University of Minnesota
Master of Geographic Information Science
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Master of Geographic Information Science

News & Events

  • Vipin Kumar delivers the eighth annual Borchert Lecture as part of the UMN Spatial Forum

    kumar_photo.jpgDr. Vipin Kumar, William Norris Professor and Head of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota, gave the eighth 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. David Borchert, one of Dr. Borchert's sons, attended the event named in honor of his father. This annual lecture features notable speakers in the area of geographic information science and this year was part of the campus-wide Spatial Forum and GIS Day celebration. Dr. Kumar's current research interests include data mining, high-performance computing, and their applications in Climate/Ecosystems and Biomedical domains. He is the Lead PI of a 5-year, $10 Million project, "Understanding Climate Change - A Data Driven Approach", funded by the NSF's Expeditions in Computing program that is aimed at pushing the boundaries of computer science research. He has authored over 300 research articles, and co-edited or coauthored 10 books including the widely used text book "Introduction to Parallel Computing", and "Introduction to Data Mining" both published by Addison-Wesley. Dr. Kumar's presentation, Understanding Global Change: Opportunities and Challenges for Data Driven Research, was well-attended and many excellent questions were asked by the audience. The climate and earth sciences have recently undergone a rapid transformation from a data-poor to a data-rich environment. In particular, climate and ecosystem related observations from remote sensors on satellites, as well as outputs of climate or earth system models from large-scale computational platforms, provide terabytes of temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal data. These information-rich datasets offer huge potential for monitoring, understanding, and predicting the behavior of the Earth's ecosystem and for advancing the science of global change. This talk highlighted some of the challenges in analyzing such data sets and reported on early research results.

    October 10th, 2014
  • 2014 Student Recognition

    SolarPteam.jpgCongratulations to the MGIS Solar Dream Team, Ben Gosack, Chris Martin, Molly McDonald, Michael Moore, Stephen Palka, Devon Piernot, Andy Walz, and faculty adviser, Len Kne, who won first place in ESRI's Climate Resilience App Challenge 2014 including a $10,000 prize. Six members of the team traveled to the ESRI User Conference in July to accept their award during the opening session of the conference. The group has been recognized widely for this achievement including the Star Tribune, the Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office and Government Technology magazine.

    Thumbnail image for DSC00304_crop.jpgAlso join me in congratulating several MGIS students who received awards or completed their degrees thus far in 2014. Kathryn Purdham and Kyle Wikstrom are the recipients of 2014 ESRI User Conference Student Assistantships. 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 2014 recipient is Yiqun (Ian) Xie.

    Taylor Long, MGIS program, is the graduate winner of the 2014 UMN Minnesota GIS/LIS Student Scholar Award for his GIS project, eBird Participation Mapping. Rebecca Barney, B.A. in Geography, is the undergraduate winner of the same award for her project, Creating Rebecca's Interactive Adventure Map. Both students did an outstanding job representing the University of Minnesota in the graduate and undergraduate student paper sessions at the Fall 2014 Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference in early October. Taylor was awarded second place in the graduate paper competition.

    Finally, congratulations to our recent 2014 graduates! For a detailed listing, visit the MGIS graduates page.

    June 26th, 2014
  • GISSO recognized at the 2013 Tony Diggs Awards Ceremony

    GISSO-Group.jpgThe GIS Student Organization (GISSO) was nominated for the 2013 Tony Diggs Excellence Awards in the category of Outstanding Graduate or Professional Student Group of the Year. While the group did not win the top award in this category, they were recognized for their service to the University along with a field of an impressive student organizations. GISSO has sponsored and organized many GIS events and outreach efforts, their most prominent being the annual GIS Networking and Career Fair. Under the leadership of President Taylor Long and Vice President Molly McDonald this student group has provided outstanding service to the community and the University along with the support of its other dedicated officers and membership. To learn more about this outstanding student organization including becoming a member, visit the GISSO web site.

    April 29th, 2014
  • Taylor Long captures two awards in U-Spatial Mapping Prize Competition

    Long_Headshot.jpgTaylor Long won two awards in the U-Spatial Mapping Prize Competition; prizes were made possible by a generous gift from U of M alumnus Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri. Taylor was awarded the "Best Cartography" prize, a $500 cash award, for his map, Madison Fork and Environs; he also won "Best Overall Submissions" for his maps, Madison Fork and Environs and e-Bird Participation in 2012, for which he was awarded an all-expense paid trip to the Esri GeoDesign Summit.

    March 31st, 2014
  • Congratulations to 2014 U-Spatial Poster Competition Winners!

    GISSO-PosterComp2014.jpgCongratulations to the winners of the U-Spatial Poster Competition held at the 2014 GIS Networking and Career Fair! Tyler Kaebisch won first place for his poster LiDAR Derived Lake Boundaries. Taylor Long captured second place for eBird Participation in 2012: Citizen Science Aides Avian Research, while Ben Gosack took third place for Urban Tree Assessment for the University of Minnesota: Capturing Urban Tree Measurements from LiDAR Data. Honorable mention to MGIS students, Corey Betchwars, Teresa Lewandowski, Yiwen Li, and Joseph Mueller for their outstanding entries.

    March 27th, 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!

    Gayatri Alapati (2013) currently works for General Electric Oil and Gas as a GIS programming consultant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    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.

    Corey Betchwars (2014) has been hired as a Research/GIS Analyst for the City of St. Paul's Planning and Economic Development Office.

    Tom Chambers (2012) has been hired as a GIS Specialist with Goodhue County in Minnesota.

    Kyle Chester (2010) has changed positions at Xcel Energy and is now a Solutions Consultant.

    Tony Drollinger (2010) has the new title of Commuter Programs Specialist at Metro Transit in the Twin Cities.

    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) has taken a new position as a GIS Analyst with Steel Shire Design in Minnesota.

    Keith Erickson (2012) is now a Geospatial Software Engineer with Digital Globe in Golden, Colorado.

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

    Ben Gosack (2014) is a GIS Analyst with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

    Jenny Immich (2010) completed her doctoral degree in Anthropology and is now a GIS Teaching Fellow at Middlebury College in Vermont.

    Chacko Jacob (2009) has been promoted to Vice President of Global Technology and Business at Farmers Edge in Calgary, Canada.

    Tim Jacobson (2010) is now a Network Engineer with Frontier Communications in Burnsville, Minnesota.

    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.

    John Koenigs (2011) is now a Help Desk Representative at Cityworks, Azteca Systems, Inc. in West Bend, Wisconsin.

    Yiwen Li (2014) works as a Community GIS Research Specialist at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

    Fukhrudin Maalim (2014) is a Research Analyst at the National Centre for Food Protection and Defense in St. Paul, MN.

    Molly Martin (2011) has been hired as the GIS Principal with St. Louis County, Minnesota.

    Molly McDonald (2014) has a position with Rainbow Tree Care as a GIS/GPS Analyst.

    Matt McLees (2013) now works as a Senior GIS Analyst at Scott County in Minnesota.

    Mike Mommsen (2013) works for Historical Information Gatherers as a researcher and developer in Hopkins, Minnesota.

    Tony Monsour (2012) now works as a GIS Analyst for Scott County along with fellow MGIS graduate, Matt McLees.

    Stephen Palka (2014) was hired as a GIS Analyst with Innovate!, Inc. and will work as a contractor to the USGS and EROS Data Center.

    Greg Schulz (2010) is now a GIS Developer with Target Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Prakash Singh (2011) has transitioned to a new position with Blu Homes as a Full Stack Software Engineer in San Francisco, California.

    Tom Swanson (2007) has moved from New York and is now the Deputy Geographic Information Officer for Architecture and Planning at the City of Philadelphia.

    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.

    Jesse Reinhardt (2007) has been promoted to GIS Business Services Lead at the Hennepin County GIS Office.

    Matt Taraldsen (2013) has been hired as a Severe Weather Research Associate at the National Weather Service Warning Decision Training Branch in Norman, Oklahoma.

    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.

    February 12th, 2014
  • 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!

    September 30th, 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.

    August 20th, 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 15th, 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 3rd, 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.

    May 2nd, 2013
  • 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.

    September 10th, 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.

    August 29th, 2012
  • 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.

    August 29th, 2012
  • GISSO Participates in GIS Day and Hosts Career Fair

    ZebLecture copy.jpg

    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!

    January 27th, 2012
  • 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.

    October 31st, 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 19th, 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.

    September 14th, 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 2nd, 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.

    June 1st, 2011
  • 2011 MGIS Graduate Job Changes and Hires

    Jessica Campbell (2011) is a Cartographer for the Midwest Region at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Kelly Carpenter (2011) is a GIS Specialist at Barr Engineering in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a colleague of Jim Lind (2008) who now also works as a GIS Specialist for the same firm.

    Kyle Chester (2010) has been working as a Permitting Analyst for Xcel Energy in Minneapolis, MN.

    Jessica Deegan (2004) has transitioned to a new position as GIS Coordinator/Research Specialist with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

    Tony Drollinger (2010) is a Travel Demand Management Program Administrator for the Rideshare programs in the Marketing Department of Metro Transit in the Twin Cities.

    Alyssa Erickson (2010) returned from Ghana and now works as a Data Analyst with Hardwick-Day, a local consulting firm.

    Mike Foster (2010) is the GIS Specialist/IT Professional for the University of Minnesota Real Estate Office.

    Kami Gish (2010) is a Business Analyst for the Delta Airlines E-Commerce Team in Minnesota.

    Drew Hanson (2010) is a GIS consultant for ENEA Consultants in Seattle, Washington.

    Eric Hanson (2010) has been employed by the Minnesota Department of Health as their GIS Information Technology Specialist.

    Brad Herried (2010) has been hired as a Cartographer/Web Developer for the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota.

    Nhu Hoang (2011) will be an E-4 Specialist with the United States Army. Once he completes additional training, he will become an O-1 Second Lieutenant.

    Chacko Jacob (2009) is now working as a GIS/Remote Sensing Lead Analyst for a precision agriculture consulting company called Farmers Edge in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Tim Jacobson (2010) is working for the Minnesota House of Representatives as a Redistricting Technician.

    Thomas Juntunen (2011) is a Research Fellow/GIS Specialist at the Polar Geospatial Center on the University of Minnesota campus.

    Mike Kasel (2009) has moved on to a new position as Senior Healthcare Analyst with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota in Eagan.

    Kathryn Klatt (2011) has been hired as an Environmental Data Technician at de maximis Data Management Solutions, Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Len Kne (2009) recently returned to the University of Minnesota as the Associate Director for the U-Spatial initiative. He is also teaching the GIS 5577: Spatial Databases course in the MGIS program.

    Vikrant Krishna (2011) is a GIS Developer for WSB & Associates in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Neha Kulkarni (2011) is a GIS/LiDAR Analyst in the Geomatics Group (Research and Development) at Tetra Tech, Inc. in Lafayette, California.

    Molly Martin (2011) is an Image Analyst for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Resource Assessment Office in Grand Rapids.

    Bennett Morris (2011) has been hired as a GIS technician for the Knife River Corporation in Sauk Rapids, MN.

    Brian Mueller(2004) continues to work for the Bureau of Land Management as a GIS Analyst but has relocated to Washington, DC.

    Ashley Nepp (2011) is the GIS Lab Instructor for the Geography Department at Macalester College.

    Noel Peterson (2011) is an Assistant Analyst at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

    Claire Porter (2011) is a Remote Sensing Specialist for the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota.

    Jesse Reinhardt (2007) has moved to a new position as Public Health Planner with Carver County.

    Kerry Ritterbusch (2011) is an Associate QA Analyst at PeopleNet in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

    Greg Schulz (2010) is the GIS/CADD Specialist for Bay West, Inc., an environmental consulting and remediation firm based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Prakash Singh (2011) was recently promoted to a GIS Project Manager for AGNI Corporation in San Francisco, California.

    Brian Udell (2010) has moved to a new position as Senior GIS Analyst for the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

    Maggie Voth (2011) is a GIS Specialist with URS Corporation in addition to continuing with her graduate studies.

    Congratulations to all these graduates!

    January 21st, 2011
  • Dr. Timothy Nyerges delivers Borchert Lecture

    Nyerges.gifAs part of GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week activities on the U of M Twin Cities campus, Dr. Timothy Nyerges, delivered the fourth annual Borchert Lecture on Friday, November 19th. Dr. Nyerges, Professor of Geography at the University of Washington and President of the University Consortium for GI Science, engaged the audience with his presentation, "Online Participartory GIS for Decision Support of Regional Transportation Improvement," in the Honeywell Auditorium (L110), Carlson School of Management, West Bank campus.

    September 10th, 2010
  • 2010 MGIS Student Recognition

    Congratulations to a number of MGIS students who were the recipients of recent awards. Several of these were ESRI-related awards. Molly Martin and Chiu-Yi Liu were awarded 2010 ESRI User Conference Assistantships; Neha Kulkarni received a Summer 2010 Internship; and Jeremy Moore was recognized as the 2010 ESRI Development Centers Student of the Year award. Mike Foster, Brad Herried and Don Kilberg all received CAGIS Student Awards that allowed them to travel to the 2010 ESRI Conference to represent CAGIS in the exhibitor area.

    Margaret Voth was the recipient of the 2010 UMN Minnesota GIS/LIS Scholarship Graduate Award for her research project "Assessing Minnesota Lake Clarity Using MODIS Imagery." Ms. Voth went on to win first place in the Graduate Student Paper Competition (cash award of $1,000) held at the October 2010 MN GIS/LIS Conference in Duluth. Colin Lee was the recipient of the same scholarship in the undergraduate category for his research on "Lidargrammetry: Reducing file sizes while retaining accuracy." Mr. Lee won second place in the Undergraduate Student Paper Competition with a cash award of $400.

    Finally, congratulations to our recent graduates in December 2010: Kyle Chester, Mike Foster, Eric Hanson, Brad Herried, Tim Jacobson and Greg Schulz. For a listing of their Plan B projects, see the MGIS graduates page.

    September 10th, 2010
  • Robert McMaster receives 2010 UCGIS Education Award

    Robert McMasterRobert McMaster, Professor of Geography and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, is the recipient of the 2010 UCGIS Education Award. Dr. McMaster was recognized for his long history of service to the GIScience community in multiple leadership roles, his afflitation with the National Historical GIS project, and the innovative curriculum work he has accomplished at the University of Minnesota.

    September 5th, 2010
  • DNR's Maki joins MGIS Advisory Board

    Robert Maki has been appointed to the MGIS Advisory Board. Robert Maki is currently the Chief Information Officer for the Management Information Services Bureau at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He is a leader in the design and development of spatial databases on the job and in the state. He was the project leader in developing the award-winning and highly utilized DNR DataDeli. While working for ESRI Robert was closely involved with the development of the Digital Chart of the World. He also served on the Standards Committee of the Governor's Council on Geographic Information and initiated the effort to focus on an interagency data architecture. He was co-author of the State of Minnesota standards and guidelines for coordinate specifications and metadata formats. Robert strives to share his knowledge with others and has given numerous papers and workshops at the state GIS/LIS conferences. Robert is an associate member of the graduate faculty of the Master of Geographic Information Science program at the University of Minnesota where he has taught a course in spatial database management and advised masters students.

    April 15th, 2010
  • Monmonier gives third annual Borchert Lecture

    MarkMonmonier_2008_rx.JPGAs part of GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week activities on the UMN Twin Cities campus, Dr. Mark Monmonier gave the third annual Borchert Lecture on Friday, November 20th. This lecture honors the late John Borchert, University of Minnesota Regents Professor in Geography and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science. Dr. Monmonier, Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University and recent recipient of the German Cartographic Society's Mercator Medal, lectured on, "Coastlines, Boundary Lines, and the Cartographies of Protection and Control," in Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center, West Bank campus.

    September 23rd, 2009
  • Craig inducted into URISA's GIS Hall of Fame

    Will Craig, Associate Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and MGIS Faculty Member, has been inducted into URISA's GIS Hall of Fame. The GIS Hall of Fame was established by the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) in 2005 to recognize and honor the most esteemed leaders of the geospatial community. For more information on Dr. Craig's impressive achievements, visit http://urisa.org/hall/craig.

    September 17th, 2009
  • ESRI's Cummens joins MGIS Advisory Board

    Portrait: Pat Cummens. Pat Cummens has been appointed to the MGIS Advisory Board. Ms. Cummens has been working in the GIS field since 1983 with experience in both the public sector and private sector. In 1998 she joined ESRI, where she works to increase awareness of GIS benefits to government executives and provides senior-level management and guidance to state and federal government projects. Prior to joining ESRI she spent 14 years in state service, with the states of New Jersey and Minnesota. She served the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for 11 years as the GIS manager after launching her GIS career at the Minnesota Land Management Information Center (LMIC). She has been active in several GIS professional organizations and committees including the Environmental Protection Agency's National Advisory Committee on Environmental Policy and Technology, the National Governors' Association (NGA) Corporate Fellows Program and Information Technology Task Force, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). She earned a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture in 1983 from the University of Minnesota.

    September 17th, 2009
  • Knight appointed to MGIS Graduate Faculty

    Knight_SWAC.jpgDr. Joe Knight, Assistant Professor of Forest Resources, was recently appointed to the MGIS graduate faculty. He specializes in the application of geospatial information technologies such as remote sensing, image processing, geographic information systems (GIS), and the global positioning system (GPS). For more information on Dr. Knight, visit his web page.

    September 17th, 2009
  • Michael Goodchild delivered Borchert Lecture on GIS Day

    Michael GoodchildAs part of GIS Day activities on the UMN Twin Cities campus on Wednesday, November 19th, Dr. Michael Goodchild gave the second annual Borchert Lecture. This lecture honors the late John Borchert, University of Minnesota Regents Professor in Geography and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science. Dr. Goodchild, Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and also a member of the National Academy of Science, spoke to a diverse group of attendees on "Geographic Information in the World of Web 2.0" in the Coffman Theater. For more information about Dr. Goodchild, visit his web site.

    December 3rd, 2008
  • U of M presents honorary degree to geographic information system pioneer Jack Dangermond

    Jack DangermondJack Dangermond, founder and president of ESRI, the world's leading GIS software company, received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, April 2. Dangermond also delivered the inaugural John Borchert Lecture, in honor of the late John Borchert, University of Minnesota Regents Professor in Geography and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science. View the University News Service press release.

    July 3rd, 2008

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