The GIS community suffered a great loss with the unexpected death of Carrie Bartz on June 21st, 2010. Carrie was a very knowledgeable and skilled person who was passionate about GIS, which she used for over 30 years to support many different business needs for the State of Minnesota.
Carrie’s GIS career began in 1980 as a student worker with the Land Management Information Center (LMIC), while studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. In 1988, Carrie began working for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in the Hazardous Waste Program. But Carrie soon found her niche within the Water Quality program, where she spent most of her 22-year MPCA career. Using her talents and passion for GIS, Carrie built up the data, tools and infrastructure necessary to support Minnesota’s substantial surface water quality monitoring, assessment and reporting activities. She was particularly involved in the development and use of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) to support these activities. Throughout this process, she also established users’ understanding and confidence in GIS technology as an essential analysis tool. The systems and processes that resulted from Carrie’s ideas and hard work made a huge impact on the state’s efforts to address water quality issues. Furthermore, they received national attention with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and some state environmental organizations that have referenced it as a possible model for other states to follow.
Founding members of the GIS/LIS Consortium will remember that Carrie was the Consortium’s first treasurer, serving from 1991 to 1995.
In addition to Carrie’s devotion to her work, she was a wonderfully kind and caring person who had a great sense of humor. She loved to knit and made gifts for many people and charitable organizations: hats and hand warmers for oncology patients; prayer shawls; teddy bears; winter gear for school children; and backpacks and socks for breast cancer awareness.
Carrie’s knowledge, dedication, kindness and humor will be tremendously missed by the state and GIS community. But the positive impact of her life and efforts will continue to be realized by the people she touched and the environment she served to protect.
If you have any of your own stories about working with Carrie and knowing her, there is an effort to share these with her family. Please feel free to send your stories, photos or thoughts, and they will be incorporated into memory books that will go to her children and husband. Please send these to Jen Crea (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact her for details.