Where Are They Now?

Newest updates posted May '13 for 2000 grads.

Class of 2011

Matt Huser Location: Overland Park, Kansas
as of February '12 Employer: Garmin International
  Title: Cartography Technician
  Description: I am currently in the Automotive Cartography department at Garmin. Not only do we work on North American products but we also release maps from just about every continent. We work on pretty much every step to get the maps released, from correcting raw data to quality control of the final product. Garmin is a great company to get entry level experience in the GIS field.
  Other: Kansas City is a great city to live in and it offers plenty of things to do. A majority of my co-workers are young adults fresh out of college, which makes it easy to meet new people and make friends.

Garrett Jensen Location: The Dalles, Oregon
as of January '12 Employer: AmeriCorps, Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE)
  Title: Community Development, Hazard Mitigation Specialist
  Description: Updating Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans for four counties in Oregon (Gilliam, Morrow, Sherman, and Wheeler). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires the counties to update these plans for re-approval every five years.
  Other: The Dalles, Oregon is situated in the Columbia River Gorge. It is a beautiful place to live with an abundance of recreational activities to do including; biking, hiking, wind surfing, and skiing. Plus, Mt. Hood is only a 45 minute drive away.

Quinn Lewis Location: Urbana, Illinois
as of February '12 Employer: University of Illinois
  Title: Ms Student and Teaching Assistant
  Description: I'm a Master's student and TA at the University of Illinois. I love the fact I can have a positive impact on undergraduate education. I'm currently working with Dr. Bruce Rhoads on fluvial hydraulics of meandering rivers and confluences.
  Other: I'm very grateful for the education I received at UW-L. I hope to make a difference here at U of I with my research and teaching; none of it would be possible without the incredible support I received at UW-L from both my peers and professors.

Bret Mittelstaedt Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
as of February '12 Employer: Power System Engineering
  Title: Engineering Technician
  Description: I work with Rural Electric Cooperatives, Municipal Utilities, and Investor-owned utilities to design overhead and underground electrical distribution projects. Some of the things I do include completing field surveys, line staking, GPS inventory and data collection, system mapping, project design, and updating engineering models
  Other: PSE is a great company to work for. They are small, but growing, and really value their employees. Although I wouldn't have thought of this as a job for a GEO grad, I use what I learned while attending school on an almost daily basis. I would like to thank the GEO/ESC faculty and staff for providing an excellent foundation for my career.

If I could provide one piece of advice for current students, it would be to do at least one internship while at UW-L and really apply yourself while interning. The real-world experience will definitely give you a leg up on your competition in the job search.

Class of 2009

Zach Duga Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
as of June '09 Employer: Entegee Engineering Technical Group
  Title: GIS Technician
  Description: Updating the maps of Xcel Energy's gas and electric lines.

Greg Guenther Location: Wausau, Wisconsin
as of June '09 Employer: No "Real" Job Yet
  Other: Currently just living life and working as a sales representative at Sears in Wausau. I am also training for a breakout sprint triathlon season in which I should have 5-6 races around WI.

Kevin LeFevre Location: Wooster, Ohio
as of October '09 Employer: TechniGraphicS
  Title: GIS Technician
  Description: Digitize and attribute satellite imagery and air photo's from throughout the world.
  Other: Living in Ohio is really neat! This means I can travel to the East Coast and all the surrounding cities, like New York, Boston, or D.C.!

Class of 2008

Bud Berendes Location: Sparta, Wisconsin
as of April '10 Employer: J.M. Waller Associates
  Title: Master Planner
  Description: I am currently working as a contractor serving the 88th RSC which is headquartered at Fort McCoy. The 88th RSC comprises 19 states so we have a large area to watch over. My job duties include performing unit stationing actions, feasibility studies, space analyses, coordinating military construction projects and being the sole GIS person on staff. Currently our GIS consists of geodatabases and shapefiles scattered all over the place. I have been delegated as the guy who is going to gather the data we don't have, and compile that as well as what we do have into one large SDSFIE compliant geodatabase.
  Other: My wife Jen and I currently own a home in Sparta where we live with our three children, Gracie (8), Owen (3), and Abby (1). I enjoy spending time with my family, watching our kids grow, hunting, fishing, golfing, helping my parents out on the farm, and pretty much anything else outdoors that you can think of. I have been blessed to have met many students and faculty at UW-L who I now consider friends. I really enjoyed my time there. If anyone has an interest in what it is I do please feel free to contact me through the Geography department and I'll be glad to see what I can do for you. Current students - Enjoy you're time at UW-L, it goes by quick!

Samantha Lawien Location: Plover, Wisconsin
as of December '09 Employer: Natural Resources Conservation Service & University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  Title: Soil Science Intern & Graduate Student in the College of Natural Resources
  Description: I am doing my graduate work on a feature found in sandy soils of Northern Wisconsin, lamellae.  Using different field methods and lab analysis to determine the formation of this feature type is the aim of my thesis work. 

I also am working at the NRCS as a soil science intern and after graduation I have a full time job waiting for me.  I work with soil scientists around the state doing field work, GIS, data entry, and lab work when needed.

Jameson Loesch Location: Madison, Wisconsin
as of March '12 Employer: Cardno JFNew
  Title: Ecological Resource Specialist
  Description: My primary responsibilities include spatial data acquisition/creation, management, and analysis for many of Cardno JFNew's environmental based GIS and mapping projects. Often, I also work with project managers and clients to develop custom GIS tools, in order to standardize analysis and increase efficiency.

During the field season, I also spend a lot of my time out conducting wetland delineations, endangered species surveys, wetland mitigation bank monitoring, botanical inventories, as well as provide technical assistance through the utilization of GPS and mobile mapping devices.

I should also add the not so fun stuff that I have to do here and there includes writing reports and permit applications.

Adam Prell Location: Bakersfield, California
as of November '10 Employer: Kern County Fire Department
  Title: GIS Technician II
  Description: I work for the Kern County Fire Department in Kern County, California. Kern County is 1/6 the size of Wisconsin at 8,300 square miles. I took an internship to work with the Student Conservation Association doing fire prevention and education work with the local Bureau of Land Management in Kern County the summer after graduating from UW-L. I found a job working with Fire Planning and GIS with our Wild-land Fire division and have been doing a county-wide, wild-land pre-fire plan mapping project along with GIS database management and wild-land fire response as a GIS Specialist. I made it to my first two fires last summer. Fire GIS is the best job out there! It's intense. I am currently working hard against the bad budget times here in California to nab a permanent position either here or with another natural hazard planning and response entity.
  Other: I've been spending my free time exploring the wonders of the Southwest including this last summer climbing Mt. Whitney and Half Dome in Yosemite! I'm currently applying for USC's Master's in GIS Program to further my GIS knowledge. I miss the La Crosse area dearly, the people here just aren't the same!

Kyle Stolzenburg Location: Arnold, Missouri
as of March '10 Employer: Wiser
  Title: Quality Assurance Analyst - Defense and Intelligence Group
  Description: I am currently part of a group of QC/QA analysts whose job is to ensure the data quality and integrity of our final product. Day to day tasks include running numerous automated checks on spatial data using PLTS and GAIT as well as performing imagery analysis and developing new methodology for certain procedures.
  Other: I have worked with Wiser since September, 2008, where I was hired to the Murfreesboro, Tennessee office. The company opened a new office in St. Louis in March, 2010, and I was part of the team that transferred. If you ever get the opportunity, Tennessee has some of the most beautiful rolling hills, mountains, and waterfalls in the country and I highly recommend experiencing it. Feel free to contact me through the UW-L Geography Department if you'd like suggestions on where to go, as I've been to numerous parks there and I'll get back to you during my free time between working and exploring the expansive Ozarks and Mark Twain National Forest here in Missouri.

Class of 2007

Sam Hildebrand Location: Joliet, Illinois
as of October '10 Employer: Forest Preserve District of Will County
  Title: GIS Technician
  Description: Living on the fringe of Chicagoland, I am responsible for maintaining our GIS real estate/property records, updating our real estate GIS website utilizing ArcGIS Server and Adobe Flex, collecting and maintaining amenity information in our preserves, and some general GIS support for more than a dozen users of GIS in the district.
  Other: I really miss living in La Crosse and Wisconsin! I really miss Oktoberfest, marching band, and my time spent outside Geography in the Music department. I hope to move back there and find a job someday. I continued my education from La Crosse with a graduate certificate in GIS from UW-Milwaukee and an internship with Milwaukee County. I am currently taking some programming classes at Joliet Junior College in HTML, Javascript, and Visual Basic. Hope everyone is doing well!

Cody Jenson Location: Overland Park, Kansas
as of January '10 Employer: Garmin International
  Title: Cartography Technician
  Description: As a cartographer in the Recreational Cartography department we focus on products such as TOPO U.S. 24K, Inland Lakes, LakeMaster, Approach golf maps, among many others. We compile raw data and implement it into various map products for consumer purchase to load onto compatible Garmin GPS units. We are involved in nearly every step of product compilation from collecting the data, running processes to make it fit our specifications, editing and quality control, and finally building the maps to be sent to administration and production. It is very rewarding watching a product move from an idea to a final product.
  Other: We have slowly been pulling more and more UWL alums down to Kansas City, pretty soon we'll be a majority in the cartography group as a whole. Many other Wisconsin and Minnesota students have found their way down as well. Garmin is a great company to work for and Kansas City is a fun town to live in. If anybody ever has any interest in a career with Garmin feel free to contact me through the geography department at UWL my email should be on file.

Kate Meyer Location: Montevideo, Minnesota
as of May '09 Employer: Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC)
  Title: Community Development Planner
  Description: Updating county-wide zoning ordinances, Creating/updating maps in GIS, Community Organizing, Leading Task Forces, Updating five county-wide hazard mitigation plans.... at the moment.

The organization I work for takes care of planning needs for five counties and their respective communities in rural Western Minnesota.  This tends to make job duties ever-changing to meet the needs of any type of project that a community/county may encounter.
  Other: Hello Fellow Geo-People,

I recently graduated from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP).  If any of you are interested in career track (planning) feel free to contact me with questions and I will be more than happy to provide some advice....

I really loved my time at La Crosse and I miss it often. Geo Club did some crazy things back then..... creating pet rocks and selling them (for a profit!), Relay for Life events, geo-caching, and bluff clean-ups.  I only hope that you all have a fantastic time as I did and have good luck in the future,


Clair Sweeney Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
as of November '09 Employer: St. Catherine University
  Title: Student
  Description: Currently going through the Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies program while working at the library on campus.

Class of 2006

Liz Werdermann Location: Manitowoc, Wisconsin
as of July '09 Employer: City of Manitowoc
  Title: GIS Technician
  Description: I work for the City of Manitowoc, in the Planning Department. I update spatial data layers and create maps for my own department, including others such as Fire, Police and Building Inspection.
  Other: I miss my fellow GeoClub friends and classmates! We had some crazy times! I would love to reconnect if I haven't talked to you in awhile!

Class of 2005

Jen Evans Location: Ellensburg, Washington
as of August '12 Employer: Stell Environmental Enterprises Inc.
  Title: Land Rehabilitation and Maintenance (LRAM) Coordinator Joint Base-Lewis McChord Yakima Training Center (JBLM-YTC)
  Description: The primary goal of Land Rehabilitation and Maintenance (LRAM) is to maintain a sustainable, realistic training environment through damage prevention and repair. Damage preventions can be accomplished through training area redesign or reconfiguration to provide training realism while minimizing risk to natural and cultural resources. Damage repair is accomplished by applying best management practices consistent with continued military use.
  Other: Recently finished my Masters of Science in Resource Management (natural/cultural) at Central Washington University. I will be getting married in October 2012!

Class of 2003

Gretta Resch Location: Champaign, Illinois
as of March '11 Employer: Illinois State Water Survey (University of Illinois)
  Title: GIS Specialist
  Description: I am on a team of GIS Specialists and Engineers that are updating FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the entire state of Illinois. The GIS team takes engineering data and best available topography to delineate the areas of floodplain risk where drainage areas have been altered due to development in the landscape. It's been a rewarding learning experience. I also work with several other University of Wisconsin alum, so we must be doing something right!
  Other: I was married in 2008 (Greta Buckley) and have my first baby due April 29, 2011.

Class of 2001

Johnathon Xiong Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
as of November '10 Employer: USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  Title: Cartographer
  Description: Assist with regional quality control check of Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSRUGO).
  Other: Hold a collateral position as the Asian American/Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program Manager (AAPISEPM) for Minnesota NRCS where I help out with outreach and/or recruitment of AAPI students to our agency.

Class of 2000

Jason Williams Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
as of May '13 Employer: City of West Allis
  Title: Assistant City Accessor

Class of 1998

Brian Skerven Location: Tucson, Arizona
as of June '10 Employer: Logan Simpson Design
  Title: GIS/Graphics Manager
  Description: I oversee a group of six GIS and Graphics professionals at our Tempe, AZ headquarters.
  Other: I earned my GISP in 2009, enjoy hiking and traveling in the desert southwest and in my spare time I make the best mesquite mead in Tucson

Class of 1996

Gretta Luedeke Location: Annapolis, Maryland
as of April '10 Employer: USDA
  Title: GIS Specialist
  Description: State GIS Specialist for MD & DE
  Other: Currently residing in MD and enjoying all that Maryland and DC has to offer!!

Class of 1985

Ken Kapecki Location: Libertyville, Illinois
as of June '09 Employer: Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP
  Title: Senior Manager
  Description: Real estate consulting

Class of 1983

David Else Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
as of April '12 Employer: Department of the Army
  Title: Supervisor, human Terrain Specialist
  Description: Led small teams to conduct socio-cultural research in combat zones to support military decision making.
  Other: Dr. Bob Wingate kept my passion for Geography alive.

Class of 1979

Toby Lee Location: Tomah, Wisconsin
as of June '11 Employer: TomTom
  Title: Regional Manager
  Description: While attending UW-La Crosse, I began a long career as a Geographer and manager with the US Census Bureau. I left the Census Bureau in 2000 and started working with Tele Atlas/TomTom. I currently manage data sourcing for our Canadian database.

Paul Schubring Location: Rolla, Missouri
as of December '09 Employer: Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T)
  Title: Management Analyst
  Description: 2000 - present Adjunct Faculty, Computer Science, Central Texas College
1978 - 2006 U.S. Geological Survey, Information Technology Specialist, Cartographer, Geographer.
  Other: I have lived in the Missouri Ozarks since 1980 where I enjoy riding motorcycles, hiking, canoeing, geocaching, and volleyball.

Class of 1970

Greg Chu Location: Houston, Texas
as of July '12 Employer: Retired from UWL-Department of Geography/Earth Science
  Title: Professor Emeritus
  Other: Enjoying time with my granddaughter and expecting a second granddaughter in September, 2012.