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OR&R Staff Spotlight: Rachel Fox
Woman in front of waterfall with someone's hand resting on her shoulder.
Rachel Fox. Image credit: NOAA.

MARCH 30, 2018 — Rachel Fox is a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) specialist for OR&R’s Spatial Data Branch (SDB), and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

She joined NOAA in 2014 as an intern while studying Environmental Geography at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. 

During her first year with OR&R, Rachel worked with the Spatial Data Branch team to develop a proximity analysis model for identifying sensitive habitats and waterways near rail lines that carry high volumes of crude oil.  Following her graduation in 2015 Rachel became a full-time member of the group and continued providing GIS support to OR&R’s ERMA as well as GIS support on active responses. In the spring of 2017, Rachel moved to NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring after spending the previous three years in the NOAA Western Regional Center. 

Rachel has worked with SDB on the Deepwater Horizon Spill Response long-term data management to prepare data for public release and review, as a result of the case settlement. She led the effort to coordinate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to integrate Geographic Response Strategies (GRSs) into ERMA, then presented this work at the Environmental Data Management Conference in January of 2017. Since moving to Silver Spring, Rachel has continued to provide geospatial support and for OR&R and partner with government agencies using GIS tools, particularly the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) and the Data Integration Visualization Environmental Reporting (DIVER) tool. Her recent duties include providing geospatial and ERMA support to the U.S. Coast Guard for the ESF-10 mission in Miami, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She has also served as a division representative on the OR&R Diversity and Inclusion Committee since April 2017. 

Rachel received her bachelor’s degree in Geography from University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied applied Geographic Information Systems for coastal and terrestrial environments and also studied the Arabic language. She merged her coursework in examining the impacts of crude oil transport in the U.S. with SDB's work in procuring and leveraging Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) in ERMA for use in pollution incidents. 

Rachel enjoys living in D.C. and participating in the variety of cultural events the city provides! While away from work, she enjoys yoga, cooking, swimming, and visiting friends and family all over the U.S. 

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