Austin Davis

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M.S. GIST 2013
US ARMY ERDC ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY

As a Research Geographer for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), I help solve the nation’s and military’s most challenging environmental problems. Since graduating the USC M.S. in GIST Program in 2013, I have crawled around in jungle caves on the Island of Guam in a tropical storm, deploying novel monitoring technology to track the health of a colony of endangered Marianna Swiftlets. I have developed tools that make computational river model data  available to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District GIS professionals, which is useful for understanding fish migration patterns and infrastructure planning.

What I learned about databases and software development in the USC GIST Program allowed me to build a new ecological modeling platform that combines agent and network modeling paradigms to better understand species movement. I have built web-enabled tools to visualize the risk climate change poses to ecological settings on military installations and have even worked on life-saving sensing technologies for our war fighters.

Upon graduating with my USC master’s degree, I was promoted to Team Leader of the Geospatial Science Team in the U.S. Army ERDC Environmental Laboratory. In my new role, I provide technical guidance and leadership for multimillion dollar programs and a broad research portfolio. I now direct environmental research projects that encompass everything from traditional GIS work to high performance computing solutions for civil works, military installations, and contingency operations.

In my job, every day is a new problem or challenge that requires a novel and innovative solution. I believe the USC GIST Program has provided me with a solid foundation to accomplish my mission as an Army civilian supporting our men and women in uniform.

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