other tools to help them do more conservation work both inside and outside of DOC.