Valerie (Val) Woelfel joined the WEST team as a GIS Specialist in the Golden Valley, Minnesota office. Val comes to GIS after a career as a freelance illustrator and cartographer specializing in scientific illustration. She earned a reputation for an obsession with accuracy and the ability to meet tight deadlines, skills she brings to her GIS work. After earning a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science, Val accepted a position with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). At the DNR she had the opportunity to work with colleagues from many specialties. Before leaving the agency, she created a library of maps and images for public outreach which are designed to make complex, scientific data understandable and meaningful to a non specialized audience.