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John Cristiani: A 2014 Esri Canada Scholarship Recipient

The Esri Canada Scholarship provides recipients with great resources, including access to Esri software, books and training to develop their GIS skills. This story highlights a scholarship recipient's path to increased learning and knowledge to help John find employment.

Earlier this year, John Cristiani was awarded an Esri Canada Scholarship and completed an Advanced Diploma in GIS from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). In 2009, he obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation from the Faculty of Forestry.

Soon after receiving the software included in the scholarship, John began using ArcGIS for Desktop and some extensions to complete many of his lab assignments at BCIT. The first lab included a hydrology assignment that he completed using Spatial Analyst and the hydrology toolset to model the flow of water across a surface using raster data. In another lab, John used 3D Analyst to create a series of TINs; he figured how to extract different features from them, and then calculated the volume between two surfaces. He also created an animation to view different scenes along a set path. John also applied Python scripting using the ArcPy package to automate data analysis and management in some of his labs that would be used in model builder.

With his ArcGIS Online account, he’s created Web maps and applications that explore his personal interests, such as the Living Oceans story map that he is very proud of. He began working with the Living Oceans Society as part of his practicum experience while he was at BCIT. He created this story map to show the marine wildlife that exists in Canada’s Bear Sea, located on the west coast of Canada. John continues to support Living Oceans by volunteering his time to maintain one of their Web maps.

Figure 1.1: Living Oceans Society Story Map on The Great Bear Sea.

With additional resources he’s obtained from the scholarship, John plans to complete Esri Virtual Campus Training courses in python scripting, ArcGIS Online and other prerequisite courses that will lead up to instructor lead development courses. He plans to use his access to the Developers Network and ArcGIS for Server for training purposes and also plans to attend the Esri Canada User Conference in Vancouver using the complimentary admission included in the scholarship.

John believes the scholarship has been helpful for his GIS development because he’s been able to continue his GIS learning in the areas that he’s interested in. Without the scholarship, he feels he may not have experienced the in-depth level of instruction he received on tools such as ArcGIS Online and Python scripting.

Currently, John is looking for employment with a focus on environmental consulting or environmental, non-governmental work. He believes GIS is a powerful tool for making management decisions, and he hopes he will be able to provide this valuable service to projects that he’s passionate about.

The Esri Canada Scholarship Program is a great way to help higher education students further their spatial analysis skills and to encourage them to follow a career path that includes GIS. For more information on the program, visit Esri Canada.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

Profile Photo of Angela Alexander