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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Lee Phillips spent his early years in Lexington, Massachusetts, famous for "the shots heard round the world" at the beginning of the American Revolution. He received a B.A. in Geography from Boston University and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning coupled with a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) after two years of study at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
GIS practitioners use computers to analyze huge amounts of available geographic information as a basis for solving a wide variety of governmental and business problems. For example, they help different governmental departments do their jobs more easily through the use of maps. For police departments they can create maps that pinpoint crime locations so that the police can better dedicate their resources to attack crime in those locations. For planners, GIS professionals can create land use and zoning maps that can help planners plan for the future. For health departments, GIS analysts can construct maps that show--for example--patterns of obesity and asthma in different neighborhoods so that health professionals can target those areas and teach the public about those health risks. Without the computational power of GIS analysis, it would be much more difficult for governmental departments to do their jobs. Phillips' various GIS positions have taken him to Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Bedford and Dover, New Hampshire, Milwaukee and West Bend, Wisconsin, Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, Stafford and Sterling, Virginia, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Atlanta, Georgia, where he has gained a wide variety of GIS and writing experiences in both the public and private sectors.
Since the age of eleven when his first publication appeared in a sociological textbook, Phillips has been passionate about writing. For example, his high-school essay, "The Bleacher Creatures," celebrated the culture of Red Sox fans sitting in the bleachers at Fenway Park. "Just too much," a letter to the editor of Boston University's student newspaper, The Daily Free Press, roundly criticized the BU meal plans for wasting the student's money, illustrating his activist orientation. After graduation he free-lanced for a number of New England newspapers for several years, writing over 30 news and feature stories. Working for the Boston Park Plaza Hotel as a marketing and PR intern, he wrote press releases such as several describing the yearly return of the swans to the Boston Public Garden that were picked up by The Boston Herald. Most of his positions as a GIS Analyst have made extensive use of his writing skills. To illustrate, working for the Stafford Regional Planning Commission in New Hampshire, Phillips wrote hazard mitigation plans for FEMA, a project incorporating both GIS and writing components. Phillips sees writing not only as a way to help one understand and even change the world, but also--following Karen Horney's Self-Analysis--as a way to help one understand and change oneself.
Michael Lee Phillips lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He can be reached at email@example.com