Brianna Furey (’15): GIS Intern with Nicollet County Environmental Services

Posted on February 12th, 2015 by

BriannaAn interview with Geography major Brianna Furey (’15), who conducted a fall 2014 internship with Nicollet County Environmental Services.

Q: What is your internship?

Brianna: I work as a GIS intern in the Environmental Services Department at the Nicollet County Government Center in St. Peter, MN. I started the internship in September 2014 and it lasted through the fall semester. I assist with various GIS projects for the department, such as mapping vulnerable facilities in Nicollet County for the Emergency Management Department, mapping the success of the County’s septic loan program, identifying home occupations in Nicollet County in order to map their location. It involves a lot of data organization and working with Excel, as well as some mapping using ArcGIS.

Q: How did you become interested in GIS?

Brianna: I became interested in GIS when taking the GIS I class during the fall of my junior year. It was like nothing I had ever learned before, and I was immediately hooked. I really enjoy geography, maps, and math, and GIS kind of combines all three which is what really makes it interesting. Using GIS, you can pretty much map anything you want and solve all kinds of issues. GIS is a rapidly growing field: city and governments and many different kinds of businesses utilize it, so it’s an incredibly useful tool in the professional field of geography.

Q: What do you like best about this internship?

Brianna: It’s really great to be able to use what I learned in the classroom in a real world job setting. I hope to get a job in a field that involves GIS, so it’s nice to have some experience in a professional setting and to be able to keep up with my GIS skills and learn new skills, since there are only two GIS courses at Gustavus. It’s pretty cool to say that you have worked on real projects in the community, rather than just tutorials and hypothetical problems in classwork.


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