Geographer David Rohde interviewed with the city of Edmonds because city planners were looking to reorganize their GIS infrastructure. After interviewing, the CIO realized that David’s experience would be better suited for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) project. The project consisted of creating a GIS for the City’s stormwater drain network to comply with national NPDES standards. David initially converted the CAD data into a GIS (shapefiles) and then created a project to use a highly accurate handheld GPS to update accuracy. David completely managed the project, purchasing the hardware and directing and training a Public Works employee to do the data recording.
During the first few months of the original project a number of other GIS needs were brought to David from a number of departments, including the Fire Department, Engineering, and Police. David is now the City’s full-time GIS Analyst and does a wide variety of jobs involving GIS, including developing standards for Snohomish County Cities GIS data working with GIS professionals throughout western Washington.
David attributes his success in his new role to the project skills learned in the department that helped him manage large workloads and complex relationships with different people, departments, and cities. The projects and assignments in the Department of Geography have proven themselves to be extremely useful when dealing with the organization of a workplace. The GIS classes were a great introduction to the technical experience that he needed to be hired as a GIS professional; however, once again the overall design of those GIS classes around projects and working with a mix of individuals and organizations were most valuable.