Each month we feature GeoMentor volunteers to showcase the wonderful talent available in our community to assist K-12 schools.
Read our full collection of GeoMentor spotlights online. Want to be featured? Information is available on our program website.
Position and Affiliation: Senior Environmental Research Analyst with the City of Minneapolis – Health Department
What was your favorite class in K-12? Biology
How did you first learn about and/or use GIS? I learned about it when I was in grad school at the University of Colorado at Denver. I took one online Introduction to GIS course and a Remote Sensing of the Environment course. At the time it seemed that GIS wasn’t being used as much as it is now and my thesis advisor approached me to work on a research project using GIS because I was one of the few people in my area of study with GIS experience.
Name one thing you love about GIS and/or geography. I love the sense of place that you get when you step out of your 3-dimensional world and see everything in relationship to each other on a map. I’m terrible at direction in my real world, but it all makes sense to me when I see it on a map!
Why did you want to volunteer as a GeoMentor? For me, it started as an opportunity to go into my own kids’ classrooms and share something that I love with them and their classmates. I wanted to be able to share with them a small aspect of what I do at work.
What kind of GeoMentor volunteer opportunity and experience are you looking for? I enjoy working with elementary aged kids. It’s amazing how naturally they respond to technology! It is very intuitive for them. I’m looking for an experience where I can introduce the students to something new that they may end up using throughout their education and career.
If someone asked you why they should learn about GIS and/or geography, how would you respond in one sentence? No matter what field you enter, there is likely a use to look at something geographically; experience with GIS will make you more marketable in your career.