Here they are, this year’s ADGIS class and cohort number 15!

Dinesh – Gem enthusiastic

I have had a love for rocks and gemstones since I was a little child. I got my first gem related position at the age of 25 with the National Gem & Jewellery Authority, Sri Lanka and knew this was the job for me. To further strengthen my knowledge about this field, I followed a two years Certificate course in Gemology from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, I started a small business for buying gemstones directly from mines and selling to customers as a small retailer in Sri Lanka. It helped me to identify high quality gemstones, their defects and of course the value, and to understand customer requirements as well. Today I take that experience as a benefit to my career.

Having worked at the National Gem & Jewellery Authority in Sri Lanka for more than 10 years, I decided to move to Canada with my family in 2015. Once I moved to Canada, I wanted to do the same thing here, and started a small business importing gemstones from Sri Lanka and selling within Canada.  I hold myself to extremely high standards when it comes to quality and service. Whether you are stopping by to have a gemstone for any special occasion or looking for a gemstone to repair family heirloom, I am sure to make it a fun, educational, and memorable experience.

Daniel Otto

I am a full time student at Selkirk College studying Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I was born and raised in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, but I have since lived all over the place including Fort Smith, (NWT), Maun (Botswana), Kelowna, Penticton, and Kamloops. I graduated from Okanagan College with a Diploma in Commercial Aviation (2004), Bachelor of Business Administration (2014), and a Diploma in Civil Engineering (2017). I was first introduced to GIS two years ago while working for a water district in Kelowna, and have been enthralled with it ever since. Connect with Daniel on LinkedIn

Geoff Sawatzky

I’m currently a student in the ADGIS program at Selkirk College.  I graduated with a diploma in Recreation, Fish and Wildlife from Selkirk in 2011.   Since then, I have worked as a technician in various resource industries.

For the past 5 years I have worked for an environmental consultant, my position has been primarily focused on collection of fisheries and aquatic data.

When I’m not at school I can usually be found enjoying the scenery and outdoor recreation of the West Kootenay. Connect with Geoff on LinkedIn

Ian Macek

Hello, my name is Ian Macek.  I live in Kimberley, British Columbia with my wife and two young girls.  Currently, I am in the Advanced Diploma Geographic Information Systems program at Selkirk College.  I have also studied at the University of Victoria, completing a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geography.  While not in school, I work for the BC Wildfire Service, where I am an officer in the Cranbrook Fire Zone.  My interests include skiing, exploring, and instilling into my girls the curiosity I have for the world. Connect with Ian on LinkedIn

Jess Fulcher

I am a Kootenay local that currently calls Rossland home. I was technically born in Cranbrook (living in Invermere) but have spent a majority of my life in the West Kootenays. Most of that time being spent in the small mountain town of Rossland. I’ve tested the waters in Southern Alberta, and I’ve crossed over into Eastern Canada, but I always seem to migrate home. I’ve loved to ski since I was a teenager and have recently begun snowboarding. Rossland living just makes sense! However, working as a lifty at Red Mountain can only fulfill oneself for so long…Hence my interest in Selkirk College. I am now proud to call myself a full-time student in the Selkirk College ADGIS program. I’m thrilled to use my Geomatics Engineering Diploma, as it was really beginning to collect dust. I am even more excited to explore the opportunities that will become available to me as a GIS professional.  Connect with Jess on Linkedin

Lianne Scott

My name is Lianne Scott and I am an Advanced GIS Diploma student at Selkirk College in Castlegar, British Columbia. I am from Ottawa, Ontario and have been lucky enough to live all over Canada. The use of GIS in climate monitoring and cryosphere monitoring are what initially drew me to study in this field. Prior to studying at Selkirk, I obtained a Geomatics Engineering Technology Diploma from NAIT and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Emily Carr University. I have primarily worked in the field for the past 12 years as a tree planter, natural resource technician, and earthworks supervisor. This past summer I worked as a geomatics technician for Challenger Geomatics. Some of my hobbies are painting, knitting, birding, hiking, and skiing. I am interested in combining my passion for textile arts with GIS, by creating a web based interactive map of Canadian fiber and textile resources.Connect with Lianne on LinkedIn

Maddison Verhelst

I am an enthusiastic, 22-year-old student, who just completed the Integrated Environmental Diploma (IEP) Program at Selkirk College.  I am returning to Selkirk to complete the last two years of a Bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Born and raised in rural southern Saskatchewan, I now make British Columbia my home. I have traveled to many countries a great deal, which gives a different perspective on life, while still learning every day. Being a scuba diver who enjoys the coastal environment, I have been passionate about the marine and ocean sciences since I was young. I hope to include these types of sciences in my future goals and profession.

Maggie Finkle-Aucoin

My name is Maggie Finkle-Aucoin and I come from a small town on Prince Edward Island. I moved to British Columbia in the fall of 2015 to attend Selkirk College after a brief stint at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I graduated from their Recreation, Fish and Wildlife program in 2017 and I am now working to complete their Advanced Diploma in GIS program. My employment history to date has varied largely from working in children programming, to the tourism industry, and all the way to working out in the field as a field crew supervisor. With this program I am excited at the new opportunities that are presented and to see where I will end up next!

When I am not hard at work I spend my free time in the great outdoors, making hooked rugs, and teaching kids how to swim. Connect with Maggie on LinkedIn

Mariana Calabrese

My name is Mariana Calabrese and I am currently completing the Advanced Diploma in GIS at Selkirk College. I grew up in Toronto and completed my BSc in Earth and Environmental Sciences from McMaster University in Hamilton. Afterwards I moved to Fernie, BC, where I had done fieldwork the previous year for my undergraduate thesis. I originally moved there to experience a ski season out west and ended up staying to work as a Resource Technician with Nupqu Development Corporation, a natural resource management business owned by the communities of the Ktunaxa Nation. After a few years of mainly doing fieldwork after university, I’ve decided to do the ADGIS program at Selkirk in order to develop well rounded skills that I can utilize in a career in natural resource management. Connect with Mariana on Linkedin

Natasha Guillo

My name is Natasha Guillo. I was raised on the West Coast on Vancouver Island. I left British Columbia in 2011 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts with an honours degree in Environmental Studies (and a minor in Art History) from Carleton University in Ottawa. In 2016 I settled back in the province, and moved to Nelson. Currently, I am pursuing an Advanced Diploma in GIS from Selkirk College. My passion for the outdoors fuels my work and studies. I have a background in watershed restoration, having worked in the field for over four summers. I worked closely with two organizations in the Comox Valley, Project Watershed and the Tsolum River Restoration Society. It is with these NGOs that I became interested in GIS after working with them on mapping projects. Connect with Natasha on LinkedIn

Raimundo Correia Ferreira Neto

I’m Raimundo Neto, a Brazilian student of Geographic Information Systems at Selkirk College, in Castlegar, British Columbia. I graduated in Business Administration and got a Logistics MBA while working in a familiar transport enterprise in Brazil. After studying GIS for routing the business pick-ups in my Logistics project, I decided to come to Canada to seek more education and professional experience in GIS, trying to use them in organizations to gain more efficiency in supply-chain networks or to perform geo-marketing analysis and practices for better decision-making, and I currently write a blog called BisGIS about that! Connect with Raimundo on LinkedIn

Ryan Taylor

I come from New Zealand. Studying GIS seemed like the perfect excuse to come back to this awesome country and I really look forward to learning and exploring the area!

I graduated with a Geology BSc in 2013 from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Since graduation I have worked between rope access, ski guiding, freshwater ecology and ground engineering. I look forward to learning more in the field of GIS and getting involved with more interesting work.

Sarah Blair

Currently I am a student in the Advanced GIS Diploma program at Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC.  My background is in in the Environmental Consulting industry, where I worked in Kelowna, BC for years as an Environmental Scientist/GIS Analyst; I have a B.Sc. in Environmental Science.  I am experienced in effectively working with colleagues from a variety of professional disciplines and have experience obtaining, managing, integrating and analyzing a wide range of data formats.  I look forward to learning more advanced GIS skills and exploring emerging trends and techniques. My goal is to obtain full time employment in the GIS industry and put my new skills into practice.

I grew up in the small West Kootenay community of Burton, and thoroughly enjoyed growing up in such a beautiful area; it definitely gave me a love and appreciation for the natural world.  Away from school, Kelowna is my current home base, although I would love the opportunity to move back to the Kootenay’s and have my kids enjoy the same upbringing that I enjoyed! Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

Stefanie Wenker

After finishing my MSc. in Earth Sciences, I realized I was ready to take on a new challenge and move from a theoretical research based environment to a more application based environment. I am currently enrolled in the ADGIS program to further my interest in spatial data management, data manipulation, data interpretation and to use my creativity in finding the best way to present data. My favourite parts of the ADGIS program are visualizing complex data in a meaningful way and using Python to automate analysis and map production.

I am originally from the Netherlands and I moved to Vernon 10 years ago. I have since then lived in Victoria, Halifax and am now located in Castlegar. Connect with Stefanie on LinkedIn

Whitney Winsor

I am currently a GIS Advanced Diploma student at Selkirk College. I am originally from Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, where I first discovered landscape ecology and habitat dynamics. I completed a B.Sc. in Biology at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, where I studied tree growth and influential environmental growth factors during the course of my studies. Black Spruce fibre characteristics in relation to pulp and paper production was the focus of my university thesis. I also worked with woody biomass and wood pellet harvest and production for a community based heat and energy project in Finland during a 6 month internship placement. Professionally, I have worked for a forest resources inventory development facility, where I developed skills in dendrochronology and its field data collection method precursors. I later worked as an Environmental Technician for several years, which lead to a Senior Laboratory Technician’s position for an environmental samples processing laboratory. I am looking for opportunities where I will be able to combine the technical skills of my current GIS program with the original interest that started it all; forest ecology and habitat dynamics.    Connect with Whitney on LinkedIn

Yann Troutet

After my childhood in Regina (SK), I was brought up in Gatineau (QC). I have always been interested in landscapes: how we inhabit and share them with living and non-living things. This lead me to circuitous studies in Environmental Science (U of Ottawa/Tasmania/Laval) followed by a graduate degree (U de Sherbrooke), where my subject involved remote sensing to map land cover in Auyuittuq National Park. I then occupied various positions working in Resource Conservation for Parks Canada, where I consistently wished I was more proficient at GIS and spatial analysis. Since 2014, my family and I have shared our time between the Kootenays and the Minganie region of Québec, both of which have blessed us with awe-inspiring skiing, paddling, climbing and the like… My dream for future work is to help create new protected areas and to help them live up to their wide-ranging promises. Connect with Yann on LinkedIn