Erik Huisman

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As a current B.S. GeoDesign student, I often look back at how my childhood led me to be where I am today. Growing up, I was always attracted to maps. I would obsess over ski resort maps during family vacations and rip out airplane route maps from the back of Skymall magazines. I spent my time drawing fictitious maps of cities and houses and when not doing that, creating structures with Legos and blocks. Fast-forward to middle school, and I was creating a scale model of the Pantheon for a school project and selecting cartography classes as an elective.

Although I did not enter USC as a GeoDesign student, as soon as I discovered the major I began the process of changing my major. GeoDesign is the perfect major for me, managing to combine my interests in design, the built environment and science in a very fun and engaging way.

I am very grateful for the GeoDesign program and Spatial Sciences Institute for all of the opportunities they have given me so far. In the summer of 2019, I worked with Dr. Su Jin Lee and Dr. Lynn Dodd of the archaeology department on a project that involved mapping and testing for rare-earth elements in groundwater found across Catalina Island.

Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, I collaborated with Dr. Jennifer Swift on a project that aimed to map the subterranean stratigraphy of the La Brea Tar Pits in 3D using novel software.

Since the start of the fall 2020 semester, I have been working with Dr. John Wilson and Beau MacDonald on a project that will ultimately improve the environment in the neighborhoods around the USC Health Sciences Campus by planting trees in strategic locations. These opportunities have allowed me to hone my GIS skills by using programs such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Target by Seequent, CityEngine, and many more.

I have enjoyed my time in the Spatial Sciences Institute thus far and look forward to continuing my academic progress by completing the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology through the progressive degree program.

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