Ever Wonder What You Would Do with an Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology?

Meet CPCC Alumnus Kitty Kolb, a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey North Carolina Water Science Center. Kitty recently received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Geospatial Technology at Central Piedmont Community College.

What do you see as the most valuable part of your work?

The most valuable part of my work is that I help protect people's lives and property.  After Hurricane Irene in 2011, I made a Google Earth map of the high water marks that resulted from Irene's storm surge, which were collected by USGS staff. This was exciting for me. The USGS uses the storm surge data to understand the effects of past hurricanes, which eventually allows for the development of tools and methods to help predict the effects of future hurricanes. These data also allow scientists to better understand local effects of the storm on the environment like flood extent, erosion, or vegetation changes. During this process, USGS field teams were measuring the high water marks and sending me information in almost real-time, and I was able to update the maps as their data came in. Afterwards I was shocked and honored to find that my maps were used by agencies such as at FEMA and Homeland Security! They were using our storm surge information as well, for damage assessments and impact assessments. Without GIS, all the agencies involved wouldn't have been able to respond as quickly to help residents and businesses rebuild. Read more about Kitty's career...

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community.