Brian King: Going Full Circle

USGIF GEOINT Certificate holder teaches at alma mater


Not only did Brian King earn a master’s degree in geographic information systems along with a USGIF GEOINT Certificate from Pennsylvania State University in 2013, he now teaches at his alma mater.

“When you’re learning GIS, a light switch goes off and you start to think spatially and relate what you’re doing to real world issues,” King said. “It enlightens your thought process.”

BrianKing Photo

Brian King

Before achieving his master’s degree, King completed an associate’s degree in architecture in 1993 from Lexington Community College in Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology/archeology in 1997 from the University of Kentucky. While pursuing his graduate degree at Penn State, King began his current job as a senior GIS analyst and archeologist for consulting firm Freese and Nichols.

His employer specializes in engineering, architecture, environmental science, construction, and planning services. King works in the storm water division conducting high-level spatial analysis, web mapping, LiDAR processing, and photogrammetry for water-related engineering and environment projects. One of his current projects is working with experts to map areas of biological sensitivity along the Texas Gulf Coast. First responders use maps of these identified areas to determine which areas need to be protected first during oil spills and other catastrophic events.

King said his USGIF GEOINT Certificate has been an asset in his career.

“Having the USGIF GEOINT Certificate listed on my credentials has been beneficial in many proposals from engineering services to military agencies within Texas,” King said.

He now enjoys giving back as an assistant instructor with Penn State’s John A. Dutton e-Education Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. King is in his second semester teaching a GIS programming and automation course, and expects to continue teaching this course as well as a cloud and server GIS course in the 2016-2017 academic year.

“Teaching is a great way to stay on top of the cutting-edge technology and network with people from all over the world—especially in Penn State’s international program,” King said.

King is also a dedicated member of the Texas chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), having been a past president for three terms and now vice president of the chapter. In addition, he recently became a volunteer with the American Association of Geographers and Esri’s GeoMentors Program, where he works with K-12 students, introducing them to Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform to help them learn GIS basics.

Learn more about USGIF’s Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program.

Photo Credit: Penn State

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