David J. McCraw

Senior Geological Lab Associate
STATEMAP Cartographic Coordinator
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801
(575) 835-5594

David J. McCraw grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina with a keen interest in places, landscapes, maps, and the arts. He played many musical instruments poorly (guitar, trumpet, french horn), was very active in theatre (Charlotte Children’s Theatre, high school theatre) before deciding to pursue earth scientific interests. In the summer of 1980, he participated in a cooperative education position at the U.S. Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information Management division, helping develop the GNIS database. He recieved both the John Bowley Derieux Research Award from the North Carolina Academy of Sciences and the W. A. Tarr Award for meritorious work in the Earth Sciences from Sigma Gamma Epsilon for his undergraduate thesis, and graduated from the Geography and Geology program at Western Carolina University cum Laude in May 1982. He then graduated with a M.A. in geography from the University of New Mexico, and presented his masters thesis on the historical invasion of creasote bush in southwestern NM at the Southwestern Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Tucson, Arizona in 1985. Since receiving his M.A., he has actively continued research in physical geography and has worked as a cartographer. At the Louisiana Geological Survey, he helped produce 6 color geologic maps and a 100+ page atlas of historical shoreline changes of the Louisiana coastal barrier islands, 1851-1990, for the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1995 he returned to New Mexico and was employed by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources as a Cartographer II. In 1997, for his active role in helping develop the Bureau's digital geologic mapping program, STATEMAP, he was promoted to GIS Cartographer. While not trained in GIS, he has been very proactive in the New Mexico geographic information technology community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Geographic Information Council since 1998 and as President from 1999 to 2001. In addition, he actively participated in the resurrection of NM’s state government GIS Advisory Committee in 1999 and has served as a voting member since then. In 2001, he was promoted to Senior Geological Lab Associate to assist in the management of the Bureau’s geologic mapping program.

Jesse and Maya visiting the Mesozoic

Vita

Education

Professional History

January 2001-present:
Senior Geological Lab Associate, STATEMAP Cartographic Coordinator, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech. Duties: Assist in the management of the Bureau’s geologic mapping program and annual STATEMAP contract proposals. Coordinate cartographic needs of field geologists and all phases of digital cartographic production and map editing, from author original greenline to finished digital file and plot using Macromedia FreeHand, Adobe Photoshop and ESRI ARC/INFO. Coordinate peer reviews of geologic quadrangles. Carry out Quaternary geologic mapping fieldwork. Coordinate the Bureau’s remote sensing activities.

November 1997-January 2001:
GIS Cartographer, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech. Duties: oversaw all phases of STATEMAP cartographic map design and digital production. Complete scientific illustration and graphic design of “Water, Watersheds, and Land Use in New Mexico,” NM Decision-Makers Field Guide No. 1. Helped integrate NMBGMR’s GIS and cartography departments and personnel. Represented the Bureau of Geology in statewide GIS activities.

July 1995-November 1997: Cartographer II, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech. Duties: cartographic map production and scientific illustration. Principal cartographer on NMBGMR Resource Maps 19 and 20, Distribution of near-surface coal deposits in San Juan Basin (1998), and Coal resources of New Mexico (1996)

July 1988-April 1995: Cartographer/Geoscientist, Louisiana State University (November 1992 to April 1995, Center for Coastal, Energy, & Environmental Resources ; July 1988 to November 1992, Louisiana Geological Survey) Cartographic duties: cartographic map production and scientific illustration. Principal cartographer on “Historical shoreline change in the northern Gulf of Mexico” (1991) “Louisiana barrier island erosion study, atlas of shoreline changes in Louisiana from 1853 to 1989” (USGS Miscellaneous Investigation Series I-2150-A, 1992, 103 p.), “Louisiana oil spill contingency map” (1995.

Geoscience duties: geologic and geomorphic mapping, aerial photo interpretation, pedologic characterization, and map compilation, including proposals, research, field work, and production of contract deliverable maps and reports. Co-principal investigator of four USGS COGEOMAP contracts for geologic compilation of the Shreveport, Jackson, Alexandria, and Natchez 1:250,000 quadrangles (1988-1994). Co-compiler of five 1:24,000 geologic quadrangles of the seismically-active Mississippi River floodplain in the Missouri Bootheel Lineament area of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a USGS NEHRP contract (1994-1995).

March-April, 1988: Private Consultant, Hamilton & Associates, Inc., Opelousas, LA. Duties: provided a physical site evaluation for the proposed U.S. National Park Service Wetlands Cultural Center in Thibodaux, LA; geomorphic investigation, soil analyses, flooding potential, report and three-dimensional site map.

1985-1988: Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Louisiana State University, Duties: development of the historical Mississippi River sediment load database and teaching GEOG 2051 –Introduction to Physical Geography.

1982-1985: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of New Mexico, Duties: taught GEOG 101 and 101L Introduction to Physical Geography and Physical Geography Laboratory

Summer 1980: Cartographic Aid, Geographic Names Information Management, U.S. Geological Survey National Center, Reston, VA.

Professional Interests

  • Cartography and maps
  • Fluvial and eolian geomorphology
  • Quaternary geologic mapping
  • Soils
  • GIS
  • Historical southwestern biogeography
  • Remote sensing of environmental change
  • Climate change

Publications

  1. McCraw, D.J., Timmons, J.M., and Read, A.S., 2005, The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources’ Preliminary Map Series: Expediting Dissemination of STATEMAP Geologic Map Data to the Public, Digital Mapping Techniques ‘05— Workshop Proceedings Edited by David R. Soller April 24-27, 2005 Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2005-1428, 274p. ABSTRACT
  2. McCraw, D. J., 2001, The Growing Issue of GIS Certification and Its Possible Ramifications to Geological Mapping Science: in: Soller, D. R., ed., Digital Mapping Techniques ’99 – Workshop Proceedings, USGS Open-file Report 01-223, p. 153-157. ABSTRACT
  3. McCraw, D. J., 1999, “Can’t see the geology for the ground clutter”—shortcomings of the modern digital topographic base: in: Soller, D. R., ed., Digital Mapping Techniques ’99 – Workshop Proceedings, USGS Open-file Report 99-386, p. 21-26. ABSTRACT
  4. McCraw, D. J., Bauer, P. W., and Jones, G. E., 1998, The middle Rio Grande basin digital cartography program of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources: USGS Middle Rio Grande Basin Study, 2nd Annual Workshop Proceedings, USGS Open-file Report 98-337, p. 71.
  5. McCraw, D. J., Jones, G. E., and Bauer, P. W., 1997, Combining Arc-Info and Macintosh to produce high quality digital geologic maps of New Mexico: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Salt Lake City, UT. ABSTRACT
  6. Autin, W. J., Snead, J., Walthall, P. M., McCraw, D. J., and Day, W. J., 1993a, Late Tertiary to middle Pleistocene evolution of an upland erosional landscape: Review of the Williana and Bentley area: Quaternary geology of the lower Red River valley, 11th Annual Field Conference, South-central Cell, Friends of the Pleistocene, p. 45-52.
  7. Autin, W. J., Snead, J., Walthall, P. M., McCraw, D. J., and Day, W. J., 1993b, Late middle Pleistocene evolution of a constructional alluvial plain: Review of the Montgomery area: Quaternary geology of the lower Red River valley, 11th Annual Field Conference, South-central Cell, Friends of the Pleistocene, p. 53-60.
  8. Autin, W. J., Snead, J., Walthall, P. M., McCraw, D. J., and Day, W. J., 1993c, Wisconsinan constructional alluviation of the Red River: Review of the Aloha Prairie area: Quaternary geology of the lower Red River valley, 11th Annual Field Conference, South-central Cell, Friends of the Pleistocene, p. 61-68.
  9. Kesel, R. H., Yodis, E. G., and McCraw, D. J., 1992, An approximation of the sediment budget of the lower Mississippi River prior to human modification: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 17, p. 711-722.
  10. McCraw, D. J., 1991, Alluvial fan development in the lower Mississippi valley.” Coastal Depositional Systems in the Gulf of Mexico: 12th Annual Research Conference, Gulf Coast Section, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Foundation, p. 134.
  11. McCraw, D. J., and Autin, W. J., 1989a, Lower Mississippi Valley Loess: A Field Guide: Follmer, L. R. (Coordinator), The Mississippi Valley Loess Tour – 1989, INQUA Commission on Loess, The North America Loess Working Group, Champaign, Ill., 35 p.
  12. McCraw, D. J., 1989b, Alluvial fan development in the lower Mississippi valley.” Association of American Geographers, Program & Abstracts, Baltimore, MD, p. 132.
  13. McCraw, D. J., 1987a, Road log through the Four Corners area: Bloomfield to Gallup, New Mexico: Nummedal, D., and Dokka, R. K., eds, Geology fieldguide to Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonics & sedimentation of the southwestern United States, LSU publications in geology & geophysics, tectonics & sedimentation No. 2, Baton Rouge, LA p. 95-108.
  14. McCraw, D. J., 1987b, Effects of neotectonic movements on arid fluvial systems of the American Southwest: Nummedal, D., and Dokka, R. K., eds, Geology fieldguide to Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonics & sedimentation of the southwestern United States, LSU publications in geology & geophysics, tectonics & sedimentation No. 2, Baton Rouge, LA p. 78-120.
  15. McCraw, D. J., 1985, A phytogeographic history of Larrea in the Desert Grasslands of southwestern New Mexico: Geography & Geology Section, Southwestern & Rocky Mountain Division, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Tucson, AZ.
  16. McCraw, D. J., 1982, The geomorphology of the Granite City boulderslope in the Cashiers Valley, North Carolina: Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, North Carolina Academy of Science, v. 98, p. 217-218.

Abstracts

2001, The Growing Issue of GIS Certification and Its Possible Ramifications to Geological Mapping Science: in: Soller, D. R., ed., Digital Mapping Techniques ’99 – Workshop Proceedings, USGS Open-file Report 01-223, p. 153-157.

The issue of GIS certification has been growing since the mid 1990s, originating from 3 main sources: 1) the certified and licensed surveying profession via the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), 2) the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and 3) GIS academicians. Controversy surrounds the issue, often fueled with reactionary sentiment, to the point that it is not always clear exactly what is being implied by the term “GIS certification:” certification of GIS practitioners (people), or certification of GIS data. Some form of certification of GIS technicians is imminent, likely in the form of a national examination of basic GIS skills, as well as “add-on” skills pertinent to specific disciplines that utilize GIS. This is a potential problem for geological GIS personnel since they most often are required to have a working knowledge of many fields (geology, pedology, geography, environmental science, natural resources).

1999, “Can’t see the geology for the ground clutter”—shortcomings of the modern digital topographic base: in: Soller, D. R., ed., Digital Mapping Techniques ’99 – Workshop Proceedings, USGS Open-file Report 99-386, p. 21-26.

Digital base map data of modern geologic maps must comply to the requirements of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure by containing the following framework data layers: transportation, hypsography (elevation data), hydrography, political units (boundaries), geodetic control, and a cadastral reference system, e.g., PLSS. At the onset of digital mapping a decade or so ago, overall quality of digital base data was quite poor compared to the non-digital, photographic plates previously used in traditional cartographic methods, and it has never adequately improved. These digital geographic base data are currently available from the USGS in 4 basic formats: DOQs, DEMs, DLGs, and DRGs. DOQs and DEMs are best utilized in conjunction with DLGs or DRGs due to a lack of several types of framework data. Only the DRG contains all necessary framework elements, yet it is not available in high resolution. A case study from a high relief area with a small contour interval clearly illustrates the overall poor quality of this scanned data. All 4 datasets require extensive modification prior to incorporation into the geologic map. The best solution at present is to generate in-house DRG data by scanning photographic plates at much higher resolution and rubber-sheeting the raster image around the 16 basic grid control points in Arc-Info.

1997, Combining Arc-Info and Macintosh to produce high quality digital geologic maps of New Mexico: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Salt Lake City, UT.

To provide the public with prompt releases of new geologic and hydrologic map information (primarily STATEMAP quads funded by the NCGMP), the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources (NMBMMR) has developed a new series of open-file digital geologic quadrangle maps (OF-DM). The maps are designed to address compelling socioeconomic issues (water supply and quality, geologic hazards, land-use planning, mineral resources) and basic scientific problems. The geologic maps will be available in 3 formats: a) multicolor inkjet plots complete with cross sections, unit descriptions, and correlation charts; b) a collection of ARC-INFO coverages for GIS users; and c) digital Postscript files of OF-DM plots.

After the geology is compiled in ink on a greenline mylar stable base, it is scanned at 100% at 400 d.p.i. on an INTERGRAPH ANATECH large-format drum scanner that drops out the greenline base map while holding all inked geologic linework (contacts, structures, and symbology). Geo-referencing tick marks are generated in ARC-INFO and then exported as an Adobe Illustrator file along with a TIFF image of the map to Macintosh Macromedia FreeHand, where the linework is drafted, unit polygons are assigned CMYK colors, and type is set. This process essentially eliminates introduced digitizer-operator error, and produces smaller digital files that contain lines with smooth curves made from a minimum number of points (nodes) and type of offset-printing quality. The drafted linework is then exported as individual layers for all individual line attributes as DXF files to ARC-INFO, where they are converted into ARC coverages for GIS users. The completed geologic map FreeHand file is then registered to a TIFF DRG quadrangle base (which has been cleaned in Adobe Photoshop and turned transparent in FreeHand) and is exported as a Postscript file to Image Alchemy, which rasterizes the file for inkjet plotting on demand.

By producing these OF-DM maps through the combined interaction of NMBMMR’s [NMBGMR’s] Macintosh-based cartography and ARC-INFO-based GIS sections, the public is provided paper and digital products of a superior quality to those developed solely from these individual platforms. In addition, this process has increased NMBMMR’s [now NMBGMR’s] cartographic production efficiency, and map upgrades to the peer-reviewed Geologic Map (GM) series, printed by offset press, can then be easily made.