Featuring Faces of Conservation

Featuring Faces of Conservation

Conceived of a brief, visual campaign to satisfy important internal objectives for a State of California department:

  1. Demonstrate public support of employee work and contribution
  2. Emphasize brand value of data, expertise, natural resource authority
  3. Connect employees across disparate work locations
  4. Promote official Facebook channel and convert internal staff into followers

Called Faces of Conservation, the idea was to focus on the individual, get a snapshot of him or her in her “natural work environment,” and craft a caption and quote to support the four project goals.

I created the campaign, template, process for securing content (interviews, photos), guided graphics development and advised on strategy for ongoing publication. From there, the public affairs team picked it up and has run with it since.

Like many government – especially at the state level – the organization was resistant to sharing personal details on a public site and it took a few rounds of requests and negotiating to secure the initial featured staff. However, after the first three profiles, Facebook engagement had ticked up with each post, and remains at a consistently high level (views, likes, shares) compared or other posts and channels.

thumbnail gallery of Faces of Conservation profile photos

Newsletter Article: DOC Launches New Website

Newsletter Article: DOC Launches New Website

Republished from the Department of Conservation employee newsletter, What’s Up DOC? Volume 18, Number 2 | March 15, 2017

DOC Launches New Website

Platform Will Make Vast Amounts of GIS Data More Accessible

By Staci Morrison

Say hello to DOC Maps. The Department has a shiny new website that offers easy access to hundreds of spatial databases and maps produced by DOC. It’s a one-stop shop for our geospatial information system (GIS) data spanning all divisions and then some: geology, seismic hazards, mineral resources, and mining; agriculture and land use; and oil, gas, and geothermal energy.

Led by DOC’s GIS Coordinator Nate Roth, the site has been the better part of 10 months in the making – from brainstorming through publication – an impressive feat considering Roth has only been the Department’s GIS lead for a little more than a year.

“We have a mandate to make our data publicly available – and we take that seriously,” Roth said. “But making the data available was not sufficient. We needed to make it accessible, to get it into a form that all our user groups — whether they are a school kid looking for a map or a scientist building on our work — can have access to in a way that is useful to them.”

Starting with the novice, who may come to the site to answer a specific question (for example, “what’s the geology where I live?”), the site is intuitive enough to get one’s foot in the door. Those unfamiliar with GIS data can still interact with the maps – zoom and pan around — and immediately see associated information that puts the map data into context. Roth has also provided basic FAQs within the site, a great starting place for the newcomer.

DOC Maps also caters to intermediate users who want more control of their map exploration. The site’s Data Viewers allow these users to pick what layers they want to turn on or off, zoom in further, or recollect and display different data together, creating their own maps.
Of course, DOC Maps is also useful to the experts who already have GIS software and seasoned skillsets. These super users can dive into the data directly to take and use what they need for outside analyses and map-making.

GIS data is important for measuring, mapping, or making visual countless types of information related to a geographic area. This includes tracking the changing use of land, reviewing permit applications, evaluating risks from mines or wells, mapping earthquake faults so developers can avoid risky areas for high-rise buildings or homes, and many other uses both big and small.

Government organizations, city planners, researchers regularly use GIS data for purposes such as planning infrastructure and protecting land resources. GIS allows a user to start with one data set and add layers of useful information to aid with research; for example, starting with a map of active faults, and putting the location of nearby schools and hospitals on top of that base.

Housing a wealth of California’s geographic information, the site was built to reach a spectrum of visitors, from those who don’t know what GIS is, to the experts who use GIS every day. So, Roth took a tiered method to cataloging DOC’s collection of data.
Starting with the novice, who may come to the site to answer a specific question (for example, “what’s the geology where I live?”), the site is intuitive enough to get one’s foot in the door. Those unfamiliar with GIS data can still interact with the maps – zoom and pan around — and immediately see associated information that puts the map data into context. Roth has also provided basic FAQs within the site, a great starting place for the newcomer.

DOC Maps also caters to intermediate users who want more control of their map exploration. The site’s Data Viewers allow these users to pick what layers they want to turn on or off, zoom in further, or recollect and display different data together, creating their own maps.

Of course, DOC Maps is also useful to the experts who already have GIS software and seasoned skill sets. These super users can dive into the data directly to take and use what they need for outside analyses and map-making.

The building and public launch of DOC Maps was the result of successful cross-divisional teamwork. ETSD staff — including YungKai Chin, Navdeep Dhaliwal, Pablo Fung, Manoj Beeravelli, Todd Boobar, Pam Lim and Yelena Lebedchik – was actively engaged, providing review and support. GIS staff within each division, as well as a handful of DOC beta users who provided meaningful input on the early versions of the site, also contributed.

DOC Director David Bunn applauded the work of Roth and his colleagues.
“Simplifying access to GIS geospatial data and web maps demonstrates the science-driven foundation of our work,” the Director said. “This powerful tool enables the DOC to be a resource for all Californians, who can use this information to inform local decision-making and state efforts to support public safety, the environment, and the economy.”

The initial launch of the site is a milestone for the DOC, paving the way for further, simplified access to DOC’s vast collection of data. And so far the site has been getting a fair amount of attention, with a 70 percent bump in web traffic after the updated site went live.

So take DOC Maps for a spin. Try out a search by Subject Area or create an entirely new map with geographic information interesting to you or your work. Then email Roth any kinks or feedback you encounter along the way. He has a few more features to roll out in the next few weeks, and some data sets that are in the final stages of preparation before being added. Your feedback will help focus these upgrades.

Blog piece: Art on Muni Returns: Seeking Bay Area Artists to Brighten Commutes

Blog piece: Art on Muni Returns: Seeking Bay Area Artists to Brighten Commutes

*Re-posted from original piece on MovingSF
by Staci Morrison

Thursday, May 5, 2016

We’re calling all Bay Area artists to once again create awe-inspiring art for over 700,000 daily Muni riders.

The SFMTA, in partnership with San Francisco Beautiful, is excited to announce the second annual Muni Art Project. This time, Muni will celebrate local artists by displaying art on twice as many buses – 100 instead of 50.

Fresh artwork from five selected artists will grace Muni buses next January through April. The deadline for submissions is June 17 (more details below).

The return of Muni Art reignites a beautiful relationship between local art and local transit. It’s not just easy on the eyes – this is one way we’re helping make transit and public spaces more attractive and engage with our diverse communities.

A display panel on a Muni bus features Philip Hua’s artwork.

Philip Hua and four other artists had their work displayed on Muni buses last fall. Hua’s project, “Unified Portraits of A Divided San Francisco,” combined digital portraits of San Franciscans to highlight the city’s diversity. Photo: Phillip Hua, Handout

[read more at sfmta.com]

Blog piece: It’s MuniMobile Monday: Mobile Ticketing Is Here!

Blog piece: It’s MuniMobile Monday: Mobile Ticketing Is Here!

by Staci Morrison

Monday, November 16, 2015

Graphic of white iPhone with red screen and Muni worm logo with "mobile" underneath and a Muni bus, fog and Sutro Tower on the right.

Happy MuniMobile Monday! We are excited to announce the launch of MuniMobile, our new app that allows you to purchase Muni bus, rail and cable car tickets right from your phone.

This morning, we officially launched the app at Powell Station, a key transportation hub with Muni Metro, the F Line and Cable Cars all passing nearby. For downtown visitors, our friends at the San Francisco Travel Visitor Information Center were also on hand to offer their expertise on how to get to the best spots within our 7×7 miles via Muni.

Muni has long been a popular subject of transit apps in the city, but MuniMobile combines NextMuni arrival information and ticketing.

The MuniMobile app is available in the iPhone App Store and on Google Play for Android. To make sure you find the official one, note the full Muni worm in the app thumbnail and that “MuniMobile” is one word.

Once you download the app, you’re all set to purchase your tickets and get on your way. Remember to activate the ticket when you board or enter a paid area. Your phone is your fare — be ready to show the active MuniMobile screen as your proof of payment.

As the name implies, MuniMobile is specific for the Muni transit system. Mobile tickets work through visual validation by SFMTA staff so to board or enter metro faregates, flash your phone screen to the vehicle operator or station agent. With visual validation there’s no tapping at the gate.

For the full scoop, FAQs on how the app works and how to use it, head over to sfmta.com/munimobile.

Help us transition Muni successfully into the app age and begin using MuniMobile today! Then share how it works for you. This is a pilot program so your feedback is in integral part of evaluation and further development. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

"How to use MuniMobile" brochures "Download the app today, It's as easey as...Buy, Select and purchase the fare type you want. Use, Activate the ticket when you are ready to ride. Show, Flash your screen showing the active ticket as you board. sfmta.com/munimobile"
SFMTA Ambassadors greeted Muni riders to provide tips and answer questions this morning to announce the new app.

 

Written for publication on Moving SF, SFMTA blog. 

Blog piece: “What’s it like to be married?”

Blog piece: “What’s it like to be married?”

*Re-posted from my now retired personal blog,  The Unconventional Newlywed.

The other day, a coworker friend asked me if anything changed after I got married.

You’d think after being the oldest person in graduate school, I’d become accustomed to this question. But, it has been a few months since then and my brain has since aged exponentially (due to the oldness).

As a result, this question completed voided my mind of understanding and I was dumbfounded.

What has changed? Changed, like…my name? I just couldn’t think of anything big that is different in life now, that was not so different with that other last name I had, oh whenever that was.
Just two years in, I act like a tenured ball and chain. 
It’s just that once you get over the baffling sloppiness of living with a man, life resumes as before. There are times both your names fit into the same addressee line on bills,  and that whole M-R-S concoction is unsettlingly old-sounding, but these things settle quietly atop life as it always was.
Okay…that’s not entirely true.
For example, today I woke up early and went to the gym. Then I returned home and ate two donuts. Had a cup of coffee, then ate a chocolate chip cookie.
Single girls don’t do that shit. 
Girl, if you had my husband, you could have the whole baker’s dozen.
Alex is forever reminding me how great I look, even as the second Krispy Kreme donut enters my mouth and spills frosted sugar chunks all over my stupidly smiling face.
EXACTLY.
There are more serious changes, too.
My least favorite is finding the leeway between “nagging” and “doting,” aiming to err to the former in attempt to perpetuate myself as The Pants-Wearer. I almost always fail.
 
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Being called nagging is among the worst things to do to a wife, yet what is my retaliation? I am legally, contractually obliged to grin and bear it.
There are books aplenty reminding women that they are not supposed to fly off the handle at their inevitably ridiculous husbands. Instead, we are to learn to channel the seething irritation into baking or how to master the elegant quip.
Marriage is an endless game of strategy.  Monopoly that never concludes.
It’s a test of the wits and the pride. Similar to how going to graduate school made me wonder if I ever deserved any degree, marriage makes you question your self-worth. Sure, you were the shit in your early twenties. Probably were a nice piece of intellectual curiosity in college (see what I did there?).
But then, you got engaged. You said, “Hey, this person, this guy/gal/thing is a KEEPER! The One.”
Now, take a moment and pull yourself aside to say goodbye to those rollicking days of whimsy and adventure that fed your ego and inflated your sense of personal uniqueness.
Yes, you are still you, you are special, blah, blah, blah.
Fascinating or insipid as you may be, your marriage will not add value to yourself, and it does not remove value. It will, however, make you share everything. Including your reputation and your perception of what’s worth your time, with your partner.
You will have to work harder to stay in touch with your individuality. 
It’s a daily exercise. It makes you stronger if you remember to do it regularly. Just do it a few extra times if you’ve got a soft spot (or a couple pounds of soft spots?) for donuts.
Other than that, life is exactly the same as before but with better company built in…for better or worse.
And look at how happy people are when they take the plunge. The Mr. & Mrs. Morrison, April 2011.

 

Get the postings as I write ’em at the source: The Unconventional Newlywed blog.

Blog piece: Sweet Potato Pancakes? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

Blog piece: Sweet Potato Pancakes? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

*Re-posted from my now retired personal blog,  The Unconventional Newlywed.

And now for another lesson in newlywed bliss: don’t spend an hour and a half trying a new recipe unless you’re sure your husband actually likes the main ingredient.This is how I found out Alex doesn’t like sweet potatoes. 


Ah, the sweet potato. The charming poster child for our modern paleolithic folk, the healthy, trendier fancy. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, with Pinterest recipes aplenty, it’s a sure crowd pleaser for the health-conscious family. Right?

Well.

There are some deceitful traps in today’s blogorific recipe culture. And, I fell into two of them with my attempt to make sweet potatoes into something alluring for the husband and I.

First trap: THOSE DAMNED KITCHEN TOOLS!

So, here’s the recipe I was trying to mimic. I like it because it looks easy – not even pretty – easy. Looks easy. Isn’t.

Louisiana Sweet Potato pancakes from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/louisiana-sweet-potato-pancakes/

As it turns out with these pesky, beta-carotene rich rooty vegetables, they are a prickly pain in the ass to mush up. I boiled my sweet potato browns (yes, that’s a pun) for some 20 minutes and thought I was in the clear to mush freely.

Then, I found out I don’t have a masher.

Then I found out raw-ish the center was not mashable anyway.

Then I began to hack at the vegetable, trying to forcefully coax it into mashedness.

Then!

I remembered blenders are good at this. Alas, the wee blender I have was no match for such a task. Nightmares of sizzling and smoke danced in my head and I quickly quit.

At the point I was tempted to take my own photo, but it was not attractive. Thanks, lickthebowlgood.blogspot.com for showing me up.

The rest of the recipe turned out surprisingly well, considering the unwanted chunks. However, all my failed mashing, chopping and aggressive blending turned this “10 minute” prep into an hour.

Flour on my nose and decorating my shirt, I managed to fry up a pile of nutmeg-scented beauties. I also managed to realize the recipe makes 24 pancakes and I was making breakfast only for myself, Alex and my sister.

People eat nine pancakes each, right?

Noticing Alex eyeing my Pisa-like tower of potato hotcakes, I offered, oh-so generously, “do you want some?”

Shrugging and looking nonchalantly at his coffee, he responds, “maybe I’ll taste one. I don’t like sweet potatoes.”

What?! As if these orange frisbees hadn’t damaged my ego enough.

Second trap: Pinterest and food porn don’t work on all husbands. 

If you’re married to the stubborn “I like Uncrustables!” type, sweet potato pancakes just can’t compete. Some of us care about the vitamins and minerals we put into our bodies, some of us prefer to marry  healthier spouses and life a vitamin-enriched life by proxy.

Lesson learned.

I’d like to blame Pinterest, modern kitchen appliances and Internet recipes for luring me – yet again – down the rabbit hole of modern wifehood expectations, where I stand unable to defend myself with just a cast iron skillet and wooden spoon in hand.

Also, it helps to ask Alex directly, if he likes a food before I try to make it. Talking about it to his family, then to our friends, then to myself, with him in earshot doesn’t count.

Marriage, communication, go figure. 

 Read more straight from the source at The Unconventional Newlywed.
Blog piece: MuniMobile Update and an Upcoming Feature: ‘Rate My Ride’

Blog piece: MuniMobile Update and an Upcoming Feature: ‘Rate My Ride’

*Re-posted from original piece on MovingSF

by Staci Morrison

Thursday, May 26, 2016

An illustration of the MuniMobile app on a smartphone. The illustrated background features a cable car against the San Francisco skyline.

The MuniMobile app has been updated with some key design improvements, thanks to feedback from users like you.

In the new version, you may notice our mobile ticketing app provides faster access to active and stored tickets upon startup as well as clearer screen prompts on when to activate tickets and ticket expiration time. The display has also been enhanced to be more accessible for users with visual impairments.

So if you haven’t already, be sure to update your MuniMobile app to enjoy all of the new features. MuniMobile version 1.7.1 is available for iPhone on the App Store and for Android devices on Google Play.

Apple App Store icon Android Google Play icon

If you run into any issues with the app, email us at munimobile@sfmta.com or call 311 for assistance. We want to ensure your mobile ticketing is as sleek as our new Muni buses.

Coming Soon: Rate My Ride

Later this summer, MuniMobile will also get a new feature: Rate My Ride.

An image of the MuniMobile app screen with the title, "Rate 24 Divisadero."

Rate My Ride will allow you to provide specific feedback about any Muni trip in seconds. With a simple click to the left or right, you can rate your trip time, vehicle conditions and even the etiquette of fellow riders.

Rate My Ride is just one more way we’re making it easier for you to tell us how we can improve your SF transportation experience. Rate My Ride is simple, it’s interactive — plus, you can’t beat MuniMobile’s cute interface.

 

Blog piece: The Real Game of Life

Blog piece: The Real Game of Life

*Re-posted from my now retired personal blog, The Unconventional Newlywed.

Do you want to know why it is hard to be married and a broke graduate student these days? Because America is a mean place to live.

We can all blame this guy:

Don’t be fooled by his gentle, grandfatherly appearance. He is a ruthless hope killer who represses the weak and bolsters the rich. HE IS THE MAN. Damn the man! 

This week I learned how to play Monopoly. Have you ever played Monopoly – the real way? All of my childhood I thought the game was an endless loop about the board, trying to avoid jail and roll doubles every time.

There is money exchanging in the real game. A little economy between players. Who knew?!

I didn’t. Alex taught me (chalk up another point for the husband).

Here’s the catch – the game of Monopoly is just as is sounds. A quest for MONOPOLY.

It is unethical! Illegal!

Especially with only two players, it is inevitable that one player will dominate the board slowly driving the other into defaulting on mortgages and selling little plastic kidneysjust to pay for utilities.

Is this America or what? And the game is not even ashamed. Official rules of the game state, winning is not only amassing wealth but making all other players bankrupt.

Look at pretentious old gramps, sneering at your common man-ness.

This game is bad for mental health. Unless your a trust fund baby zooming through life on your daddy’s little tin race car, you’re doomed to an existence of overextended credit.

That said, 3 out of the 4 games Alex & I have played I bankrupted Alex. It’s a terrible thing to watch your partner sink into unresolvable debt while your piles of $500 bills lay watching in ennui.

The view from the wealthy side of the game.
‘Murica. The land where you don’t lend your neighbor money cause you want him to be tortured by the mob in attempt to draw loan repayment from his blood. Fuck yeah. Now I buy a hotel.
Speaking of the greatness of American commercialism, have you all seen this commercial?
It hurts my heart. And not in the way that Prilosec wants.
Some days, the relentless pursuit of mindless wealth makes me want to quit life and turn back into a monkey.
Other days, I play Monopoly, kick Alex’s ass and think,
“My, what a terrific guy this Alex is.  He lets me win Monopoly without pouting! He is not threatened by any potential or existing successes of mine. He supports me going to school fulltime while he works crazy hours. Hmm, he even job hunts for me.”
 
“He wants me to be the breadwinner.”
Then, I get stressed out by all the pressure and have to leave the game to eat a slice of pumpkin pie. Then I return to give Alex a hug and feel less stressed and a bit more inspired.
As much as I don’t want to be part of our ubercapitalistic society, is it comforting to know that someone around here truly thinks I can succeed in this rat race.
Blog piece: Marriage is a Dirty Kitchen

Blog piece: Marriage is a Dirty Kitchen

*Re-post from my now retired personal blog, The Unconventional Newlywed

Similar to the hidden fact that a new marriage should require the wife and husband to live together, I am convinced there is another hidden truth for adapting to life with a man. A cluttery, dish-dirtying, throw-my-wet-towel-on-the-bed boyish sort of man. But when will I learn it?!

Before we were engaged, I heard many a person warn me that finances would be the thorniest issue about newlywed life. About married life. People are liars, that’s the hardest part about life in general.


The worst part about newlywed life is keeping a clean apartment.

Keeping this space tidy has caused many a passionate disagreement around here. It is enough to make me feel genuinely neurotic. Like I am recently uncovering a latent case of obsessive compulsive disorder and my darling new husband has no sympathy for this disease. Current fiancees, be forewarned. In my case, I simply thought a tidy workspace and constantly clean kitchen were signs of an organized and efficient person. Apparently, not everyone agrees.

Oh the humanity! Get them out of there before something awful grows.

The decreased size of our apartment has magnified the effect of the dirty dish. A pile of plates in the sink are a Pisa tower of soggy dinner filth, threatening to direct wafts of watery spaghetti sauce in the direction of my breakfast toast. How’s a girl to read the morning news with that thought tickling her peripheral vision?

To make matters worse, I attempted to make them better. 

Our chalkboard is used for organizing, note writing, etc. Now it also shows the kitchen cleaning duties for each day. In more than one colored chalk because that means it’s fun! Of course, before I took to scribbling my clean dictatorship about the house, I asked Alex’s opinion. He, in typical dirty boy fashion, nodded and mumbled something inaudibly. This is where a good wife would probably infer something empathetic, but I inferred reluctant guilt at being a dirty boy and pranced into chore assignment with gusto. 

Is it because my handwriting is so terrible?

So far, Alex has not adhered to the rules of my game. Apparently imposing OCD onto another by rules of daily chores is not effective? I have tried to give him a couple days leeway but I cannot bring myself to ignore a dirty kitchen for very long…it truly makes me angry.

Uh oh. Neurosis. 

How do other couples solve this? To be an organized graduate student and keep a schedule of early shifts at Starbucks, afternoon classes and evening homework, organization must exist, right? Where is that elusive balance of happy home and clean home? 

Perhaps I need a boy’s opinion. A tidy boy’s opinion? Or at least some tips on that reverse psychology, I’m getting desperate here.

 

Read more from The Unconventional Newlywed here.