Alumni Profiles

Our graduates have used their experience to secure a variety of employment opportunities and as the basis for their continuing education in GIS and related fields. Take a look at what they are doing now. We are very proud of them!

Kathleen Scanlan


GIS Certificate, Itasca Community College
BA, Archaeology & Cultural Anthropology, Boston University

Employer: Moose Hill Archaeology Project
Job Title: Archaeologist and GIS Analyst

Sample Job Duties: Excavation of a multi-component prehistoric site in Southwest Alaska. In addition to the excavations, my primary responsibilities consist of the management of all GIS feature classes and joined attribute tables, spatial and density analyses using ArcGIS, the maintenance of artifact catalogs, and the completion of plan view and stratigraphic profile documentation of excavation units. Secondary duties include assisting with lithic analysis, and project logistical coordination.

Kathleen Scanlan

ICC was instrumental in getting the Moose Hill database off the ground. While I knew what the software was capable of, I finally had the skills to make our research goals possible and quickly answer research questions. Additionally, steps that had previously taken hours to complete were streamlined because I had the editing skills needed to complete the task rather than building every feature from scratch. This program has not only broadened my career opportunities but also sparked my interest in further academic research potential. ~Kathleen

Erika Eigenberger


GIS Certificate, Itasca Community College
M.A., Anthropology, Cultural Heritage Management Program, University of Minnesota
M.A., Museum Studies, University of Minnesota
B.A., Anthropology, St. Cloud State University
B.A., History, St. Cloud State University

Employer: HDR, Inc.
Job Title: Archaeology Project Director

Sample Job Duties: Manage archaeological projects, complete agency coordination, coordinate and direct cultural staff, monitor construction activities in culturally sensitive areas, analyze pre-contact and historic period cultural materials, complete background research and literature reviews, author cultural reports, create field maps, complete spatial analysis, and prepare GPS units for field survey.

Erika Eichenberger

The online GIS program at ICC is designed for student success. Classes follow a logical progression and the staff is extremely supportive and very accessible when questions arise. Completion of this program has allowed me to branch out from my normal working duties as an archaeologist by taking the lead on deliverables that were previously addressed by other departments. I can now assemble data, complete analysis, and produce field and reporting maps for my own projects which not only saves time, but also allows me greater control of the final product. This program has also allowed me to assist with more company-wide GIS tasks, something that has been a great help during the winter months when fieldwork is not available. Regardless of your career path or current discipline, the completion of this program definitely opens doors and provides students with a valuable skill set. It’s a great choice, whether you are interested strictly in GIS or if you simply want to apply GIS knowledge to your current field. ~Erika

GIS Professional Certificate


  • US Fish & Wildlife, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge - Seasonal Park Ranger
  • Self-employed - Independent Contractor Field Botanist & Spaeth Hereford Ranch

Sample Job Duties: Refuge Visitor Services, Environmental Education; Rare Species Phenology Monitoring – Ranching Operations & Management

My journey to GIS started with an interview for a job for which I was not the selected applicant, in part for not having GIS experience. Using a search for online classes, Itasca Community College was top of the list with a full online certificate. The certificate program allowed me the opportunity to achieve a higher education with flexibility to continue my responsibilities of our family ranch. Though remotely, ICC staff provided support and guidance from application through graduation. The GIS program revealed how widespread and diversified GIS is used. The teaching methods of instructors Tim Fox, Kimberly Nelson and Tim Aunan eased learning the complexity of GIS and ArcMap software. I am grateful for their guidance, enjoy applying the skills learned, and am looking forward to the path GIS will lead me down. ~Donna

Donna Spaeth

Andrew Kurth

M.S. Cultural Resources Management, Archaeology – Saint Cloud State University
B.S. Anthropology – University of Minnesota, Duluth
GIS Certificate – Itasca Community College

Employer: HDR, Inc.
Job Title: Cultural Resources Specialist

Sample Job Duties: Research and analyze historic and environmental data, write technical reports and environmental permit applications, perform cultural resources survey, data verification, and archaeological site monitoring for infrastructure projects in diverse environmental settings throughout the Midwest.

The ICC GIS Program has allowed me to diversify my skill set and gain a better understanding of the role GIS can play in Archaeology. The program provides an excellent opportunity for professionals to gain valuable GIS experience while still working fulltime. ~Andrew

Eric Englund

A.A.S. Natural Resources (GIS Emphasis) - Itasca Community College
B.S. Water Resources (minor in Geospatial Analysis & Data Modeling) - University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

Employer: H2E, Inc.
Job Title: Project Manager

Sample Job Duties: Manage Storm Water (SWP) and Spill Prevention (SPCC) projects for multiple clients, create/manage GIS databases used in inspection planning, environmental permitting, and generation of inspection maps for clients.

ICC first introduced me to GIS through a pilot program during my senior year in high school which was offered for college credit. Once at ICC I continued to take the GIS classes where I learned skills in cartography, remote sensing, database creation, and spatial analysis & modeling. The skills I learned have helped to advance me in my professional career and continue to provide opportunities in industry. ~Eric

Cole Jower

B.S. Wildlife: Conservation and Management, Humboldt State University
GIS Professional Certificate, Itasca Community College

Employer: San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
Job Title: Habitat Restoration and Snowy Plover Ecologist

Sample Job Duties: Habitat restoration: Invasive species removal; seeding, propagation and transplanting of native plants; Daubenmire quadrat surveillance
Snowy Plovers: Snowy Plover breeding surveys; brood behavior surveys nest and egg checks; nest site selection and spatial analysis in ArcMap

The Itasca CC GIS program has substantially increased my abilities in ArcMap, while also diversifying my skills as an ecologist. The program, while challenging at times, was organized in an environment conducive not only to learning the proper skills, but more importantly, how to apply them. Learning these skills also allowed me to use them directly in the workplace, and gave me a jump start in pursuing a master’s degree at San Jose State University, this fall. Because the program is online, it gave me ability to continue working while advancing my career, something I appreciated greatly. ~Cole

Michael Sawdo

Associate in Science (A.S.) Computer Aided Design
Itasca Community College: Certificate in GIS

Employer: Clay County Utility Authority
Job Title: GIS Analyst III

Sample Job Duties: Currently oversee quality control of contractor/surveyor submitted as-builts which start on an AutoCAD digital level and push all data to our GIS. Application and data development is an intricate part of my position as I build models with data interoperability (ESRI extension) in which we extract the AutoCAD data, transfer it to a shapefile, and load it directly into our database within minutes.

ICC played an important role of the success I am now experiencing. Tim Fox (instructor) has put an astonishing amount of time and effort into this course, and has it structured brilliantly. The method of his teaching makes it easy to comprehend and also has a way of building confidence within yourself when you see it all come together. The knowledge and skills I gained this past year will be very instrumental to my future endeavors. I am very thankful I pursued this course. ~Michael

Nathan Kosbau

Itasca Community College: Certificate in GIS, Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree
University of Minnesota: B.S. Applied Plant Science

Employer: CHS, Inc.
Job Title: Regional YieldPoint Specialist

Sample Job Duties: I educate retailers on how they might increase productivity and efficiency with precision agriculture services. We use various GIS systems to specify prescriptions such as variable rate seed, fertilizer, micronutrients, crop protection products, and water by irrigation. I also work with statewide LIDAR information in the process of developing weighted modeling and watershed management applications.

ICC gave me the instrumental foundational knowledge to use key skills and problem solving ability to promote my professional development, and build a GIS solution for which a need began to emerge a few years after graduation. The skill sets developed are an invaluable resource which helps relay data management techniques with spatial requirements. ~Nathan

Erin McClenahan

Itasca Community College: Certificate in GIS; Associate in Science (A.S.) Geography/GIS
Bemidji State University: B.S. Geography/ Urban, Regional, Land Use and Park and Recreation Planning Emphasis; Minors in GIS and Geology

Employer: Three Rivers Park District
Job Title: GIS Technician

Sample Job Duties: GIS services to support the Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul Seven County Metro Area and regional park system. Field data collection and GIS/GPS integration using a variety of ESRI, Trimble and Apple platforms and devices. Server and database administration, application and data development, online map compilation.

ICC gave me exactly what I needed to get started in the GIS field. They had the equipment needed to learn the program, an internship program that placed me exactly where I wanted to be to learn the type of GIS work I wanted to do after graduation, and an excellent instructor who knew GIS and how to teach the material. If it weren't for the GIS program at ICC I would not be doing what I love today. ~Erin

Kim Nelson

Itasca Community College: Certificate in GIS; Associate in Science (A.S.) Geography/GIS
Bemidji State University: B.S. Geography/GIS Emphasis.

Employer: Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Job Title: Grant Manager

Sample Job Duties: GIS has helped me in my position by allowing me to create things such as MDHA membership distributions, chapter locations, regional boundary locations and perform spatial analysis on these layers to provide the best means to increase the overall membership of MDHA. The cartographic representations created are used on a daily basis at MDHA.

Itasca Community College, especially Tim Fox, has been instrumental in launching my career in GIS. I began in a forestry-related field and later changed my major to Geography/GIS to broaden my employment options. The program is not only challenging, but creates an aspect of creative thinking that I found very unique and fun. When you use GIS, you have to have fun with it! ~Kim

Adam Sutherland

Itasca Community College: Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Natural Resources/GIS
University of Minnesota, Crookston: B.S. Natural Resource Management

Employer: UPM Blandin
Job Title: Wood Procurement Forester

Sample Job Duties: GIS plays a major role in my day-to-day activities, both in the field and office settings. My position entails the procurement of a continuous supply of high-quality fiber across Itasca and Koochiching counties using state-of-the-art scientific, GIS and silviculture principles. I use GIS to map timber sales, update cover type information, develop roads and skid trails, run property lines and cruise timber. To ensure accuracy and efficiency, we now use onboard GPS in our machinery for implementing timber sales. Foresters of today need to have GIS/GPS skills—they are important when applying for careers in the natural resource field.

ICC was a great place for me to start my education. The natural resource department was a great fit for a forestry-minded student not looking to live and study in the metropolitan areas required by larger four year schools. The two year degree from ICC (Natural Resource Management/GIS) was the best preparation I could have received for the job I am currently doing at UPM Blandin Paper. My two year degree also prepared me well to go on to the University of Minnesota to finish a four year degree in Natural Resource Management. Transferring credits was very easy and the transition was seamless. ~Adam

Sherry Watson

Itasca Community College: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Natural Resources/GIS

Employer: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Job Title: Northeast Region GIS Support Specialist, MN.IT Services

Sample Job Duties: Participation in GIS project planning; GIS mapping and database management; provision of technical support for a variety of essential DNR functions related to GIS; continued training and research.

Attending ICC for a degree in Natural Resources and GIS provided me the opportunity to become a student worker in the MN DNR while earning a degree. I was able to work with professionals in the field as I gained experience in GIS. I am thankful for that opportunity and glad to be where I am today and working with such great people. ~Sherry