IESA regularly features graduates from its AESA B.S. and Certificate programs in its "Alumni Focus." Because our graduates are hired for public and private sector jobs and accepted to graduate schools at a very high rate, we wanted to highlight these outstanding students and find out what made their experiences at UNG so unique.
Kris Robertson (UNG '10) - MetroConnects GIS Analyst/Developer
Which concentration did you follow in your AESA degree?
Environmental Science with an Engineering focus.
Were you considered a traditional or non-traditional student?
I was a non-traditional student that had been out of school for over 18 years.
What was your primary motivation for earning the AESA degree?
I wanted to change my career path (formerly an orthodontic assistant) and challenge myself.
Where are you currently employed and what is your function?
I am currently employed at MetroConnects, a special purpose district that operates and maintains sanitary sewer facilities within Greenville and Anderson counties in South Carolina. I am a GIS Analyst/Developer and am responsible for providing GIS development, mapping, and custom GIS solutions for the district while overseeing the maintenance and accuracy of its infrastructure data.
Is this your first job after graduating?
No, I was a private GIS contractor with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest while I was a student at UNG and Clemson University.
Describe the most challenging or most rewarding project you have worked on since graduating that involved the use of geospatial technology.
While I was working for the National Forests, I was responsible for the design and implementation of a nationally and regionally recognized National Forest boundary management project. This project required the creation of a searchable and interactive database that streamlined boundary line maintenance and cataloged historical land management documents for easy retrieval - This project is still utilized daily to make informed decisions and prioritize forest boundary projects.
What are specific skills that you acquired in the program that have helped you in your current position?
Development and management of geodatabases, utilizing team work to complete and document a project and not being afraid to try something new and challenging
I truly value my personal and educational experience I had at UNG. I can honestly say that I use what I learned in the ESA program every day. This includes not only what I learned in the classroom, but also what I learned from interacting with the faculty and other students. The environmental course work was a great asset when I went on to Clemson where I completed my MS in Environmental Engineering and Science.
Thanks, Kris, for taking the time to answer our questions!