GAC students and opportunities

GAC students save chicks
"As a student GIS technician in the GAC, I was able to develop new skills and build a substantial professional network while working on a wide variety of projects" - Sam Giebner, '14

The Geospatial Analysis Center (GAC) at the University of Minnesota Duluth is a student workforce-driven geographic information systems (GIS) services organization with statewide visibility and relevance. We aim to provide UMD undergraduate students with hands-on, relevant work experience through grants and contracts with UMD academic departments and business units, state and local governments, and non-profit community organizations.

GAC has employed students since 2004, ranging from 1-8 per semester, depending on grant and contract work available. During a particularly busy year, students logged nearly 3,000 hours of work experience in GAC (between May 2013-April 2014).

GAC also exposes students to other GIS professional opportunities. Students are encouraged to attend the Northern Minnesota GIS User Group (quarterly), UMN U-Spatial events, and the Mn GIS/LIS Annual Conference. For more information, please contact Stacey Stark at Many former student workers still in Minnesota have returned to UMD to speak to GIS students, and have given enthusiastic testimony for the Geospatial Analysis Center. Of 20 students that worked in GAC for more than 2 months, 15 have established successful careers in GIS-related positions, 12 of whom are in Minnesota.

If you are interested in working with the GAC, please inquire here:

Current student staff

Alex Nelson

Raised in the Twin Cities, Alex Nelson is proud to be living and studying in Duluth at the University of Minnesota. He is majoring in Urban and Regional Studies with an emphasis on geospatial analysis and planning. His non-academic interests include cycling and cinema.

Morgan photo

Morgan Larson is a senior at UMD and majoring in Geography and minoring in GIS. Her research interests include regional sustainability and climate change. Outside of school she enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors.

Rand photo

Rand Phillips is majoring in Geography and GIS with a minor in Photography. He loves photography as an art and is focusing on the combination of his design qualities mixed with his GIS background. He also has four dogs, which he appreciates and loves to the fullest extent. They are very good dogs.


Siona Roberts is a senior at UMD pursuing a degree in GIS with a minor in Environment & Sustainability. Outside of her studies and working at the GAC, she enjoys hiking with her dog, baking and traveling.


To find out more about getting a job in the GIS industry, join our Google + group!