Many Esri employees celebrate GIS Day every year by giving presentations in their children’s schools and elsewhere in the community. Last week, Sandra, Nina, Jaime, and Patty from Human Resources were among them.
By Guest Blogger Sandra Maldonado
Volunteering at the Redlands Boys and Girls Club on GIS Day was a great experience. Spending time with the kids and sharing the importance of GIS and its impact on their world was a big hit. (Of course, the candy, cupcakes, and prizes helped a little.)
The day included a presentation with geography trivia, where kids worked in groups based on grade level and colored GIS Day printouts and a sign. This helped them relate to the importance of geography, the earth, and the many uses of maps. Other activities included coloring and reading a GIS comic book, learning about Mexico and its physical location on a map, and writing a postcard to Esri employees sharing their thoughts on GIS. Colorful cupcakes were the grand finale.
Molly Zurn, a documentation product engineer on the ArcGIS Online (AGOL) team, talks about her life at Esri and on the slopes. She’s been here almost 15 years, the last seven of which have been on the AGOL team.
Before joining the ArcGIS Online team, what was your role?
I’ve always worked on documentation. My degree is in geography, but I was hired because I didn’t have any GIS or technical skills. I came from a teaching background and was brought on to write non-technical documentation to make it friendlier to the non-GIS audience. I started with internet mapping services (ArcIMS), then Geography Network and RouteIMS, and then joined my current team when ArcGIS Online really got going.
Whether you work for a small company or a large enterprise, there’s no doubt you rely on a systems administrator to keep your IT network performing at its best. I recently talked with Stephen, a sysadmin in our Information Systems and Technology group, about his role and what keeps him at Esri.
By Guest Blogger Rachel, Esri UC Student Assistant
When I got on the plane heading from New York to San Diego, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there would be a lot of maps, and I knew I would be on my feet a lot, but “student assistant” was still a pretty vague term in my mind. Once I arrived, I quickly learned why – being a student assistant means many different things. From getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference to learning what a banner stand is (and going on a scavenger hunt throughout the conference center to find them) to meeting thousands of fellow geogeeks, the week was an incredible whirlwind of people, activities, and – of course – maps.
While the first few days helping with set up and pre-registration were exciting, when Monday morning hit there Continue reading
By Guest Blogger Lauren, Student at Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS)
If I could sum up my week in one word, it would be opportunity. The Esri User Conference Student Assistantship Program provided so many opportunities during the conference, and it truly becomes what you make of it. The choices I made during the week will have a long term effect, and seeking every opportunity possible opened many doors.
Dawn Wright (a.k.a. “Deepsea Dawn”) is Esri’s Chief Scientist as well as an ocean scientist, geographer, and GIS author. There isn’t much this neat lady doesn’t do! Her work at Esri involves formulating and advancing the intellectual agenda for the environmental, conservation, climate, and ocean sciences aspect of Esri’s work while also representing Esri to the international scientific community.
By Guest Blogger Swatantra, 2014 UC Student Assistant
The Esri User Conference is a Place for Unity, Enthusiasm, Entertainment, Awesomeness, Friendships, Interactions, Relationships, Learning, and Understanding.
Swatantra poses with Esri President Jack Dangermond
My first visit to San Diego, California was outstanding and I think I made the most out of it. It was my first participation in the Esri User Conference and I feel honored to have had the opportunity. Acquiring a student assistantship position is very competitive and I feel lucky to have been one of 60 student assistants in 2014. The week was all about geography, geographic information systems (GIS), and understanding our world. A conference assistantship is an exclusive opportunity for students who have an interest in GIS. We were a union of students from across the globe. A team of friendly and generous Esri staff members guided us for the whole week. All the assistants were assigned a set of tasks to help Esri staff during conference events. Our overall job was to make sure that the conference logistics ran smoothly. We worked all weekend and half days during the week. This schedule allowed me to participate in technical workshops and interact with attendees during our leisure time.
By Guest Blogger Melanie, Story Maps Team Intern
Open Spaces, Open Collaboration
When I first stepped into the Washington, DC R&D Center, I was struck by the space. Wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows opened up a magnificent panoramic view of the capital with a spotlight on the Washington Monument. I spent many moments throughout my summer observing the city’s pulse. “It’s so alive,” I thought as I watched cars crossing the Potomac River via 6 separate bridges, planes passing above on their way to/from Reagan International Airport, cyclists and people moving along the ground in a bustle, and of course the daily flock of kayakers, boaters, and paddle-boarders that floated around Theodore Roosevelt Island. This was a creative space.
I settled into my office in June. In the Story Maps team it was hard to tell who was “boss” and who was “intern.” I learned very quickly that there was no sense of “hierarchy” or “bureaucracy” here. We all worked together in a laissez-faire style. It felt strange at first, but I adapted easily and quickly learned that everyone was there to help me.
Esri’s Technical Support team is vital to the company’s success. They work with users daily on solving small problems and finding solutions. Scott Harris is a member of the team and says he’s finally found a job he loves.
Tell me about yourself. What is your background?
I took my first GIS class when I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree at Keystone College in Pennsylvania. I did a few projects while I was there, one of which was making some campus maps using ArcView 3.2 (which seems primitive today). I ended up getting my degree in Environmental Resource Management and then spent a bit of time out of the GIS field doing environmental testing. After that I became a GIS tech for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where again I was using Esri software. Later I went back for my master’s degree in geoenvironmental studies and then I ended up at Esri.
Although it feels like the summer just began, many of Esri’s summer interns are packing up and getting ready to go back to school or move on to the next phase of their lives (me included!). Over the last few weeks, interns have been getting up in front of their peers and presenting their work. So far there have been nine presentations and more will be happening over the next couple of weeks.