Students at BYU-Idaho met Wednesday to hear from speakers within the Geographic Information Sytems (GIS) community. The topics ranged from healthcare to bristlecone pine trees and volcanoes, showcasing the versatility that can be found within the GIS community.

Skylar Brown, a senior studying international relations with an emphasis on GIS conducted the event and began by explaining GIS.

“(GIS) is a tool that can be used in a lot of different scenarios and can be adapted to many different places, many different industries,” Brown said.

Greg Schneider

Students heard from Greg Schneider, an employee for the city of Rexburg who deals with GIS daily. Schneider explained how GIS is used in the city to determine city zoning, construction permits and other spatial data.

Schneider also mentioned several internships that could be available using GIS for the city over the spring and summer semesters.

David Burchfield

Next on the program was David Burchfield, a BYU-I professor of GIS, who has contributed years of research mapping the Great Basin bristlecone pine in mountain ranges across the Western U.S. — using GIS. Burchfield’s experience with GIS began at BYU.

“Once I got to BYU and started working on my bachelor’s degree, I had to take a GIS class and I thought it was the most fun thing ever, and I changed my emphasis within geography to GIS,” Burchfield said.

GIS Day cake.

GIS Day cake. Photo credit: Katia Brown

Shannon Brailsford

Shannon Brailsford, an employee with the Northwind Group and adjunct professor at BYU-I spoke about her career with GIS. Brailsford, who studied geology and GIS, has researched volcanoes, mapping their heat emission and shape in parts of Idaho.

She also spoke about internships that the Northwind Group offers.

Kaylee Schellenberg

The final speaker was Kaylee Schellenberg who graduated this past year from BYU-I. She is now working for an engineering company called Horrocks and shared the experiences she has had with GIS.

Students can learn more about GIS on LinkedIn Learning.