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Gary Robinson

DNR At Work

Gary Robinson has received a B.S. in Business Administration and began working for DNR in 2002 as a Computer Information Services Specialist. Gary was born in Queens, NY and raised in Long Island, NY. In 2000 he decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and relocated to Maryland. He currently resides in Bowie, MD, and enjoys playing sports, riding his motorcycle, the exploring the great outdoors.

Were you part of that first generation of school kids to be exposed to computer programming back in the early 1980s? Yes, I must admit I was an 80’s kid who was exposed to Atari (before Nintendo) and one of the first microcomputers, the Commodore 64. As far back as I can remember my first computer programming experience was learning two basic computer languages called COBOL and FORTRAN. In those days we wrote all of our programs on little punch cards which had to be fed into a card reader to run the programs (how antiquated).

Tell me about the nature of your responsibilities as a Computer Information Services Specialist? As a Computer Information Services Specialist, we are responsible for supporting and assisting units within DNR, identifying and resolving customer hardware and software issues. Desktop Support is broken down into two teams, Remote Support Team which supports all the units outside of Tawes, and the In-House Support Team which supports the units within Tawes. Currently I’m assigned to the Remote Support Team where I'm  primarily responsible for supporting units in the Southern region as well as supporting and backing up units within Tawes and other DNR regional offices.

Everyday you hear horror stories of destructive computer viruses, people hacking into banking and credit card databases to access confidential information, etc. How is the department protecting its employees and the work that they do from this sort of thing? DNR Information Technology Service in conjunction with state and federal agencies has implemented several security features such as Firewalls, Anti-Spam Solution and Anti-Virus Software to protect our infrastructure from unauthorized users and viruses. A lot of emphasizes has been placed on security to make sure we are able to work in a secure environment.

In addition to your responsibilities here at the department, you also have another very important responsibility – to the U.S. military. Can you tell me a little bit about that? I’m currently serving in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs Specialist with the 450 Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). The 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) is a part of U.S. Army Special Operations Command providing direct support to the 82d Airborne Division. Civil Affairs Soldiers operate in teams in support of both conventional and special operations forces. Civil Affairs specialists identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in combat or crisis situations. They also locate civil resources to support military operations, mitigate non-combatant injury or incident, minimize civilian interference with military operations, facilitate humanitarian assistance activities, and establish and maintain communication with civilian aid agencies and organizations.

You did a tour of duty in Afghanistan, is that correct? Yes, I was called to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom were I was deployed to Afghanistan for about a year.

Unfortunately, your position doesn’t allow you much time to get out into the field to enjoy the resources that the department manages. When you do get an opportunity to get out, what is it you like to do?
As a Computer Information Services Specialist I’m directly responsible for supporting all DNR units located in Maryland’s southern region. My area of responsibility covers units from Annapolis to Point Lookout State Park. As a field technician I’m afforded the opportunity to work with various units and have direct interaction with many of the resources Maryland DNR has to offers such as the state parks, forestry’s and wildlife sanctuaries.

What is your greatest concern regarding the future of Maryland’s natural resources? My greatest concern regarding the future of Maryland’s natural resources is the protection and enhancement of its shores and beaches. Growing up in a water front community I was able to see first hand the benefits that communities harvest from protected shorelines.

Your favorite spot – the one you go to “to get away from it all?” When I need to “get away from it all” I hop on my motorcycle and just ride.

Tell me about the last book you read…The last book I read was “Gotham Diaries” by Tonya Lewis Lee & Crystal McCrary Anthony
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