Hello fellow GIS users, data aficionados, and other members of the California GIS Council.
Since I’ve been nominated for the position of Vice Chair, I’d like to quickly introduce myself and outline some of the goals that I have for the California GIS Council.
In close to 20 years of GIS, I’ve gone from a student, to a user, back to a student, to a programmer, to a researcher (i.e. more time as a student), project manager, and now the GIS Coordinator/Manager for the California Department of Conservation. My experience includes working for the University of California, Davis, in the Information Center for the Environment, engaged in soft-money projects, generally for State and Federal funders. I’ve dabbled a little in the private consulting world, and now have found a home here at the Department of Conservation. Across all of these, it’s been my pleasure to work on a wide variety of projects with a remarkable number of colleagues from many fields of expertise.
These past experiences have convinced me of one thing beyond all else. GIS as a profession is dependent on building and establishing relationships. While GIS is no longer the small world where you were likely to know all of the folks who might have data or be working on similar projects, we’re not that far from it. We need to build that next generation of connections. It is my firm belief that organizations such as the California GIS Council play a critical role in building and maintaining open communication for our profession. The GIS Council is unique in California, in that it provides a venue for the sharing of ideas, building connections, and coordinating activities across all sectors of the state’s GIS. The goal of providing a space for our government (Federal to local), consulting, educational, tribal, and private individual GIS practitioners is one that we’ve made a great deal of progress on, but will always have further to go.
I hope to help the GIS Council move forward as it builds more connections within the community, pushes for the development of GIS and related data, advocates for open access, guides practitioners to the resources needed for completing projects and developing skills, and supporting the GIS Council’s working groups as they do the heavy lifting.
Nathaniel (Nate) Roth, Ph.D., GISP
California Department of Conservation