Throughout January xyHt.com will feature the young geospatial professionals who are making a name for themselves in everything from surveying to geographic information systems. xyHt featured all of them in the January issue. Here we will spotlight one each day for the next 22 days.
Name: Kate Berg
Company: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)
Current Position: GIS Lead
Education: BS in Ecology; minor in Geographic Information Systems and Technology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); MS in Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan; specializations in behavior, education, and communication and environmental policy and planning.
Biography: Kate is making geospatial waves professionally and personally. Whether it’s at work or on Twitter, Kate enthusiastically strives to connect people all over the world with the fun and fascinating world of geographic information systems. She is greatly improving and strengthening the GIS program at the EGLE.
Since starting as GIS Lead in early 2021, she has worked internally to break down silos between the different divisions at EGLE and improve the communication and skillsets of the teams by launching the EGLE GIS User Group. Externally, Kate’s priority is to improve EGLE’s transparency with a public facing maps and open data portal she maintains and a monthly newsletter she uses to share newly published web maps and open datasets with the public.
Kate is also a leader in her free time, serving as Outreach chair for the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association’s (URISA) Vanguard Cabinet. This is an advisory board made up of passionate and young geospatial professionals with the mission to support other young GIS practitioners as they navigate their careers in the geospatial community.
Kate enjoys making maps in her free time, too. Three of her maps have been selected and featured in the popular yearly community GeoHipster calendar. Most recently, Kate presented at the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) 2021 conference about her experiences making maps for the 30 Day Map Challenge, a daily mapping/cartography/data visualization challenge aimed at the spatial community. She also made a mapping portfolio highlighting many of the maps she’s created. Because of this innovative geospatial portfolio, which was created using Esri Story Maps, Kate is often seen as a role model. Her and her portfolio have been featured in several popular resources, including “GIS Wow” by Esri Canada, “Highlight Your Skills with a GIS Portfolio” by GIS Lounge, and “Create a story map of your CV or resume” by Esri Education Blog. She also contributed a presentation about this topic at URISA’s GIS-Pro 2021 Conference with a talk entitled “Building Your Professional GIS Portfolio”.
Kate strives to bring out the fun and joy in map making with her social media presence. She leads the weekly #GISChat geospatial conversation on Twitter, where GIS professionals around the world connect and share their spatial ideas and work.