Ken Czarnomski has always loved sketching and writing, but as a department chair for the sustainability and construction management programs at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, his projects consisted mainly of razor-straight lines and technical engineering language. There wasn’t a lot of room for freehand sketches or colorful commentary.
After retiring, Czarnomski began looking around for ways to pick up some of those hobbies he’d left untouched as a working professional. At the same time, he wanted to find a way to give back to his community, Haywood County. So, he started sketching hiking maps.
Landslide hazard maps for the Wayehutta Creek watershed in the Cullowhee area of Jackson County were unveiled recently. The mapping is a baby step toward the much loftier goal of assessing the landslide risk for all the steep slopes in the county — a goal that is currently unfunded in Jackson.
The survey provides a topographical look at the watershed. It provides an inventory of potential slides and areas where slides have occurred.
Most people who call up Google Earth are hunting a hard-to-find address or scoping out satellite images of their next vacation destination, but the ubiquitous online mapping tool is also proving useful in navigating years of bygone Cherokee civilization.