Meet Your Colleagues: Catherine Burton

By Nora Parker


Catherine Burton and her family.
Catherine Burton and her family.

Q. What is your position in your company and what do you do there? What challenges do you face? What accomplishments have you achieved?

A. As managing partner of Endpoint Environmental I do about 60% business development, 20% billable hours and 20% administration/operations. All other billable hours are handed off to my talented colleagues. 

As a small business, we face several challenges, the biggest of which is the lead time required to find, apply to, win, and then begin contracts. About 50% of the contracts we've won over the last six years have taken between three months to one year to mature. Planning for that window can be tricky. 

One of the accomplishments of which I am most proud is the wide network of interesting, smart, eager geospatial professionals I've come to know while working in the Bay Area. Between 2008 and 2011, I ran a Web-related map developers networking group called WebMapSocial. I grew membership from 150 to 1,800, hosted our events at Google, and featured presentations from all the top Web-based geospatial products and services companies. It was inspiring and fun.

Another noteworthy accomplishment was being featured in the 2008 50 Years of NASA-Derived Technologies (1958-2008) issue of NASA Spinoff (pdf).

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

Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to run my own business. After high school I went to an east coast business school but didn’t like it and left after the first semester. I’d always been good at all things map-related and took my first geography class at Santa Monica Community College (SMCC) in 1998. I went on to take SMCC's first and second GIS course offerings and then transfered to San Francisco State University (SFSU) where I finished my undergraduate degree in geography with a focus in geographic techniques. I pursued my Master's degree in geography with a focus in remote sensing image analysis at SFSU while concurrently working as research technician for my thesis committee chair. Half-way through grad school, I received an internship at NASA Ames Research Center DEVELOP, an Earth Science Division-based human capital development program. During that time, I managed a successful remote sensing image processing model development proof-of-concept project for the State of California and from there spun off Endpoint Environmental with the hopes of landing the renewed contract. We did win the renewed contract (with help from my alma mater) and the rest is history.  

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

A. Running Endpoint Environmental as a 12+ person boutique GIS and remote sensing image analysis services consulting firm.  Working with top-tier talent developing innovative means of creating, processing, analyzing, cataloging, presenting and disseminating geo-related data. Delivering excellent customer service, services and products. Serving an abundance of clients.

Q. What are you personal interests and hobbies?

A. Hanging out with my husband and one-year old baby girl. Geopolitical events, reading, laughing, cooking and walking.

Published Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Written by Nora Parker

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