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Copyright 2004 Tara K. Harper.  All rights reserved.

Tara K. Harper

Senior Technical / Science Writer
and Editor

PO Box 23-0107; Tigard, OR 97281-0107

Key Skills
Professional Experience
Technical Papers
Awards and Honors
Civic Activities

Contact Info

References available upon request

25 years experience as a technical and science writer, ghost writer, and editor, working in VI, Microsoft Word, Windows, and UNIX/Linux systems.
Medical and Biological Areas:  Medical science, cardiovascular science and microdevices, drug-delivery systems, drug-discovery research, genetics, herpetology, forestry, and forensics.
High-Tech Areas:  S/W and H/W architecture, UI, semiconductors and chip design, networking and wireless technologies, radio//SDR, microwave communications, materials science and nanotechnology, and robotics.
Familiar with  HTML, CorelDraw, OpenOffice, PowerPoint, AOLPress (web site design), Encore, Framemaker, Visio, and other applications.
Experienced in the entire documentation process, from planning to archives; also in project management and QA.

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Technical/Science Writer
Technical Editor
Consultant, various companies and researchers
1990 to date

Work with American and foreign specialists and high-tech R&D companies on both public-oriented and highly confidential projects.  Work in areas as diverse as high tech and software architecture and medical and biological sciences.  Have worked in software architecture, UI, semiconductor technology, chip design, robotics, wireless and SDR technologies (including soft radios), microwave communications, and manufacturing process software.  In biological areas, have worked in cardiology, medical microdevices, genetics, and drug-delivery systems.  Also trained in herpetology, forestry, and forensics.

Key experience and skills:
Work on highly confidential invention and technology disclosures.
Research and write online magazine articles aimed at high-tech engineers.
Plan, research, and write/edit users manuals and training packages.
Plan, research, and write/edit reference and sys-admin manuals.

Additional tasks include:  performing UI and functional spec. analysis, bug/deficiency reporting, UI functional design recommendations, and analysis of competitor documentation for product functionliaty.

Clients have included:  Intel Corporation; Guidant Corporation (medical systems); CDR International; Tektronix, Inc.; Credence Corporation; Diamond-Supra Inc.; Research Genetics, Inc.; Inovise, Inc.; IntegriDerm, Inc.; SDI, Inc.; and individual academic and commercial researchers.

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Technical Documentation Specialist
Cascade Microtech, Inc.;  Beaverton, OR
1990 - 1993

Responsible for the development of award-winning system and component product documentation, training materials, and user aids.  Edited and ghost-wrote engineering papers, and marketing/sales literature.  Determined documentation resource needs.  Made budget and schedule recommendations to corporate management.  Interviewed, hired and supervised contractors and vendors.  Coordinated documentation development across engineering and marketing boundaries.  Developed standards and instigated process improvements.

Also evaluated prototype products, wrote extensive evaluation reports, and proposed user-design changes which were incorporated into final product design.  Evaluated competitor documentation to help determine the functionality of competitors' products.

Key achievements included:
   •  Developed an online documentation system and an archiving system.
   •  Reduced print costs by 60% by improving masters and going to high-speed printers.
   •  Reduced bindery costs by 30%, and improved binder quality.
   •  Upgraded production processes to make most layout and paste-up tasks obsolete.
   •  Reduced time-to-market for manuals development by approximately 30%.
   •  Solved critical maintenance problems by designing modular manual sets.
   •  Instigated plans for educating new markets with the company's new technology.

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Technical Writer/Editor
American Society for Quality Control (ANSI/ASQ)
1988 to 1999

Technical writer/editor for the ANSI-accredited ASQ/MQD Standards Writing Committee, which develops national standards for metrology and quality control.   Also served as advisory technical editor for committees on ISO 9000-, 10000-, 12000-, and 14000-series standards.

Key responsibilities and tasks:
Edited and ghost-wrote standards for ASQ/MQD.
Coordinated and incorporated reviews from reviewers in diverse industries who had a variety of goals in commenting on and influencing the standards.
Reviewed other, related ISO/ANSI standards, and identified and advised on issues of redundancy, similarity and conflict which were raised by the wording of the standards.
Ghost-wrote material for the ANSI/ASQ 9001:2000 reference book.

Also served on the Board of Directors as ASQC Treasurer.  Suggested, planned, and instigated the transition from manual accounting methods to a more traceable, timely electronic accounting of the organization's activities.

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Project Leader/Technical Writer
Digital Instruments/Design Automation,  Tektronix, Inc.;  Beaverton., OR
1985 - 1990

Developed and wrote user's manuals, applications manuals, and service manuals for emulators, logic analyzers, graphics editors, and other SW tools (such as assemblers, compilers, debuggers, and CASE tools).  Wrote research documents, performed OEM vendor critiques, and researched and wrote product proposals.  Developed documentation standards, manual plans, and documentation-package plans.  Scheduled and supervised other writers.

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Senior Technical Editor
Microprocessor Development Products, Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton., OR
1984 - 1985

Responsible for style, grammar, and organization of technical material in product manuals, engineering specs, and marketing literature.  Designed manuals for a variety of product types and customer purposes.  Developed a writer's guide.  Organized the manuals archiving system to accommodate new product lines and extensive peripheral documentation.  Helped co-workers with writing projects.  Taught writing and editing workshops to technical writers.

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Additional Positions:
Ghost Writer.  Edited and ghost-wrote theses and dissertations in physics and psychology.  Edited undergraduate papers in various disciplines
Tutor, University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Pacific University.  Tutored English grammar, essay writing and composition, creative writing, and history of Western civilization to first-, second-, and third-year university students
Artist in Residence.  Accredited classes, Beaverton School District

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Homicide School, death investigation, and forensics,
including forensic anthropology, odontology, entomology, etc;
1999 to date

OIT, PSU, PCC, etc.
C/C++ programming, microprocessor design, neural networks,
AI, machine vision, robotics, and electronics; as well as music theory,
sculpture and painting, project management, etc.
1984 - to date

University of Oregon
B.S. Journalism with physics and mathematics

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
Marine biology and science writing

Portland State University
Economics and literature

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Building Quality into Written Calibration Procedures
ANSI/ASQC National Conference of Standards Laboratories
Washington, D.C., 1990

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  Guest Speaker, Library of Congress, 1999.    
Guest of Honor at the Moscon and Chattacon science-fiction conventions, 1999 and 2000.
Numerous awards for excellence in science and technical writing, including the Distinguished Award, STC, 1992-1999.
Nominated to the U of O School of Journalism Inaugural Hall of Achievement, 1999.
Cat Scratch Fever  and Wolf's Bane, novels, nominated for the Oregon Book Awards 1995 and 1998.
Honorable Mention, corporate Golden Probe award, Cascade Microtech, 1991.
Recognitions by engineering, Tektronix, 1989, 1990.
Communications scholarship, GTE, 1980 - 1981.
State award for feature writing in journalism, 1979.

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  Creative-Writing Teacher, accredited classes, Tigard School District; 1992 to date.  
Member, Board of Directors, Youth Contact (a youth treatment center); 1992 to 2004.
Additional and previous activites include:  wilderness skills trainer, soccer coach, teen mentor, grant writer; newsletter editor; workshop leader for battered women, etc.

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PO Box 23-0107; Tigard, OR 97281-0107

Please include a contact name, title, and telephone
number in your e-mail correspondence.

References available upon request

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