Ernie Tolin began his Forest Service career working as a labor II air service manager at the Chino airport in California. He moved on to a 40,000 acre helicopter seeding project on the San Dimas Experimental Forest. From there, he was transferred to the new Forest Fire Laboratory in Riverside California. There, he would work on fire research projects, fight fires and eventually, he would learn how to program computers. Ernie wrote an automated Fire Dispatch program and a computer mapping system that would allow researchers to simulate Forest fires and fire spread models.
Ernie was transferred to Washington DC where he helped build the USDA Fort Collins Computer Center. He was named as one of the Chiefs technical advisors for the Forest Service remote sensing project located at the Huston Space Flight Center. He was named as the Director of Information Management. In 1979, Ernie became the Director of Computer Science and Telecommunications for the Forest Service California Region. There he implemented computer systems on all of the Regions National Forest and Ranger Districts. In 1987 The Federated States of Micronesia requested Ernie’s assistance in the area of communications systems. A major achievement was the building of a emergency radio station on the Island of Guam for the Forestry Department and Fish and Wildlife Service.
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