|1999 Thacher Award Recipient - Don and Dorothy McCluskey|
|The 1999 recipients of the award were Don and Dorothy McCluskey of Block Island, Rhode Island and Branford, Connecticut. For over a decade, Don and Dorothy have contributed to the development of an accurate and comprehensive GIS database of environmental and other information for the Island. Since 1987, the McCluskey's have worked closely with students and Block Island officials on keeping the database current and using it to protect the Island's natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources. Don, a retired businessman, taught himself how to use the complex GIS software and has created a number of important maps of the island. Most recently, he developed a detailed, accurate map of trails by walking all the paths on the Island with a global positioning system (GPS) receiver which recorded his precise location as he hiked.
Dorothy, a long-time member of the New Shoreham Planning Board and Block Island Conservancy, has been instrumental in using the results of GIS analyses to develop zoning and planning programs that minimize impact to the Island's natural and cultural resources. "As a result of Don and Dorothy's vision and tireless efforts, Block Island has one of the most detailed GIS databases in New England. The data and technology have been a critical element in our planning and natural resource management programs." reports Dave Holt, the Town Manager.