Friday, October 16, 2015

David Liefer - Mapper

Name: David Leifer
Major & Minor: Environmental Geography
UWEC Standing and Expected Graduation Date: Fourth year, Spring 2016
Interests and Hobbies: Music and outside activities.

Internship Employer: Mapper Maps
Length of Employment: July 10, 2014- Present

Basics : Was your internship paid or unpaid? Did you register for credits? Why or Why not? Did you create the internship or was it advertised? Where did you hear about it?
The internship is currently unpaid but has the potential to become paid. I earned one credit performing 30 hours of work during the Fall 2014 semester and am registered for two credits performing 60 hours of work during the Spring 2015 semester. The first semester fulfilled my service learning requirement. This opportunity was advertised and brought to my attention by Dr. Christina Hupy through an email.

What were your specific job responsibilities?
The goal of Brian Welde's Mapper Maps is to allow for the outdoor enthusiast to create highly customizable and flexible interactive maps. The user can change base-map imagery, overlay features, and employ basic functions. Obtaining overlay feature data was my primary responsibility.
During the fall semester, I compiled state owned and operated Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. This data was obtained in a variety of formats from the state's natural resource geospatial portal and then edited to include only WMA boundaries open to public hunting. If any of this dataset did not correctly correspond with state .pdf files, the .pdf was georeferenced and digitized.
During the first half of the spring 2015 semester, I was tasked with finding GIS data for state managed hiking trails within Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The first step for Maine was to filter out all non-state owned trails in an excel spreadsheet and categorize the type of trail. Next, no restriction GIS data was obtained by badgering the Outdoor Recreation Planner for the state of Maine. New Hampshire has not been forthcoming with GIS data while Vermont's data was obtained directly from the geospatial portal.

What do you think gave you to edge to get the internship?
Timing was critical in my obtaining this internship. Advertisement for the opening was posted in the middle of June, but since I was already working another job in Eau Claire it was not a big deal for me to start immediately.

Was it a valuable experience?
I would highly recommend this internship as an entry level GIS analyst job that can be used as a stepping stone to get further into the professional field of GIS.

How did the logistics work for you? Did you have to move?
Since we are currently using the open source program QGIS for our data management, work can be done remotely from the university. Brian lives out of state so we were able to use the university's facilities to video chat and screen share our work in weekly progress meetings.

 What advice can you give to those who are looking for an internship?

Apply to anything that you come across and do not get discouraged if you fail. Repeatedly creating a cover letter, keeping an updated resume, and communicating with professionals is a good practice for developing successful job hunting strategies.

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