February 12, 2014

2014 MGIS Graduate Job Hires and Changes

Congratulations to our recent graduates and others who have changed jobs in 2014 as they establish and maintain successful careers in the GIS profession!

Patrick Baldwin (2012) is now a GIS Specialist at Flat Rock Geographics in St. Paul, MN. This GIS consulting company was founded by two MGIS grads, Blaine Hackett (2001) and Paul Wickman (2007).

Justin Bakken (2011) has been promoted to GIS Specialist at Natural Resource Group, LLC.

Stephen Dunning (2004) has been promoted to Director of Strategy and Business Development at the Chronic Disease Research Group of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation.

Josh Dunsmoor (2013) was recently hired as a GIS Specialist with URS Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Kim Gorman (2008) has added Program Manager to her job title of Senior Project Manager/GIS Specialist at Tetra Tech.

Kris Johnson (2013) and his family are moving to Duluth, Minnesota where Kris has been hired as a GIS Developer at North Point GIS.

Brad Johnston (2013) has been hired at Carver County as a GIS Specialist.

Greg Schulz (2010) is now a Market Systems Analyst with Target Corporation.

Zeb Thomas (2012) has been promoted to GIS Data Systems Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Noel Peterson (2011) has been promoted to Associate Analyst at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

Lucas Winzenburg (2013) has secured a position at the University of Minnesota working as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Polar Geospatial Center and U-Spatial.

September 30, 2013

Hansen and Mueller receive 2013 MN GIS/LIS Consortium's Polaris Leadership Awards

Catherine Hansen, MGIS Faculty member, and Jane Mueller, MGIS graduate, have been recognized as the 2013 Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium's Polaris Leadership Award winners. The award recognizes active, established leaders in the geospatial profession who demonstrate a beacon of energy and creativity that inspires and guides the Minnesota GIS community. Congratulations to both Catherine and Jane for this achievement and many thanks for their devotion and contributions to the GIS community!

August 20, 2013

Tom Fisher delivers seventh annual Borchert Lecture

fisher_photo.jpgThomas Fisher, Professor in the School of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, gave the seventh annual Borchert Lecture, which honors the late John Borchert, University of Minnesota Regents Professor in Geography and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science. This lecture features notable speakers in the area of geographic information science and coincides with Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day. Dr. Fisher's presentation, What is GeoDesign and Why Does It Matter?, took place on Friday, November 22 at 3:30 pm in the Honeywell Auditorium, Carlson School of Management on the West Bank campus. A graduate of Cornell University and Case Western Reserve University, he has written 7 books, 47 book chapters or introductions, and over 325 articles in professional journals and major publications. Named a top-25 design educator four times by Design Intelligence, he has lectured at 36 universities and over 150 professional and public meetings in the U.S. His most recent book, Designing to Avoid Disaster, The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design (Routledge, 2012), looks at failures across an array of systems and argues for a more ecologically based way of thinking about the infrastructures we all depend on.

May 15, 2013

2013 MGIS Graduate Job Changes and Hires

Jason Anderson (2012) moved to Denver, Colorado and works for First Bank as a Web Developer.

VIctor Barnett (2000) works at the City of St. Paul as an Engineering Technician.

Brian Behling (2010) currently works for Premier Geospatial in Arvada, Colorado as a Software Developer.

Tom Breed (2006) now works for Google as a GIS Data Engineer.

Mike Engels (2005) has moved back to Minnesota and works as a Data Analyst for AudaExplore in Eagan, MN. One of his colleagues is Mike Kasel (2009), who is a Senior GIS Analyst.

Keith Erickson (2012) is a GIS Analyst with Digital Globe in Golden, Colorado.

Elizabeth Fairley (2008) is a Geospatial Data Steward and Metadata Custodian with the Geospatial Agency in Washington, D.C.

Mike Foster (2010) now works at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning as a GIS/Data Visualization/Graphics Specialist in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Jim Gonsoski (2008) is a GIS Specialist at the Metropolitan Council in the Twin Cities.

Drew Hanson (2010) has moved to a GIS Specialist position with Golder Associates, an environmental planning and engineering consulting firm in the Seattle area.

Eric Hanson (2010) now works for the Hennepin County GIS office as a Senior IT Specialist.

Matt McLees (2013) is a Senior GeoData Specialist at East View Geospatial in Minnesota.

Alphonce Nicholaus (2012) works as a GIS Consultant for the African Wildlife Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Sandra Paddock (2000) recently became a Business Analyst & Project Management Consultant for HealthPartners in Minneapolis, MN.

Sara (Dolan) Sanchez (2007) is now a Product Engineer at ESRI.

Prakash Singh (2011) works for the City of Los Angeles' Department of Building and Safety as a GIS platform manager.

Matt Swanson (2013) is a Research Analyst with Historical Information Gatherers in Hopkins, Minnesota.

Matt Taraldsen (2013) has moved to Norman, Oklahoma to work for Weather Decision Technologies, Inc as a meteorologist and GIS software engineer.

Aaron Timbo (1999) is currently a Software Engineer with Bloom Health in Minneapolis.

Norine Wilczek (2012) has been hired as a GIS Analyst/Traffic Operations Dispatcher at the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Regional Transportation Management Center.

May 3, 2013

Robert McMaster honored as 2013 UCGIS Fellow

Robert McMasterRobert McMaster, Professor of Geography, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education and MGIS faculty member, has been named as a 2013 UCGIS Fellow. Dr. McMaster was recognized for his contribution to the advancement of geographic information science education and research. For more information about Dr. McMaster's contributions, see the description provided on the UCGIS Fellows page.

May 2, 2013

2013 Student Recognition

Congratulations to several MGIS students who received awards in 2013. Taylor Long and Gayatri Alapati are the recipients of 2013 ESRI User Conference Student Assistantships. Jessica Sweet has been awarded a 2013 ESRI Summer Internship and will work in Redlands, CA this summer. These awards are very competitive and securing one is a high achievement. Each year a UMN student is recognized as the Outstanding Student of the Year for our local ESRI Development Center. The 2013 recipient is Cole Kelleher.

Kris Johnson, MGIS program, is the graduate winner of the 2013 UMN Minnesota GIS/LIS Student Scholar Award for his GIS project, Spatial Analysis of Bicycle-Automobile Collisions in the City of Minneapolis. Jameson Bupp, B.S. in Urban Studies, is the undergraduate winner of the same award for his project, Long Term Consequences of the Tear-Down-Rebuild Process in Urban Areas Substantiated Using GIS. Both students competed in the graduate and undergraduate student paper sessions at the Fall 2013 Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference in early October where Kris won second place in the graduate student paper competition!

Matt Taraldsen received funding to participate in the SPREAD workshop in Colorado this summer, which is a multidisciplinary workshop focused on the communication of hydrometeorological hazards.

Finally, congratulations to our recent 2013 graduates! For a detailed listing, visit the MGIS graduates page.

September 10, 2012

Nina Lam delivers 6th Annual Borchert Lecture

Dr. Nina Lam, Professor of Environmental Sciences at Louisiana State University (LSU), gave the sixth annual Borchert Lecture, which honors the late John Borchert, University of Minnesota Regents Professor in Geography and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science. Her presentation, From Disease to Disaster: Geospatial Analysis for Environmental Decision Making on Friday, November 16 was well attended by a diverse audience from the campus and the community with GIS, geography, public health and other related interests. As a renowned expert and leader in GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and environmental health, Dr. Lam's research spans continents and decades, in both methodological and appLam02-9-12.jpglied domains. In the early 1980s, her study on cancer mortality patterns in China has revealed unusual clustered patterns and identified possible links between environmental conditions and cancers. Her pioneering research on the spread of HIV/AIDS in the United States was the first to confirm a national trend of HIV/AIDS spread in rural America. Her current research focuses on developing models to understand business return decisions in New Orleans after Katrina and to measure community resilience and sustainability. Dr. Lam has published one book, Fractals in Geography, and over 70 refereed journal articles and chapters, and has served as the PI or co-PI of over 35 external grants. She was also a Program Director of the Geography and Regional Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation from 1999-2001, and was elected and served as President of University Consortium on Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) in 2004.

August 29, 2012

2012 MGIS Graduate Job Changes and Hires

Justin Bakken (2011) is an Associate GIS Consultant with the Natural Resource Group, LLC.

Ben Butzow (2012) has moved to MnDOT's Waters Edge facility and is now a GIS Specialist with the GIS Support Group.

Tom Chambers (2012) is a GIS Consultant with Real Estate Mapping and Data, LLC.

Brian Fischer (2001) was promoted to a Principal and GIS Project Manager at Houston Engineering Inc. in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Mike Foster (2010) now works as a GIS Specialist with URS Corporation in downtown Minneapolis.

Jason Gottfried (2011) is a Multi-Modal Transportation Planner/GIS Specialist with the St. Cloud Area Planning Organization.

Blaine Hackett (2001) along with Paul Wickman (2007) have joined forces and established a GIS consulting company, Flat Rock Geographics, in Minneapolis.

Jacque Hamilton (2007) is now a Geologic Information Specialist at the Minnesota Geological Survey.

Craig Hanson (2012) has moved to Williston, North Dakota where he is working as a GIS Specialist with AE2S.

Mike Kasel (2009) now works as a Senior GIS Analyst with Explore Information Services in Eagan, Minnesota.

Erin Kees (2008) has moved back to the Twin Cities and works for Xcel Energy as a Supervisor for the Ancillary Programs group.

Cole Kelleher (2012) is a Cartographer and Support Coordinator at the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and makes frequent trips to Antarctica.

Michael Lau (2012) is a 3D Product Engineer with ESRI in Redlands, California.

Matt Lindholm (2011) was recently hired by the Natural Resource Group, LLC as an Associate GIS Consultant.

Jason Menard (2007) has moved back to Minnesota and is now the GIS Instructional Technologist at Saint Olaf College in Northfield.

Tony Monsour (2012) works for Eastview Geospatial as a GIS Developer. More recently, he is the Vice President at Elevated GIS Solutions.

Andres Munoz (2008), after many successful years working for ESRI as a Solutions Engineer, will be returning to Colombia to begin his own consulting company.

Sean O'Brien (2012) is a GIS Technician with Houston Engineering.

Shane Pittman (2003) has been promoted to Supervisor of Spatial Data at Port Metro Vancouver.

Sathyan Srinivasan (2000) now works as the Senior Program Manager at Intel Corporation in Portland, Oregon.

Zach Tagar (2012) was hired as a GIS Research Analyst at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Zeb Thomas (2012) is now a GIS Data Analyst at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Kody Thurnau (2011) is back in the Twin Cities where he is a GIS Specialist at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

Norine Wilczek (2012) works as a GIS Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

2012 Student Recognition

Congratulations to several MGIS students who were the recipients of awards in 2012. Lucas Winzenburg was awarded a 2012 ESRI User Conference Student Assistantship. These awards are very competitive and securing one is a high achievement. Each year a UMN student is recognized as the Outstanding Student of the Year for our local ESRI Development Center. The 2012 recipient was Michael Lau.

Matthew Taraldsen, MGIS program, was the recipient of the 2012 UMN Minnesota GIS/LIS Scholarship Graduate Award for his research project "Use of GIS in the Climatology of Snow-to-liquid Equivalent Ratio in Minnesota." Kate Geraets, B.S. in Urban Studies, was the recipient of the same scholarship in the undergraduate category for her project "Impact of Vacant Parcels or Properties in North Minneapolis-Hawthorne Neighborhood."

Finally, congratulations to our nineteen 2012 graduates! For a detailed listing, visit the MGIS graduates page.

January 27, 2012

GISSO Participates in GIS Day and Hosts Career Fair

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As part of GIS Day activities at the University of Minnesota, five MGIS students, Alphonce Nicholaus, Zeb Thomas, Norine Wilczek, Lucas Winzenburg and Alex Zhang, visited the Buffalo Community Middle School on November 16th. They spent the day with Geography instructor David Casey's five classes to teach over 100 students about GIS. The student teachers talked about their backgrounds, their work in GIS, and the many possible applications of GIS. They then led a lesson in the computer lab with the students using ArcGIS online to pull in different data layers and understand what they represent. Finally, students had some fun with the web site geogreeting.com, spelling out messages from satellite images from around the globe. The day was a great success and Mr. Casey was very appreciative of the students' time and effort. This is just one example of how the GIS Student Organization is involved in GIS outreach and professional development activities.

On April 3rd, GISSO held their 11th annual GIS Career and Networking Fair and it was a great success. The goal of the event is to build a bridge between GIS students and employers around the region, granting the opportunity to network, exchange job opportunities and resumes, and share research and technologies being used in both the professional and academic worlds. Speakers included Steve Lime and Jeremy Moore from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Nathan Aamot from ESRI as well as student poster and presentation sessions. Look out for the event again in Spring 2013!

October 31, 2011

Interdisciplinary research team receives $8 million NSF grant for Terra Populus project

An interdisciplinary team, including MGIS faculty members Steven Manson and Shashi Shekhar, has been awarded a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to boost understanding of population-environment relationships on a global scale. The project, Terra Populus, is a collaboration of the Minnesota Population Center, the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota Libraries, and faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Engineering, as well as Columbia University and the University of Michigan. For more information, see the University's news release on the Terra Populus project.

September 19, 2011

David DiBiase delivers 5th Annual Borchert Lecture

Thumbnail image for David DiBiase.jpgDavid DiBiase, Director of Education at ESRI, gave the fifth annual Borchert Lecture, which honors the late John Borchert, University of Minnesota Regents Professor in Geography and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science. His lecture titled Ways Forward for GIS&T Education was inspired by a forthcoming book, Teaching GIS&T, co-edited with David Unwin, Kenneth Foote, and Nicholas Tate. David DiBiase leads the Education Team within Esri's Industry Solutions group. The Team promotes and supports GIS use to enrich teaching and learning in formal and informal settings, domestically and internationally. Before joining Esri, David founded and led the Penn State Online GIS Certificate and Masters degree programs. He served as lead editor of the U.S. Department of Labor's Geospatial Technology Competency Model and UCGIS's GIS&T Body of Knowledge. From 1998-2003, as a member of URISA's Certification Committee, David helped design the criteria by which the GIS Certification Institute has awarded its "GIS Professional" credential to nearly 5,000 practitioners. He served as GISCI president from 2010-11.

September 14, 2011

Harvey, Manson, Bauer, Shekhar and others Secure University-wide I-3 Award

Francis Harvey along with co-investigators Marvin Bauer (Forest Resources), Jonathan Foley (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior), Steve Manson (Geography), Steve Ruggles (MN Population Center/History) and Shashi Shekhar (Computer Science) have been awarded a $2.5 million Infrastructure Investment Initiative (I-3) award for their U-Spatial Initiative over the 2012-2017 period. Visit the U-Spatial web site to learn more about this campus-wide initiative in spatial science.

June 2, 2011

2011 MGIS Student Recognition

Congratulations to several MGIS students who were the recipients of awards in 2011. Jessica Campbell, Heather Hegi and Alphonce Nicholaus were awarded 2011 ESRI User Conference Student Assistantships. Michael Lau received an ESRI Summer Internship and will be working for the Technical Marketing unit. These awards are very competitive and securing one is a high achievement.

Each year a student is recognized as the Outstanding Student of the Year for our local ESRI Development Center. The 2011 recipient is Tony Monsour.

Our students continued to shine at the 2011 ESRI User Conference in San Diego including being recipients of Map Gallery Awards. Kody Thurnau won one of three awards given out by the Cartography Special Interest group and he took First Place in the category of Single Map Product-Large Format Press Copy for his Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Bike Map.

Jessica Campbell was the recipient of the 2011 UMN Minnesota GIS/LIS Scholarship Graduate Award for her research project "Image Classification of Aquatic Emergent Vegetation Using RGB Clustering and Image Segmentation." Garrett Bing, B.S. in Geography, was the recipient of the same scholarship in the undergraduate category. Jessica went on to win second place in the Graduate Student paper competition and best poster in the poster session at the Fall 2011 Minnesota GIS/LIS Conference in early October.

Finally, congratulations to our twenty-five 2011 graduates! For a detailed listing, visit the MGIS graduates page.

June 1, 2011

DiBiase Named as ESRI's Director of Education

Current MGIS Advisory Board Member, David DiBiase, has been appointed as ESRI's Director of Education in the Industrial Solutions division. He is an internationally recognized leader in GIS education and has a long list of accomplishments and contributions to the field. His advice and insights along with the other distinguished MGIS Advisory Board Members have helped to make the MGIS program a success.