Mapping out the region
Cathy Waters grew up fascinated by atlases

by Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 10/98) - Cathy Waters was one of those people who grew up fascinated by atlases.

As a kid, you could often find her staring off at maps of all parts of the world. Later on, she became a regular reader of National Geographic and watched through the magazine's pages as all the areas she studied came alive in pictures and text.

And, it's these sorts of interests that led the 24-year-old from Calgary all the way to the Deh Cho. Since January, Waters has been a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technician with Denendeh Resources in Fort Simpson.

"I'm running the GIS system, creating a data base for the traditional land-use and occupancy study now under way," she says. "It will be used for land-management decisions when completed."

As part of this work, Waters has had the fascinating job on inputting information from elders concerning traditional land use in the area.

"For example," she says. "We would ask people where they have shot animals and input that sort of data into the system."

As part of this work, Waters had the chance to spend a week on the majestic Horn Plateau and she says it's been among the highlights of her stay so far. Besides a two-day snowmobile ride, the experience allowed her to see a Northern Lights' display that most south of 60 can only dream about.

"They were amazing," she says. "They were pink, green and white and I was so thrilled to see them."

A bachelor of science graduate from the University of Calgary, Waters says she is enjoying her work in Fort Simpson a great deal.

"I like that I get to work on a project from start to finish instead of just bits and pieces," she says.

Though she misses her parents and eight siblings back home, the coming warm weather has her eagerly anticipating the summer.

"I can hardly wait," the enthusiastic outdoorsperson says.

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