The women putting NV5 Geospatial GIS on the map

May 19, 2021  - By

Women make up more than half of NV5 Geospatial’s eGIS business unit, which collects and analyzes data to develop custom applications for government clients.

Women make up more than half of the company's team. From left are Alexa Ramirez, Nicole Wigston, Danielle Comely and Cherie Jarvis. (Image: NV5 Geospatial)

Women make up more than half of the company’s team. From left are Alexa Ramirez, Nicole Wigston, Danielle Comely and Cherie Jarvis. (Image: NV5 Geospatial)

Even though women make up nearly half of the workforce, they are still highly underrepresented in the science, technology, engineer and math (STEM) field. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that while women have made gains since the 1970s, they still only account for about 27% of STEM workers.

But one company bucking this trend is NV5 Geospatial, which was formed with the 2019 merger of global engineering firm, NV5 Global, and Quantum Spatial Inc., North America’s largest geospatial data firm. Quantum Spatial brought with it a long history of providing innovative remote sensing, acquisitions and analytics solutions that answer some of the toughest questions and deliver unique insights. It has become the go-to provider of geospatial services for a wide range of clients, including major government agencies, the military, utility companies, engineering and construction firms, and corporate organizations. These clients value the organization’s proprietary and ground-breaking approach of using geospatial information to plan, manage resources, mitigate risk and contribute to scientific understanding.

Women make up more than half of NV5 Geospatial’s enterprise GIS (eGIS) business unit, which is responsible for collecting and analyzing data to develop custom applications for key government clients.

In 2020, the company named Cherie Jarvis as director of the eGIS team, which has grown to include three female project managers and four analysts that bring diverse backgrounds – from marine biology and zoology to environmental science to geology – to their work.

“Seeing so many women in GIS is not unusual for me because I think strong women attract other strong women,” Jarvis said. “The women on our team are not only experts in their field, but they are very detail oriented and have the technical, organizational and people skills to adeptly handle all the variables that come with the complex eGIS projects we manage.”

Jarvis, a PMP, Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner, has led several award-winning projects, including a decision support tool to guide environmentally sound dredging of offshore sand shoals for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and a portal to access navigation-related data and tools for sediment and ecosystem management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Others on the team include:

  • Alexa Ramirez, senior project manager, PMP, GISP is a 13-year veteran of NV5 and its predecessor companies, where she previously specialized in lidar processing. She transitioned to the GIS team to create the data model for the BOEM Marine Minerals Information System (MMIS).
  • Danielle Comely, senior project manager, PMP, CSPO is an environmental scientist who recently joined NV5 from NOAA to work on BOEM, USACE and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) projects.
  • Ashley Reade, GIS analyst and one of the newest in the eGIS group, moved from the NV5 acquisition team to help manage MMIS and leverage her marine biology background to help assess fish habitat during dredging as part of the USACE South Atlantic Regional Biological Opinion (SARBO).
  • Liz Rodgers, senior GIS analyst, leveraged her degree in zoology to help build an environmental sensitivity index tool for NOAA and has been supporting work on USACE SARBO.
  • Emily Sandrowicz, GIS analyst, joined to work on MMIS, but moved to the geoESPIS (Environmental Studies Program Information System) project. She’s now pursuing her Master’s degree in GIS.
  • Maggie Satterfield, senior GIS analyst, brings a background in forestry to her work on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Cultural Resources Information Management System (NCRIMS).
  • Nicole Wigston, senior project manager, PMP, CSM, brings a strong geography and technology background having previously worked for ESRI. She manages national data standardization projects for BLM and on projects automating NV5G internal data pipelines.