Meet Your Colleagues: Ann Johnson

By Nora Parker

Ann Johnson, associate director for the GeoTech Center

Q: What is your position in your company and what do you do there?

A: My title is Associate Director and offically, I help the Director focus on our Center's goals and reach the objectives we have outlined. Unofficially, I do whatever needs to be done to keep the Center on task and within budget. Much of what I do is help let educators know what resources we have developed that can help support their geospatial program. This includes doing presentations at conferences to let educators and industry know about the Center.

Q: What challenges do you face? 

A: There are so many exciting opportunities that it is hard to limit our focus. So a challenge is trying to do too much with a limited amount of resources - time and money included.

Q: What accomplishments have you achieved? 

A: The best accomplishment is getting to know so many dedicated people interested in education and helping them (industry, eductors and students) network to support each other and geospatial education.

Q: What was your career path to your current position? 

A: I started teaching geology at a community college and became interested in GIS. I was fortunate to attend an NSF two summer workshop for college facullty to learn and teach GIS. In setting up a program, I worked with Mike Phoenix, Higher Education Manager at Esri. I was successful in starting a GIS Certificate program and Mike suggested I might like to work for Esri and help other educators start programs. After a 14 year career at Esri, I was ready to "slow down" a bit and semi-retire. An opportunity presented itself to work on an NSF grant part time helping support colleges. It has been a very rewarding opportunity with the only problem being the needed time has me working a bit more than planned.

Q: What would you like to be doing in your career in 10 years?

A: I hope to remain active on NSF grants for the next few years and then slowly reduce the hours until 10 years from now, I'm just providing a bit of support now and then. I can't imagine not being somehow involved in education!

Q: What are your personal interests and hobbies?

A: I love the outdoors - rock hounding and geology, 4 x 4 trips in a Jeep and Razer, and fishing take a lot of my time. I caught my first steelhead this past fall and hope to do more of that. I also enjoy gardening and have several large raised vegetable beds and fruit and nut trees. I also have Indian wood flutes - I find the sound relaxing and like to play for myself out in the wilds of Nevada and Idaho! 

Ed. note: If you'd like to be considered for inclusion in "Meet Your Colleagues," please contact Nora Parker.

Published Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Written by Nora Parker

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