ChipHankley_Bio

Quote To Live By: “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” ―George Bernard

Expertise:

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) development and maintenance
  • Enterprise Database design and management
  • Process Automation through scripting tools
  • Task-focused web-map development
  • Systems integration.

  • Full Profile

    Chip Hankley is an environmental scientist by training, and has spent his career combining an understanding of data analysis and environmental systems with a passion for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He has over 17 years’ experience using GIS as an analytical tool. His GIS skills are focused on web-based mapping, systems integration, data modeling, data presentation, and raster analysis. He has a passion for developing focused, elegant solutions that reduce the mistakes and inefficiencies that frequently accompany information management challenges.

    Education

    • Master of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Old Dominion University
    • Bachelor of Science, Biology, Mary Washington College.

    Key Experience

    Environmental Data Management Experience

    Confidential Client
    GIS Developer

    Created a workflow that integrated a Python based model for generating piper diagrams with ArcGIS. The piper diagram tool took environmental chemistry data and generated a geochemistry graphic (piper diagram), along with three simple maps that showed the sample locations. The colors of each location on the maps corresponded to the color in the piper diagram for that sample.

    The tool was extended to output a GIS data layer that represented the sample locations and their piper diagram colors. The entire tool was wrapped in a Python management script that allowed multiple datasets to be processed at once. The management script was extended to incorporate a cartographic quality map automation step as well. The integration of several tools within the Python environment resulted in significant improvements in efficiency, and reductions in mistakes.

    Confidential Client
    GIS Developer

    Automated a process for identifying ecologically sensitive areas using Python and ArcGIS. The ecologically sensitive areas were defined by approximately 50 GIS layers depicting vegetation, hydrologic conditions and habitat. The study area was discretized into approximately 500 square km grids.

    Initially, a process of manual GIS overlay operations had been employed to summarize ecological information for each grid. The newly developed process automated these overlay and summary operations using a single script. The output of the script was a single summary file that could be used as input into an ecological sensitivity analysis model. The automation gains achieved by this process reduced the amount of time to prepare the model inputs by over 95 percent.

    Confidential Client
    GIS Developer

    Developed a series of tools using Python that integrated an Enterprise database with ArcGIS. The client was employing a series of manual steps to create map products. These manual steps were time consuming, and prone to error. The developed tools allowed GIS users to convert standard queries into spatial data sets. One particular tool took a complex query and converted it into a tabular style label. These tools automated a series of manual processes, and resulted in a 90 percent reduction in the amount of time it took to complete typical tasks. In addition to the time reduction, the tools created an environment where tasks were easily reproducible, and error rates were drastically reduced.

    City of Bangor, Maine
    GIS Developer

    Developed a technique for mapping thousands of GPS points that compellingly demonstrated environmental phenomenon at a former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) remediation site on the Penobscot River.

    Years of discharge from the MGP had deposited dense coal tars on the river bottom. Bacterial action on the coal tars was resulting in bubble formation that was mobilizing the tars and bringing them to the surface of the river; however, this phenomenon was tide dependent. The higher water pressures associated with the deeper water at high tide was preventing the ebullition that occurred at low tide.

    A series of site studies were conducted which involved GPS based semi-quantitative bubble observations at extreme high and low tides. These studies resulted in thousands of point observations with both temporal and ebullition quantity descriptions. The mapping technique developed clearly showed the tide-based ebullition phenomenon and helped to move the project into a remediation phase.

    Confidential Client
    GIS Developer

    Worked with engineers and environmental chemists to develop a technique for estimating remediation and disposal costs for paper-pulp derived poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCB) contaminated soils in an old landfill.

    The technique utilized Thiessen polygons to spatially segregate the landfill into volumetric units based on soil boring data. By combining a volume-based Thiessen polygon with PCB concentration and soil density information, an estimate of mass of PCBs to be disposed was generated.

    Web-Based Mapping Experience

    Confidential Clients – Renewable Energy Industry 
    GIS / Database Developer

    Developed a tool that collected information from a construction status summary tool maintained by the construction managers at utility-scale wind farm construction sites. The summary tool kept track of component deliveries, wind turbine construction milestones, and road construction progress.

    The developed tool utilized Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Excel, SQL Server, ArcGIS Server, and ArcMap as follows:

    •  Construction manager updated summary in Excel workbook.
    •  On completion, manager clicked an “update” button that launched a VBA process that updated information in a SQL Server database.
    •  A web-map built using ArcGIS Server was integrated with the SQL Server database so that map symbology was driven by the database content.
    •  Python scripts were executed that pulled content from ArcGIS Server, SQL Server, and local GIS files to create a series of construction status maps (PDF format) that reflected the status defined in the construction manager’s status tool. These maps could then be used to augment communication about construction status with various stakeholders.

    The tool combined numerous manual steps and created an environment where construction status information could be easily disseminated across a distributed management team.

    Confidential Client – Renewable Energy Industry
    GIS / Database Developer

    Worked with real-estate professionals on a wind farm development project to automate the process of creating landowner consent maps during the initial contract phases of the project.

    Prior to construction, individual landowner contracts had to be executed with all landowners that had wind farm infrastructure on their property. The maps, although relatively simple, were time consuming to produce. Furthermore, the wind farm design process was still underway, so infrastructure layout was in flux, requiring landowner maps to be regenerated on a frequent basis.

    Developed a web-based tool using ArcGIS Server and Flex to create a user-driven map production tool. Real-estate professionals could log into the web site, select a property, and enter some specific information that would appear in the map surrounds. The tool would then generate a cartographic quality PDF that could be used in contracting documents.

    By completely automating the process, the client saved approximately one hour for each map produced. Overall, the tool resulted in approximately 700 hours saved over the life of the project.

    Great Lakes Regional Transportation Coalition / Northwest Passage
    GIS Developer

    Developed a web-based tool using PHP, JavaScript, SQL Server and ArcGIS Server that allowed multiple stakeholders (transportation agencies) to create and manage highway work zone and special event information. The tool allowed disparate agencies to share work zone and special event locations and duration for interstate planning purposes.

    Wisconsin State Patrol / Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    GIS Developer

    Worked on an information technology team to develop a redesign of the Wisconsin Winter Roads Reporting Management Interface. The tools utilized JavaServer Pages, JavaScript, ArcGIS Server and Oracle. The management interface allowed Wisconsin State Patrol dispatchers to enter winter road condition information as reported by State Patrol officers. The interface displayed the current winter road conditions on a web-based map, which also brought in real-time National Weather Service radar and warnings so that dispatchers could see current reported conditions in the context of developing storms.

    Publications and Presentations

    Chip Hankley, 2004, “Using VBScript to Build Complex Labels in ArcGIS.” ArcUser. October – December 2004.

    Chip Hankley, 1999, “Quaternary Landforms in Wisconsin – How Hillshading Can Be Used To Accentuate Topographic Features.” Digital Mapping Techniques ’99 – Workshop Proceedings. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-386.