All posts by Cat Hoemke

2021 Scholarship Awards

The GIS Colorado Scholarship Committee has finished its evaluation of the 2021 scholarship applications and is pleased to inform you that we selected 4 scholarship recipients! There were many impressive projects submitted.

We are looking forward to welcoming these scholarship recipients into a year-long membership to GIS Colorado as well as watching some of them present their projects at GIS in the Rockies 2021.  Thank you to all of the GIS Colorado members who make our scholarships possible, and congratulations to the scholarship recipients!  This year’s winners are:

kerns screenshotJennifer Kerns
Jennifer Kerns is an environmental engineering major at MSU Denver. After taking an introductory GIS course and spending a summer working in earth data analysis, she realized how enjoyable and valuable GIS skills are, and chose to add a GIS minor to her degree program. She is fascinated by how human infrastructure and the natural world interact, and looks forward to using the skills she is learning to work with others in promoting sustainable development and finding solutions to modern environmental problems.

screenshot of Callahan entryDelaney Callahan
Delaney Callahan is passionate about using GIS, remote sensing, and spatial reasoning as a tool for landscape-level conservation. While in school, her focus has been on acquiring the skills needed to analyze a range of environmental problems to support informed decision-making, promote adaptive management practices, and enhance real-world problem solving. She has five years professional experience working with federal land management agencies and non-profit organizations supporting wilderness stewardship tasks while using GIS. It is her hope to bring these skills to our public land management agencies to support sustainable natural resource management. 

Peter Horgan
Working in land conservation for the Crested Butte Land Trust (CBLT), much of Peter Horgan's work has focused on stewarding and caring for conserved lands around the greater Crested Butte area.  GIS has helped play a role in his position to visualize and communicate information both internally to other staff and board members and externally to the general public.  Since starting the GIS program at CBLT, he has largely focused on creating and maintaining databases, data entry and map creation.  The courses that he has taken and will be taking in the certificate program at DU have helped advance his knowledge and understanding of GIS workflows and how GIS fits into environmental applications. 

Sarah Carroll
Winning entry unlisted due to sensitive material
Sarah L. Carroll is a PhD Candidate in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology advised by Dr. Robin Reid. Sarah's research is focused on integrating ecological, social, and land-use dynamics data to understand how land-use change is impacting human-elephant interactions and elephant movement connectivity in southwest Kenya. Sarah earned a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the University of California Davis in 2013. She went on to work as an intern and then a fellow with the NASA Earth Sciences DEVELOP program where she learned how to apply remote sensing and GIS techniques to real-world conservation issues. 

Elevations Geospatial Summer Series 2021

Elevations Geospatial Summer Series begins today! Elevations is offering 3 weeks of virtual presentations and training, with a keynote and endnote address. May 19 – June 10, 2021

Check out the Program at a Glance for a line up of excellent talks over the next month.
Register Now

Elevations is a joint effort between GIS Colorado and WYGEO, this event will offer training, education opportunities, networking, and much more.

Summer Meeting

Join us at the Redstone Inn for some GIS R and R!


Camping is nearby or stay in the Inn.


Paid members can register for the summer meeting on Eventbrite using the discount code.

Log in to see the code.

At this time, paid members will be given priority registration. Members, please login to your account to get the discount code.

New to GIS Colorado? Create an account and become a member.

Call for Abstracts Open

We are currently accepting abstracts.

Refund Policies

Training Refunds

Full refunds will be automatically issued for any request to cancel if they are received 7 days or more in advance of the scheduled training date.

Refund requests received within 7 days of a scheduled training can be refunded if the seat is filled by another participant.  If no other participant is identified and accepted, no refund will be issued.

Sarah Rollins

Public Safety GIS SME – DATAMARK – Lakewood, CO
GIS Analyst – Intrado Public Safety – Longmont, CO

My love of maps began at a very young age. My father was a navigator for the United States Air Force so I was surrounded by charts and navigation plans. After I graduated from Stanford, I went to work for Strategic Mapping. Strategic Mapping and their Atlas GIS suite of software was, at that time, one of the top competitors (against MapInfo and ArcInfo) in the fledging desktop GIS software development industry. There I translated my passion for maps into a healthy aptitude for all things GIS and mapping-related. GIS really seemed, to me, to marry my degrees in Sociology with the maps I grew up with. I loved being on the cutting edge of this technology and teaching people how GIS could make their lives better. I left Strategic Mapping in 1993 to open my own consulting business. This exposed me to managing and executing large projects in several different areas – marketing, banking, health care, and real estate – as well as giving me the opportunity to develop GIS software training. I closed my consultancy in 1996 to start my family.

In 2014, I entered the GIS Certificate program at Front Range Community College. I went back to school to study GIS for 2 reasons: 1) I really enjoy working with GIS and wanted to get back to my original profession, and 2) I was concerned that after so much time away, technology would be too different and perhaps even my older (albeit much wiser) brain would not be able to keep up with the technology. Thankfully, I discovered that my brain still worked just fine!

In between raising my family and working in GIS, I have now accumulated more than 10 years’ experience as a GIS consultant and business-owner, and as a Public Safety GIS SME for both Intrado and DATAMARK. I am particularly invested in helping GIS folks around Colorado who are tasked with supporting 9-1-1 to understand what the future holds, and what a vital role they will play in 9-1-1. I am now a free agent, no longer working for a vendor. Serving on GISCO’s Board will give me the opportunity to have an impact on our State’s GIS community in an unbiased and committed way.

Anna Riling

MS PG, Cartographer/Geologist – Durango, CO

Hi, my name is Anna Riling. In 2012, after working for 20 years in various fields of geology, I made the dubious decision to wait until I had two kids under two to get my MS in GIS online from the University of Denver! Since then, I have worked in GIS, with experience in remote sensing, hydrologic modeling, visibility studies, Esri field apps, geologic maps, and as a FAA Part 107 UAS pilot. In Durango, feeling like I was in a bit of a vacuum, I formed the Durango GIS Group in 2018, a spin-off of local GISCO members. The group became a monthly meetup (pre-pandemic) for anyone interested in GIS in southwest Colorado, leading to great friendships, exceptional presentations, and many networking opportunities. I am also a cartographer and artist, and several of my maps, graphics, and artwork have won awards at mapping conferences, including at GIS in the Rockies, the Mapping the Grand Canyon Conference, and the AZ Geographic Symposium.

I feel that one of the most valuable aspects of GISCO and our local Durango GIS Group is the ability to ask questions in an environment of knowledge, support and encouragement. As a GISCO Board member, I would be dedicated to advancing the spirit of community and professional growth for which GISCO is renowned, and helping members get the most out of membership. I would be excited to apply my enthusiasm and experience in fostering community connections to encourage involvement in the quarterly meetings and ensure everyone has the opportunity to grow and learn, especially while so many of us are working remotely.

Victoria McKennan

GIS Analyst – City of Greeley, CO

I was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado and have now returned with the intent of instilling the same appreciation for nature that I grew up with into my two sons! I first learned about GIS while working towards my master’s degree in Regional and Community Planning at Kansas State University. It wasn’t until I saw the real-world applications of GIS - in transportation planning - that the power of spatial data clicked for me. I’ve been a GIS enthusiast ever since! I love learning, teaching, and sharing the limitless ways spatial data can transform processes ranging from analysis to visual communication.

I am eager to contribute to GIS Colorado in many meaningful ways. As much as I love GIS, my skills extend far beyond the technology. Through my professional experience as a transportation and environmental planner, I have developed skills in planning, communication, and community engagement. Having worked as a planner across Colorado and Kansas for a decade, and currently as a GIS Analyst for the City of Greeley, I have interfaced with various agencies and developers to work towards community goals. My big-picture perspective, attention to detail, and strategic outlook add value to partnerships, projects, and visions.