Zachary is the the GIS Analyst and Developer for the Kennewick Irrigation District in Southeastern Washington state. His main responsibilities include the administration and management of the district’s enterprise geodatabases, development of GIS web mapping applications and production of geospatial data and maps for various land and water resource uses. He is also currently pursuing his Masters of Geographic Information Sciences from Kent State University with a concentration in Environmental GIS.

Prior to his GIS position in Washington and after graduating from CSU, Zachary was an Environmental Coordinator for the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians in San Diego County, California. He is responsible for leading the efforts for tribal compliance with various federal regulations, like the EPA Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, as well as pursuing many different projects in natural resource management that the tribe may be interested in.

What are you up to now in your job? Any noteworthy projects to discuss?

I am currently working on migrating our organization’s data into a more streamlined database model designed specifically for irrigation utilities. This involves a lot of automation of geoprocessing workflows and maintenance tasks within the ArcGIS Enterprise ecosystem.

Can you reflect on your time and experiences at CSU and how it benefited you?

My experiences at CSU are directly responsible for my obtaining this position. Not only did the coursework provide me with the technical/scientific knowledge to effectively participate in conservation collaboration, but experiences like the SUPER undergraduate research program with Dr. Stacy Lynn and the ESS 440 capstone course, with Drs. Robin Reid and Julia Klein, gave me the hands-on experiences necessary to actively conduct environmental projects and take the lead in many natural resources management projects.

What led you to natural resources career/education?

I was originally a Physics major at CSU, but always had an interest in ecology and environmental protection. One day, I stopped by the ESS office to talk to (advisor) Nikki Foxley. After our short meeting, I signed the form to change majors to ESS, and I am so glad I did!

What advice do you have for current students or recent grads?

Find a project you are truly passionate about while at CSU and take the time to truly put your “all” into completing that project. Employers will see that you not only have the expertise to be successful, but they will be inspired by your passion. People want to work with others who love what they do.