20 Aug 2014
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In Memoriam: Longtime Reston Resident Doug Nebert Dies

U.S. Geological Survey pioneer died in a private plane crash May 31. A memorial service will be held in August in Reston.

In Memoriam: Longtime Reston Resident Doug Nebert Dies

Longtime Reston resident and U.S. Geological Survey pioneer in Geospatial Technology, Doug Nebert, 51, died in a private plane crash in Toledo, Ore. on May 31. 

His granddaughter, Zoey Wahl, 4, also did not survive the crash that seriously injured her mother, April Gleason, of Seattle. 

During a 30-year career with the USGS, Nebert was known for his foundational work in modern geospatial information systems and received the highest Open Geospatial Consortium honor, the Kenneth D. Gardel’s Award for his personal and professional contributions and leadership. 

Acknowledged not only as an expert in this area, but also as an excellent communicator of highly technical information, his vision and commitment to make this information available around the world has been highly praised. He was described by colleagues “a one-man interoperability show case,” and “an incredible force behind many of the things we take for granted in modern geospatial information systems.” He was a brilliant, versatile and dedicated public servant.

Nebert's many interests included geology, the mysteries of weather, music, and languages. A major hobby was the airplane he built himself and flew for many years before the tragic accident. 

Those who knew him prized the friendship of a generous, sensitive, witty man of many talents. Nebert grew up in Bethesda, and graduated from Walter Johnson High School. He received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Evergreen State College and an M.S. in Geography from Portland State University. Doug married his high school sweetheart, the former Dee Kirkpatrick, in 1989 in Reston. 

In 2011, they moved to Newport, Ore. to own and operate a bed and breakfast, the Tyee Lodge. He was active in the Newport Airport Committee, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

He is survived by his sons, Corey Nebert and John Gross, daughter April Gleason, granddaughter Charlie Gross, his mom Myrna Bernstein, his dad Daniel Nebert, stepparents Robert Bernstein, Kitty Dixon and Lucia Nebert, and loving in-laws Don and Dee Kirkpatrick. He will be missed by his brother Dietrich Nebert and half- and step-siblings Rosie, Becky, Lucas, David, Bobbi, and Sharon.  

A memorial service will be held on August 16 at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston. Donations in Doug's name may be made to The Young Eagles Project,  and in memory of Zoey Wahl to Teddy Bears for Kids.

(The obituary was provided to Reston Patch.)  

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