Valerie (Val) Woelfel joined the WEST team as a GIS specialist in the Golden Valley, Minnesota office. Val moved to GIS work 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.