Landing a GIS Job and GIS Skills Development in 2013

Note: This post is a 2013 update to my earlier post on Learning GIS and Getting a GIS Job – Some Tips and Tricks which was originally posted in 2009. In 2009 I wrote a post on how to obtain a GIS job that focused on pathways to learn GIS, critical skills every GIS analyst... Continue Reading →

Les Miserables Look Down, Look Down the PhD Version

In the opening scene of the new Les Miserables movie, Jean Valjean (played by Hugh Jackman) is one of many shackled prisoners trying pulling a large ship into a dry dock during rough seas. The work song, "Look down, look down" is quite dramatic and the whole scene is cinematically spectacular and a powerful opening... Continue Reading →

Desert Tortoise Training

From this post title, it might appear that I took part in training desert tortoises. In reality I participated in a workshop to learn how to survey, monitor and handle desert tortoises. The 2-day workshop is conducted annually in Ridgecrest, CA by the Desert Tortoise Council and covers a tremendous amount of material including: an... Continue Reading →

Revisiting the North Etiwanda Preserve

When I studied population biology in junior college we conducted our field work in a large expanse of land along the alluvial fan that drained the San Gabriel Mountains to the Inland Empire valley below. Our specific field site was a 750+ acre area containing coastal sage scrub and coastal sage chaparral plant communities that... Continue Reading →

Night Blooming Cerus, Peniocereus greggii

The Night Blooming Cerus, or Queen of the Night, (Peniocereus greggii) is a Sonoran Desert cactus that produce large blooms synchronously on certain summer nights. These photos are from the 2012 Night Bloom at Tohono Chul Park, Tucson, AZ

Mobile Apps for Naturalists

Since nearly everyone carries a smartphone these days, we can now carry a small library worth of field guides with us inside our phones so we never miss an opportunity to identify an interesting organism. With this in mind, here are a few mobile applications that are today's field ecologist or naturalist should definitely consider having... Continue Reading →

A Script Tool for Unzipping Files in ArcGIS

I was recently working with the SWReGAP data DVDs and wanted to develop an ArcGIS geoprocessing model to copy the DVD data, clip the rasters to the state of Arizona boundary and reproject them. Because the DVDs contained a raster dataset for each species that was stored as a zip file, I wanted a way to decompress each raster within my... Continue Reading →

Dear Census Bureau, Please Don’t Skip Me Again

Driving home from the office the other day, I heard a story on public radio about the accuracy of US Census data. The story provided an overview of several metropolitan cities that appeared to be shrinking according to US Census data. The story then went on to discuss demographic data providers who utiltize mutliple means of data... Continue Reading →

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