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April 2006

Random Profile: Gina Starr

Gina Starr
Gina Starr. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

Every other month, Staff Notes Monthly spotlights a stochastically chosen staff member. This month we profile Gina Starr, a Web specialist in the High Altitude Observatory.

HAO's Web guru: Gina has been at NCAR for about two and a half years. A Web specialist in HAO, her duties include maintaining the division's Web site, providing general computer and administrative support, working on databases, and more. "I'm a Jill-of-all-trades, queen of none," she jokes.

Gina enjoys designing Web sites because she can use her creativity. She's currently working on a major redesign of HAO's site that will make it more dynamic and help it mesh with other sites across NCAR. "The ESSL Webmasters are all getting together and moving toward integrating the lab's different sites better," she says. The HAO redesign will be launched next January.

She also enjoys the diversity among her HAO colleagues. "Getting that flavor, that mix, when you have people from around the world is pretty incredible," she says.

"It's also amazing to hear about what some of our folks are working on," she adds. "It blows me away to think that we're working with the rock stars of science."

Computer junkie: Gina is about to complete a degree in computer information systems at Regis University. "I'm kind of a geek," she jokes. "Even what seems boring to some people, like data processing work, interests me."

She got her first taste of computers in 1989. "It was kind of happenstance," she recalls. "I had never even touched a computer until I started working as a receptionist for US West and they had a little Mac at the front desk. They just threw me on and it took off from there."

Soon after, she took a position in the company's graphics department. "I got every Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop book I could find and was self-taught," she says. She taught herself Web design skills as well, which eventually led her to NCAR.

Front Range native: Currently a Longmont resident, Gina grew up in Greeley, or "Greality," as she likes to call it. "But it really doesn't stink as much as people think it does," she says, referring to the stench that has been known to emanate from the town's dairy and hog-farming operations. She attended high school and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and her family still lives in the area.

Having spent her whole life on the Front Range, Gina says she's witnessed incredible changes caused by rapid development. "Drive down Highway 66 between here and Platteville," she instructs. "It used to be all farm area but now there are golf courses and brick homes. The spaces are definitely closing together. When I go back home to Greeley, I hardly recognize it."

Movie buff, photographer, animal lover: "I'm a movie freak," Gina says. The best movie she's seen recently is Transamerica. "Capote was really good also," she says.

She enjoys landscape photography as well, a hobby nurtured by living in Ward for 10 years. "A lot of times it's just going out and driving around and seeing something that hits me," she says. "I take photos, develop them, and then they get thrown in a box. Someday I'll get to culling through them and picking good ones to frame."

At home, Gina is in lively company: she has three dogs (ranging from a 149-pound mastiff to a 5-pound Yorkie), three cats, and a cockatoo.

One thing she'd like to do more in the future is travel. She went to Thailand a few years ago and has fond memories of being stepped on by a baby elephant. "He was on his way to get a reward for a trick he had done," she says. "I just happened to be in the way of his path toward the bananas."

by Nicole Gordon

In this issue...

Foothills Lab 0: ACD settles into new digs

Staffers give high marks to new Leave Donation Program

Short Takes: An overview of projects throughout the organization

Random Profile: Gina Starr

Roberta Johnson named director of teachers association

Delphi Questions: FL basketball court, phone solicitations

Just One Look


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