Staff Spotlight: Dee Ebbeka

Dee Ebbeka
Meet Dee Ebbeka, cartographer and graphics designer in the School of Natural Resources.
March 21, 2022

About Dee

I worked at the Department of Roads for six years as a cartographer making county road maps. I then came to UNL to the Conservation and Survey Division (CSD), still as a cartographer. The job was to draft geological and hydrological maps using ink Rapidograph pens. When computers came on the scene, we converted slowly. Luckily, I picked it up pretty easily. In 2006, CSD merged with the School of Natural Resources (SNR). My services were then available to the whole school.  That meant moving from working with 70 people to almost 200. Luckily, it took time for SNR people to understand what I could help them with, so it was a gradual change. This July will be 42 years with UNL.

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

My official title is still cartographer, but my working title is graphics designer. Although I was first hired to make maps, the jobs also included journal article illustrations and slide drawings. Eventually, I did more graphic projects including publication covers, cartoons and flyers.With more people making research posters, we purchased a large plotter and lamination machines. Now, I never know what sort of project will walk through my door or pop up in email. The variety of people and projects make this position very interesting.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

While at the Department of Roads, two co-workers moved to CSD. When they wanted to hire another person at CSD, the co-workers suggested I apply.  It was a more ‘artistic’ job and paid more, so the rest is history.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy working with faculty and staff and students. I’ve met people from around the world and made some good friends. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

In my work life, I would say persistence and accepting change along the way have kept me interested and challenged.

What is something that most people don't know about you? 

Working for the Conservation and Survey Division and the School of Natural Resources has made me appreciate the efforts made to study and preserve nature. However, I would rather experience nature from indoors. Being a mosquito magnet and having a very narrow comfort range, it’s better to have A/C or a space heater. HA!

What is your life like outside of work?

I have two adult children with one being married and I dabble in plants and knitting. I’m currently assembling a book of photographs and stories from my side of the family. I get outside briefly to plant flowers and walk my quirky and funny Shih Tzu, Lexi.