> Along the lines of education... I am wondering if
> there is a govt. employee out there that loves to
> teach and is willing to provide mentoring in
> scientific illustration & digital imaging for several
> days, possibly a week? I believe that there are govt.
> mentoring programs that would help cover the cost on
> our end.  I would like to see a show of interest
> before presenting the info to my supervisor.
> I have been with USDA-ARS for 12 years as an Office
> Assistant, where I have worked with 6 scientists in
> creating & designing images for publications,
> presentations, and posters through the years.  My work
> load in visual information has increased so much in
> the past 3 years that now that is my main focus of
> work.

Hi Jacki,
Because you work with scientists, that puts you in a different
 skill set needs niche than the regular business world. I would
suggest that you ask you supervisor for 3-day, week long workshop
given by an invited scientific illustrator who specailizes in
your type of presentations. One can learn an enormous amount from
a professional who gears the teaching to precisely what you need,
rather than generalized sessions that are mostly useless to you.
Put the word out to various guild chapters. Freelance artists
will have more scheduling flexibility.

Several staffers I work with took computer graphics classes in
design and layout that helped them tremendously.

Draft a statement declaring precisely what areas you wish
to be addressed. Put them in order of top priority to you.
This will help both your supervisor and potential trainers
to give you the most for your money.

Best of luck,