GSS Spotlight!

AL RABINE

Student Intern

What is your education and professional background?

Al.JPG

I graduated from Augsburg College (Now Augsburg University) with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Sociology. After Augsburg I continued my education at Penn State University where I received my certificate in GIS. Currently I also work for the Minnesota Geospatial Office at the State of Minnesota, working on the next gen 911 and the local update of census addresses (LUCA) projects.

What led you to GIS? More specifically, how did you get to Saint Mary's University of Minnesota (SMUMN) in Winona? 

I was exposed to GIS for the first time during my senior year at Augsburg. I was interning at an environmental consulting firm called Dovetail Partners which was tasked in planning a sustainable ATV/OHV trail in Aitkin and Itasca counties in northern Minnesota. One of the jobs I had was to meet with a GIS analyst who used ArcMap to create a map of the proposed trail system for public feedback. That one meeting peeked my interest in the world of GIS. After receiving my undergrad degree I wanted to explore GIS even more, so I received my certificate in GIS from Penn State. After receiving my certificate I found out that my cousin works with GIS for NASA, specifically LiDAR data and after a couple conversations with him I realized that I could do this for a living. This prompted me to apply to the Saint Mary’s Masters of GIS program.     

Explain briefly a project at GSS you've done that contributed to your overall knowledge and educational experience.

I started out at GSS doing break line edits for Douglas county Wisconsin. After a week or two of that I was tasked to help with the NWI update in Wyoming. Both these projects have had an impact on my educational experience as my capstone project uses a lot of the techniques from these two projects. These two projects have helped me learn how to interpret different types of terrain using a multitude of different methods along with learning about different types of wetlands, which was something I have always been interested in. 

How do you see GIS fitting into your future? 

Ever since I received my certificate in GIS I knew I wanted to work in that field. More specifically natural resources with an emphasis in remote sensing and image analysis. Helping protect the natural environment is a very rewarding endeavor and using GIS to help accomplish this is something that I would like to do in the future.    

Where can we find you outside of GSS?

Outside of GSS you can find me with my dog Levi at the park. I also enjoy playing guitar, rock climbing, hockey and playing as many board games I can with friends.