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DP

Dusty Pilkington

I recently completed a Master of Science degree in Cultural and Environmental Resource Management at Central Washington University, titled "Two Post-Glacial Fire Records at the Wildland-Urban Interface, Eastern Cascades, Washington". The work involves using charred particle analysis to reconstruct fire history going back up to 15,000 years, and to infer the relative contributions of climate and human activities on fire activity. This thesis work will be used to better understand the long term frequency and magnitude of fire events since the Late Glacial period, and inform land use and land management policies in the Wildland-Urban Interface of the sagebrush steppe environments in Okanogan County, WA in a warming world.

In my current role as a Land Use Planner and GIS Technician for Kittitas County, WA, I have applied GIS technology to multiple projects and policy issues. These projects and issues include mapping and analysis of valued agricultural land and solar energy feasibility buffers to inform the development of the County's Solar Power Production Facilities ordinance. I have also coordinated a two intern team in developing a database of nearly 28,000 land parcels assessing eligibility for groundwater permitting and mitigation under the Washington Supreme Court decision State of Washington Department of Ecology v. Campbell & Gwinn. In my day to day workflows, I use Python automated mapping in reviewing land use applications, update and maintain the County Zoning GIS layer, and perform mapping and analysis on an as needed basis.

In my time away from the office, I continue to develop myself professionally, honing my scripting skills at home. I am interested in the Kittitas County affordable housing problems, and have developed a Python script to search through over 3,000 counties, compare their demographics to those of Kittitas, and identify counties most similar to Kittitas. This allows comparison of counties over time, and to identify differences between counties in policy shifts, in order to infer relationships between land use policies and housing prices. I volunteer for the Board of the Thorp Mill Historical Society, and produced a map of the Thorp Mill Museum. As a naturally curious person, I enjoy travel, and have been to Mozambique and South Africa twice on a study abroad and service project, along with many places in the US.