What happens in the lab; a showcase of GIS Student creations & other good stuff.

Tag: Grads

A glimpse of what our ADGIS grads are up to – Part 2

We’re almost done our first week of school which involved college wide and school orientation, introductions, log-in & network troubleshooting, program familiarization, and three full classes.  As everyone settles in for the year, our new cohort of GISers are asking what others are up to from previous years.  Here’s a little more from last year’s ADGIS grads:

Chrisite Rajtarova is working as a full time GIS Analyst with Polar Geomatics in Sylvan Lake, Alberta who serves clients in both Oil and Gas and the Municipal sectors.  What helped her to land her job?

“Being well prepared for my interview was definitely a good start to landing a position with Polar. Not only was I able to confidently answer more than a handful of loaded GIS questions, but was also able to carry on a conversation when I was asked about a situation in which required me to listen well to get my point across. I studied key concepts from the more challenging projects I had completed at Selkirk to ameliorate my GIS / CAD vocabulary, and every skill required posted on the job description – whether I had it or not at the time I applied, I made sure I had it before my interview.”

Christie says her favourite projects are those that consist of environmental monitoring as it makes her feel like she is doing something important and playing her part in environmental stewardship. Such projects often include anthropogenic analysis of land, within a lease or caribou range, using data from dispositions, ecophase disturbances, foreign facilities and so on and comparing them to imagery before proceeding with calculations.

“I love variety and the best part of my job is that I get my hands on every type of project which ensures that I am never bored.”

Rob de Jung spent the summer working with the County of Grande Prairie as a summer student and a part of a five person GIS team.  The County takes data management seriously, assigning Rob as one of the custodians of their information systems, who was tasked with creating an address locator to work with their existing road network.  This task included significant QC/QA so that the County’s data conforms to provincially recognized standards (Alberta Municipal Data Sharing Partnership or the AMDSP), ensuring the County has a fully functioning routing system for Emergency services, and additionally for adoption into Google Maps.

Rob is back on campus now, ready for a final year and completion of his BGIS at Selkirk College.

Leslie Rowe spent the summer serving as a GIS Technician within the Information Management & Information Technology (IMIT) department of the Interior Health Authority (IHA) in Kelowna, BC. The IHA is a health service organisation that serves the southern interior of BC. It covers 216,000 sq. kilometres, supports a population of 742,00, is responsible for 7940 hospital beds and has a staff of over 19,000 people.

One of the major projects Leslie worked on involved the “Big Eight”. The Big Eight refers to the eight largest hospitals within the Interior Health Authority: Kelowna General, Royal Inland, Penticton General, Kootenay Boundary, Vernon Jubilee, Shuswap General, East Kootenay and Caribou Memorial.  Leslie worked to convert architectural building plans and related infrastructure data of the Big Eight hospitals into ArcGIS compatible data sets utilizing Geometric Networks so that the data can be used in infrastructure management, analysis, and 3D visualization.

The GIS instructional and research team is looking forward to another great year.  Have a great weekend everyone….and check back next week as more grads keep in touch, I’ll share more on what they’re doing.




ADGIS grads working in the West Kootenays

Want to learn a little about a few of our ADGIS grads working locatlly?  Read on:

We at the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC), were fortunate to hire a few of our 2013 ADGIS grads to work on local projects here in Castlegar Kaela Perry is one intern for the SGRC, who writes:

“Working with the SGRC has been a great experience with learning how to be self directed and manage various projects. I’ve enjoyed working on outreach to promote the Columbia Basin Biodiversity Atlas reporter tools. I have been working on a number of different projects but one particularly interesting one involved defining the drawdown zones of the Arrow Lakes to help determine potential areas for a revegetation project”

Megan Deas is another intern who works out of Selkirk College for the Rural Development Institute (RDI), in Castlegar.  She explains one of her favourite projects:

“I work directly with small and medium sized business within the Columbia Basin to assist them in adopting digital technology. For example, one project I have done is working with Tabletree Enterprises, a company based in Creston that produces gourmet juices and sauces. They sell their products at specialty stores, grocery stores, and restaurants across North America. It was difficult for customers to find a restaurant that used their sauces or a store that sold their juice because on their old website they simply listed the addresses of these places. With the knowledge I gained during my GIS diploma of opensource mapping software, I created a product availability map for them to embed into their website (forthcoming) that allows potential customers to find their products much easier.”

Another SGRC intern, Bart Fyffe, (who writes about his internship on his blog) has recently accepted a full-time position at the Regional District Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) in Trail.  He discusses what he feels separated himself from the competition to land the GIS Technician position (roles and responsibilities include GIS support to planning/operations staff and the public as well as stewardship of the RDKB database):

“Above all: Practice and be proficient in all of your communications–written, verbal, cartographic.  It is easy to make professional grade documents with the software you are exposed to for written and cartographic communication, and practice makes perfect for verbal.  Being able to communicate effectively weighs very heavily in the success of the job hunt.”

In Grand Forks now works Adriana Cameron for Interfor as a GIS Technician.  Here’s what she’s saying about her job:

“I really like my GIS job at Interfor.  I mainly produce operational and planning maps using SQL developer, Cengea Resources and ESRI (ArcSDE, Arc Info).

The learning curve is quite steep. I have learned lots and have been under pressure to complete projects.

I think my forestry experience was the reason I landed this job”

And certainly not the last ADGIS grad working in the West Kootenays, but the final one we will discuss in this post, is Michelle West.   She created an ideal situation for herself, working from home in Nelson, for the Nature Conservancy of Canada based out of Alberta.

“I spend my day building maps requested by lots of different people for different projects, throughout Alberta. The interns send me their monitoring data and I fix it up and map it.  🙂   I am also working on a couple of other projects; one involving data restructure, clean up, editing and error checking and another where I am building google earth map sheets for Alberta using a iterative model I built. All very exciting. I am really enjoying the job and am learning and applying a lot of what I learned”

Stay tuned for more ADGIS grads working outside of the West Kootenays……..