Elliot Mohler (’18) explores city planning with an internship in New Ulm

Posted on May 30th, 2017 by

Elliot Mohler (’18), a double major in Geography with GIS and Environmental Studies, conducted an internship with the City of New Ulm, MN, during the 2017 spring semester, and shares about the experience below:

The goal of this internship was for me to gain exposure to all facets of city government. Every week or two I assisted a different city department director. For example, one week I assisted the Director of Community Development with reading and organizing zoning requests and the next week I supported the city engineers with a street surveying project using Trimble GPS receivers. On Tuesdays, I attended city council meetings to see how the council works and gain knowledge of the inner workings of local government.

I was able to see the application of geography in local government. For instance, the Parks and Recreation Director surveyed a privately-owned parcel that was located between a railway and a biking path and deemed “urban wilderness.” GIS was used to locate the property and any utilities that the property had and geography was used to determine whether or not the property would be worth purchasing by the City. Being able to spatially analyze and read a landscape can be beneficial when in the field.

I am grateful for this opportunity to get a taste of all aspects of local government.


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