Hi there! My name is Claire, I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning. I am thrilled to be one of UW’s student associates with Esri Canada GIS Centres of Excellence, and look forward to sharing my interests, studies, and research on the ECCE Blog, as well as participating in the annual ECCE App Challenge.

A Brief Introduction

I am currently working towards completing a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Honours Urban Planning, with a Diploma of Excellence in Geographic Information Systems and a Diploma in Sustainability. I have a strong interest in environmentalism and urban studies, and I hope to become a specialist in a field that incorporates the two. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, photography, and recently, I have been pursuing a drone pilot license. I received my Small-Basic RPAS certification this past September, and plan on pursuing my Advanced-Basic license in 2021.

Interest in GIS

Prior to my enrollment at UW, I had not heard of GIS. That promptly changed once I took my first course on the subject, PLAN 105: Intro to Planning Analysis. In that class, I realized my interest in mapping and the utility it possesses in almost every context. As a visual learner, I love how even a simple map can covey complex spatial patterns and relationships to a viewer in seconds, whereas that same relationship may take thousands of words to describe in the same detail. As I learned more about GIS and found my footing with products such as ArcMap, I discovered that I thoroughly enjoyed the creative problem-solving process that is integral to creating map products. It is always a fun challenge to create an effective map to meet a certain need or communicate a specific relationship, and especially rewarding to have a tangible and interactive final product to show off at the end. 

Since that first course, I have continued to take GIS-related courses and sought out various other opportunities, including a position as President of the UW Geospatial Club and working as a GIS intern at The Weather Network. Currently, I am employed as a Water Resources co-op student at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Working within the Boundary Water Issues Unit and the IJC, I use Esri products daily to examine and convey the physical and socio-economic impacts of high-water levels throughout the Great Lakes region.

Keep up with me via LinkedIn, and feel free to message or email me with any GIS related questions or jokes. Always happy to chat!