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Kristen Ayala

Master of Science, Spring 2009

As a graduate student in the Geography Department, I had the opportunity to work on challenging, relevant projects with engaging professors.  The skills I learned in the Geography Department transcend the text book; I have applied the invaluable experiences in research, teaching, and leadership in my professional career.


Christian Davies

Bachelor of Science, 2013

I am a graduate assistant in the school of management's career services at Clark! I also started volunteering with a student run non for profit that does consulting projects for primary education institutions, after I have some experience with their organization I'll be doing some paid part time consulting work for them.


Brett Murphy

Bachelor of Science, Spring 2010

After graduating from SIU geography with a specialization in GIS and remote sensing, I worked a series of seasonal positions on field crews as the unofficial "GIS guy."  GIS is in high demand in natural resources, especially in the field; the office can't help when a crew is working without regular cell phone reception or an internet connection.  After accumulating experience in a variety of field positions, I applied to a full time, year round salaried position with a LiDAR data provider out of Corvallis, Oregon and love it.  My role in this company is something similar to that of a land surveyor.  I work with an airplane or helicopter in remote locations deploying high density LiDAR at sub centimeter accuracy for projects such as fault detection, natural hazard assessment, Mayan ruins, fluvial geomorphology, dam removals, forest inventory, Central American regional electricity development, and currently am on the east coast surveying the after effects of Hurricane Sandy on land and sea floor.

The geospatial sciences is a rapidly evolving industry placed often right on the razor sharp cutting edge of natural science and engineering.  However, like any other field, getting the degree is just the first step in a long process of becoming a competitive applicant.  No one will hand you anything upon graduating, so get the most out of your education and learn every skill possible.  SIU will provide the education necessary and more, it is up to you to capitalize on it.


Jeremy Surprenant

Master of Science, 2009

I am now an Assistant Engine Captain on a Type 4 Wildland Fire Engine based out of Elko, NV with the Bureau of Land Management. Since I'm only guaranteed 6 months of work a year here, I was able to also pick up a fall through spring seasonal position with the National Park Service in Staten Island NY as a Senior Firefighter at Gateway National Recreation Area. I am also currently working on a Graduate Certificate in Fire Ecology, Management, and Technology which is offered entirely online at the University of Idaho, Moscow.