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.
Name: Kate Hess
Current Position: Solution Engineer, National Government Team
Education: MS in Geographical Sciences; BS in Environmental Science and Policy; BS in Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland
Biography: In her role at Esri, Kate works primarily with non-U.S. Official Statistics and Census offices developing solutions to modernize their data collection using GIS. Kate has leveraged her background in remote sensing to develop a workflow for census departments to extract building footprints from imagery and lidar data, which can then be used to guide census planning and make data collection more efficient. As census departments around the world adopt these solutions, they can collect essential census data in less time and with greater accuracy, enabling effective planning and policy making.
Before joining Esri, Kate supported the NASA DEVELOP program working on consulting projects for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. There, she used satellite imagery and other remote sensing data to study the impacts of climate change and major forest loss, creating land cover change maps and a fire susceptibility model to inform decision making in the refuge.
As a graduate student at the University of Maryland, Kate worked with NASA GEDI lidar data, studying how it can be used to evaluate carbon sequestration from tree planting projects. She hopes to continue finding new ways that GIS and remote sensing data can be used to solve environmental challenges and make communities more sustainable.