Saturday Night Program
What would one summer day working with Yosemite's Search and Rescue team be like? What could you expect? Rockfall, suicide, helicopter short-hauls, missing persons, swift water rescues/recovery, countless carry-outs, lead climber falls, Half Dome thunder storms and outlaw motorcycle gangs? What are the challenges YOSAR faces? What is YOSAR doing to deal with the tighter budgets, high visitation and complexity of working in a crown-jewel National Park?Paul J. Doherty
Member of YOSAR since May 2008, Law Enforcement Ranger since May 2009. I came to Yosemite on a spur of the moment career change (previously a graduate student from NY City with a M.S. in wildlife biology). I was hired by the Chief Ranger Steve Shackelton to explore GIS (Geographic Information Systems) needs in the Park. When I arrived at Yosemite I had never even heard of a Search and Rescue team. I thought that was the FDNY's job.
I became interested in SAR/Law Enforcement and found myself addicted to chaos after walking into the SAR Cache on the first day of a major Search in June of 2008. Today, I can honestly say I have the greatest job in the world. In 2009 YOSAR received a Special Achievement in GIS award at the ESRI (GIS software developer) User Conference for implementing GIS as a Search and Rescue tool.
In collaboration with YOSAR I am developing a PhD research project (at UC Merced) that will analyze a 20-year SAR dataset (+4000 SARs) for geospatial patterns and also evaluate modern Search techniques using GIS. This allows me to continue working for YOSAR for an indefinite amount of time. I greatly admire the volunteer teams that work and train during their spare time so that others may live!
Video provided by Tom Patterson from ESRI