Buja is the senior application developer for MSE’s Biogeography Branch in Silver Spring, MD. He creates code and tools for ArcGIS software and web applications for automation, analysis, and visualization.
Buja first worked as a cartographer for several private companies before starting his career at NOAA in 1992. Initially he concentrated on GIS analysis and cartography, but started concentrating on creating more complex tools as the GIS software became more intuitive for scientists to use. Buja’s first big application was the Habitat Digitizing Extension, designed to simplify heads-up digitizing of aerial photography and imagery. First used to classify benthic habitats of coral reef ecosystems, this tool was soon released to the public and was used by many different organizations. He created several other widely used desktop applications such as the Zoom and Export tool and the Find Overlapping Polygons tool. Buja’s Sampling Design Tool is consistently one of the highest visited pages on the NCCOS web site. As web mapping pages matured, Buja turned to creating web pages to visualize and disseminate data. The BIOMapper was designed to highlight benthic habitat data as well as photography and videos. The Spatial Prioritization tool, gathering mapping priorities from stakeholders, is now being used by other NOAA, federal, and state offices.
Buja earned his Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Illinois.