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  • 18 Jun 2014 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    URISA 2014 Salary Survey Data Collection Period is Now Open


    Click here to access the online questionnaire.


    Announcement from URISA:

    The entire GIS community is asked to help develop an important profile of GIS professional activities and compensation by participating in the 2014 URISA GIS Salary Survey. URISA conducts a periodic comprehensive Salary Survey for GIS Professionals. The first Survey was conducted in 1998, with subsequent editions published in 2003, 2007 and in 2011.


    The data is currently being collected for the 2014 survey with results expected later this year. As in the past, an Executive Summary will be available on the URISA website for FREE and a comprehensive analysis of the results will be available for purchase.


    In addition to salary data presented according to job title, employer type and geographical region, the survey delves into:

    • How have salary levels changed over the years?
    • Have GIS departments increased in size?
    • What non-technical skills are required?
    • What GIS software proficiencies are necessary?
    • What benefits do organizations typically offer?
    • How frequent do GIS professionals change jobs and are job changes within the same sector?
    • How long is the average workweek?
    • How has GIS certification impacted salaries?
    • Are GIS professionals actively pursuing continuing education?
    • ... and much more


    The online questionnaire will be active until July 31 and the entire GIS community is invited to participate. The information collected will not be used for additional purposes, nor will URISA seek to personally identify participants nor connect any individuals with specific responses. Results will be presented according to various groupings (by job title, region, type of organization, etc.).


    Participants may elect to enter a drawing for one of TEN $100 discount coupons good for any URISA event or product purchase, upon completion of the questionnaire.


    Click here to access the online questionnaire.


    Quick Hits from 2011:

    • GISPs, on average, earned $10,000 more than non-GISPs
    • The average salary of survey respondents was $61,540 - an increase of 2.5%
    • GIS Managers saw a 3.8% increase in salary in 2011 – from $67,302 to $69,842
    • Over 65% of respondents are employed within some level of government-- from local to federal agencies
    • Most respondents to this survey hold GIS-related titles, with many possessing management responsibilities


    For an Executive Summary of the 2011 Salary Survey results, click here.



    We appreciate your input!

    -Chris Akin, GISP

    NEURISA President

  • 16 Jun 2014 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    RIGIS User Group Meeting: Catastrophe Planning

    June 24, 2014

    The Rhode Island GIS Users Group (RIGIS) and NEURISA are happy to bring you the next RIGIS User Group Meeting on June 24, 2014. The event will be hosted by FM Global at their Research Campus, 743 Reynolds Road, Glocester, RI 02814.


    More Information on the Event:



    You can register for the event here. There is no registration fee for this event but space is limited! Priority is given to RIGIS Members and those who live or work in Rhode Island.

    Hurry, registration closes on Thursday, June 19th at 5pm! Register today!

  • 04 Jun 2014 1:50 PM | Anonymous

    New President's Message

    Chris Akin

    As the newly appointed president of the New England Chapter of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association (NEURISA), I am honored and privileged to be part of such a great organization.  I invite you to join me in helping to further NEURISA as the professional association of GIS practitioners in New England.


    Our outgoing president, Diana Maties, has decided to move back to Chicago to be closer to family and has had to step down as President.  Diana deserves an enormous thank you from all of us for leading the chapter the last few months.  She will be missed here in New England, but keep an eye on her - I see a future Chicagoland Chapter President in her future.  Thanks again, Diana!

    To introduce myself, I am the Senior GIS Specialist at FM Global, a global commercial and industrial property insurance company.   FM Global’s GIS endeavors include international hazard data research and development, internal and external geospatial web tools, and developing a corporate Geospatial Enterprise platform.   I received a BA in Geography with a GIS emphasis degree from Texas A&M University and a Master’s in GIS for Business and Service Planning from the University of Leeds, England.

    NEURISA continues to have an enthusiastic Board of Directors who are passionate about all things mapping and GIS.  The amount of time and energy they put forth is truly impressive.  It often goes unsaid, but thank you to each of the Board Members for your time, energy, and devotion to NEURISA!

    We have an exciting time in front of us.  Together, we have the opportunity to build an even stronger organization by capitalizing on our past accomplishments and recognizing the opportunities that are before us.  We hosted the recent URISA GIS-Pro conference in Providence, RI, in September 2013, and completed a member feedback survey that same year.  I’m proud to say that our chapter also received the 2013 URISA Outstanding Chapter Award for sponsoring particularly effective activities and otherwise excelled in serving its membership.  This is a great honor for NEURISA, and we plan to keep pushing forward in 2014 and beyond.

    In order to look forward, we have formed a Strategic Planning Committee to take a look good at our chapter – where are we, where do we want to be, and how do we get there.  In the last few months, we’ve revamped our organizational mission statement, goals, and strategies.  We’re currently prioritizing future activities, as well as reaching out to other regional GIS organizations in the hopes of increased collaboration.

    And of course, we’re always working on more GIS activities for our New England members.  Check out below for the Save the Date for the 2014 NEURISA Day Conference to be held on November 3rdin Sturbridge, MA.  We’re excited to announce that we will be having a second concurrent track in order to offer you even more opportunities.  We’re also looking into more webinars and networking events throughout the year.  And don’t forget that the URISA 2014 GIS-Pro conference will be held in New Orleans on September 8th-11th, 2014.  You don’t want to miss out on this great conference for GIS Professionals!

    Although much hard work has been as put into the organization, NEURISA still needs your help.  We are always looking for volunteers, future Board Members, At-Large members, event hosts, sponsors, or anything else you think you can offer.  We’re always open to new ideas for events and opportunities, as well as your feedback and input.  If you’re interested in getting more involved in NEURISA, please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone else on the Board directly.  With your help can we continue to accomplish our organizational mission, and goals to better serve GIS practitioners in New England. 

    Thank you all for your interest and investment in this great organization, and please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think will make NEURISA even better.  I look forward to an exciting future for NEURISA and its members.


    Chris Akin, GISP

    NEURISA President



    Follow NEURISA to stay connected!


  • 18 Oct 2013 3:21 PM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    2014 NEURISA Board Nominees

    The New England Chapter of URISA’s (NEURISA) Nominating Committee recommends the

    following nominees for 2014 NEURISA Board.  NEURISA is fortunate to have an excellent group of professionals willing to serve.

    NEURISA’s 2013 Annual Meeting has been scheduled for November 14th at 10:30AM (via conference call).  The NEURISA Board will be voting on these nominees at that time.  

    Please use the form below to submit any
    comments or thoughts you may have regarding any of these nominees.

    Thank you - NEURISA Board of Directors

    Nominees for Officer

    • President: Diana Maties - Diana Maties graduated in the summer of 2010 from DePaul University, where she majored in Geography with a concentration in Metropolitan Development and a GIS Certificate. Ms. Maties is a GIS Specialist and has been with CDM Smith for three years. As a GIS Specialist, Ms. Maties has experience with FEMA’s map modernization and RiskMAP programs and has been involved in collection, production, and review of products and data for the FEMA projects. Currently Ms. Maties is the GIS Lead at FEMA Region 1 Regional Service Center (RSC) helping with quality reviews of various products and any additional support the region may need. Ms. Maties was the New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) Events Coordinator in 2013. Ms. Maties has also been part of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet from 2011-2013 and has been involved with the conference planning of GIS Pro 2013 and will be helping with GIS Pro 2014 - New Orleans.

    • President-Elect: Chris Akin (GISP) - Chris is the GIS Technical Supervisor at FM Global, a global commercial and industrial property insurance company focused on engineering-driven underwriting, loss prevention research, and risk management solutions. Chris provides supervisory, technical, and consultative work in the development and oversight of FM Global’s GIS endeavors, including international hazard data research and development, internal and external geospatial web tools, and the corporate Geospatial Enterprise platform.  Chris received his BA in Geography with a GIS emphasis degree from Texas A&M University and a Master’s in GIS for Business and Service Planning from the University of Leeds, England. Chris also chairs the GIS Corporate Coordinate Committee at FM Global, and is on the Board of Directors New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA).

    • Past-President: Steve Sharp (GISP) - Mr. Sharp is a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) with nearly 20 years of experience in the GIS industry.  Mr. Sharp is currently Director of Enterprise GIS Services at the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI). Mr. Sharp provides supervisory, technical, and consultative work in the development and oversight of State's geospatial databases, and manages a wide range of projects and initiatives for the State.  Mr. Sharp was the President of the New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) in 2013.

    • Treasurer: Nate Dansereau (GISP) - Nate has been working with Geospatial Technologies for over twenty years having worked in state and local government and private consulting.  He has spent the last eight years working for Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s major electric utility.  Nate has been on the NEURISA board for three years and is seeking a second term as treasurer.  Nate has experience in database design, project management, and photogrammetry, among other technical skills.  Nate has worked with a wide variety of GIS applications in many industries ranging from agricultural, forestry, public safety, recreation, and transportation.

    • Secretary: John Hangen (GISP) - ·John Hangen is the GIS Coordinator for the City of Milford, CT.  He has served in a variety of private, local, and regional government GIS positions during his 19 year GIS career.  John received Geography and History degrees from Central Connecticut State University and an MA in Geography from the University of Connecticut.   He currently holds a GISP certification and has previously served on the GIS Certification Institute’s Outreach Committee, the CT GIS User to User Group’s Communications subcommittee, and Cadastral Standards Working Group subcommittee.   John begins his term as Secretary for the NEURISA Board of Directors in January 2014.   Before being appointed to this role, John spent a year as an at-large member for NEURISA, where he coordinated the entertaining July 2013 NEURISA Lightning Talk event in New Haven, CT.   He has conducted numerous GIS outreach presentations for grade school students and for Boy Scouts of America.  John is convinced he could still launch an ArcEdit or ArcPlot session using command line Workstation or PC Arc/Info.

    • Communications Coordinator: Erin Jacque - Erin Jacque is GIS Coordinator/Wetland Scientist with BSC Group, Inc. in Worcester, MA.  At BSC Group Erin is responsible for environmental and utility mapping for Federal, State and local permits in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.  Erin regularly completes maps for impact analysis on wetlands, tree removal, residential sensitive receptor proximity analysis (electromagnetic field), and visual impact assessments.  In addition Erin has experience collection and analysis of GPS data, delineating wetland resource areas, and state wetlands regulation and permitting.  Erin has a great deal of experience with stormwater infrastructure mapping, natural resource mapping, and wetlands mapping (integrating ecology and GIS).   Erin is a Graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a BA in Geography.  Erin has also completed work towards a Masters Degree at UMass Amherst in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.  She is currently a part-time Masters student at Northeastern University in the Geographic Information Technology program.  Erin serves as an At-Large Board Member on the New England Chapter of URISA, and serves as the Web Master for Society of Ecological Restoration, New England Chapter.

    Nominees for At-Large Board Member

    • Brian Stice (LandVest) - Brian Stice is a geospatial professional at LandVest, in Boston, MA. He received his M.S in Geographic Information Technology from Northeastern University, and is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing Technology. Brian specializes in demographics mapping/analysis, database management, environmental land use/renewable energy GIS, and remote sensing/imagery analysis. Brian has more than 5 years of experience with GIS, is actively involved in GIS professional organizations, and keeps LandVest on the cutting edge of GIS software and technology. He currently lives in Watertown, MA, with his wife Dr. Camilla Stice and his dog Jesse James.

    • Shane Bradt (UNH Extension) - Shane Bradt is an Extension Specialist in Geospatial Technologies at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Shane’s job is to educate everyone on the potential uses of geospatial technologies and provide hands-on training to specific audiences to help them adopt geospatial approaches in their work and personal life. He became a certified GIS Professional in 2011 and received his PhD in 2012 in the use of remote sensing to monitor lake water quality. Shane has presented at several NEURISA events, including NEURISA Day in October 2012 and the lightning talk event held at Dartmouth College in April 2013. Shane also helped coordinate, advertise and sponsor the Dartmouth lightning talks. In cooperation with the NEURISA board, he offered intro-level, hands-on training on basic GIS concepts and open source GIS in Worcester, MA, also in April 2013. Shane recently attended the GIS-Pro conference in Providence, RI in September 2013. During the conference, he attended a workshop, gave a presentation, and participated in several NEURISA activities.

  • 26 Sep 2013 8:56 AM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    NEURISA Awarded Outstanding Chapter of the Year



    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is pleased to announce that it was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Chapter Award at URISA’s annual GIS-Pro Conference in Providence, RI (September 16-19, 2013).  Each year URISA recognizes an outstanding Chapter that has sponsored particularly effective activities or has otherwise excelled in serving its membership. The Outstanding Chapter Award criteria include: Innovation, Outreach, Education, and Community Impact.

    The NEURISA Board of Directors ( is honored and pleased to have received this award from URISA International (  This award recognizes the vision, commitment, and hard work of current and past Board members and the NEURISA community.  These individuals have committed themselves to advancing the GIS Profession by putting their time, energy, and creativity behind the “association for GIS professionals” (URISA).  NEURISA will continue to work with URISA and GIS professionals throughout New England to support the advancement of our profession.

    Board of Directors

    New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA)

  • 23 Sep 2013 12:08 PM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    NEURISA 2013 Awards

    Press Release


    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 NEURISA Awards.  The awards were presented at GIS-Pro 2013 (URISA's Annual Conference) in Providence, RI on September 18, 2013.

    NEURISA Special Achievement Award

    Criterion: Through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, the individual has made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization; or realizes a significant return on investment; or greatly improves the quality of services. This contribution may be a single act or a cumulative performance.

    2013 Recipient - Michael Howser

    Congratulations to Michael Howser, UCONN - University Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC), for receiving the 2013 NEURISA Special Achievement Award!  Michael has transformed the way GIS data is organized and made available in CT.  He has facilitated the growth and innovation that has transformed CT’s Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC) over the past five years.  He has had a role in creating a seamless statewide 1934 aerial data set of CT.  He helped to establish the CT State Data Center, a collaboration of academic and state organizations that serve as a liaison to the US Census.  He has helped to digitized a wealth of historical information through a massive scanning and metadata project of over 200,000 documents.  The comprehensive collection of digital GIS datasets available through MAGIC has exploded in the past five years, yet still remains easy to navigate and simple to use.

    NEURISA Superior & Dedicated Service Award

    Criterion: A NEURISA member or a member of the NEURISA Board of Directors who has made a significant contribution to the organization and its activities.

    2013 Recipient - Neil MacGaffey

    Congratulations to Neil MacGaffey, past NEURISA President and Assistant Director at MassGIS, for receiving NEURISA’s Superior and Dedicated Service Award for 2013.

    Mr. MacGaffey exemplifies the meaning of superior and dedicated.  He was a key player helping to sustain NEURISA when it was struggling to survive.  He understood the importance of establishing and documenting procedures and protocols necessary to mature and sustain the organization.  He realized that leadership starts with a “vision”, but is nothing without hard work, team building, speed and authenticity.  He understood the importance of recruiting good people to the Board.

    • Feng Yang (NEURISA Past-President): “He dedicated a great deal of his time to running this organization for many years. He was instrumental in laying down the foundation for this organization to grow to where it is now.  NEURISA benefited from his vision, excellent communication and outreach skills, his ability to identify talented people, his management skills and his solid technical understanding of the profession.”

    • Paul Samara (NEURISA Past-President): “He is the consummate collaborator and defender of both needed and defined processes. He has been unwavering with his commitment to this organization and his efforts have been nothing short of stellar.  He exemplifies this award and I cannot think of any person more deserving!”

    More than anyone else he brought discipline, focus, and dedication to NEURISA.  He was (and still is) committed to making NEURISA a great organization!

  • 06 Sep 2013 11:11 AM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    Dear NEURISA Member,

    GIS-Pro 2013 is only 1 week away (Sept 16-19)!  Don’t have the time to attend the entire conference?  No problem.  URISA is offering discounted one-day registrations for NEURISA members (if you’re getting this email you’re a NEURISA member)!

    Tuesday or Wednesday are the best options for one-day registrants.

    • If you register for Tuesday, there is the GovGirl keynote, presentation luncheon, access to the exhibition hall, networking reception, 18 breakout sessions, and NEURISA’s evening social at Rí Rá Irish Pub (free drinks/food/prizes)!

    • If you register for Wednesday, there are 12 breakout sessions, the UNH keynote, the awards breakfast, and the main GIS-Pro social event.  You can attend the sessions on Thursday morning too!

    Here is the schedule:

    Register online to take advantage of your NEURISA discount.

    We’ll see you there!

    New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA)
  • 22 Aug 2013 1:45 PM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is excited to help bring GIS-Pro 2013 ( to Providence, RI this year (September 16-19).  GIS-Pro is an excellent opportunity to reinforce or introduce your company’s presence to GIS professionals who help drive the adoption of technology within their organizations.

    NEURISA is looking for sponsors to help us host a fun GIS-Pro evening social at Ri Ra’s Irish Pub ( in downtown Providence Tuesday night (September 17th).  We’ll have live entertainment, food, free drinks, and raffle prizes for GIS-Pro participants.  It will be an excellent opportunity for GIS-Pro attendees to mingle and network in a relaxed setting, and an opportunity for your company to showcase its presence and support.

    Your company can be a sponsor for only $250.  As a sponsor you’ll receive the following benefits

    • You will be identified (logo) as a sponsor on the event flyer, which will be inserted into the GIS-Pro program.

    • You will be recognized for your support during the event.

    • You will receive a list of all event attendees (name, organization, email).

    Please contact Diana Maties ( or myself ( if your company would like to sponsor this event or if you would like more details.

    Thanks again for your support.

    Steve Sharp


    New England Chapter of URISA
  • 17 Jul 2013 7:51 AM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is dedicated to providing quality workshops and webinars on topics relevant to you.  We have created a brief survey to gather your feedback so we can improve our chapter, our events, and the topics covered.  Your feedback is important to us!

    The survey can be found here:

    This survey should only take about 5-10 minutes of your time, and your answers will be completely anonymous.  A survey summary will be published in our Fall NEURISA Newsletter.

    Please fill out the survey by Friday, August 2nd.

    Thanks in advance for completing the survey!

    Steve Sharp

    President, NEURISA
  • 11 Jul 2013 4:55 PM | Stephen Sharp (Administrator)

    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is accepting nominations for our Special Achievement Award, which will be presented at GIS-Pro 2013 (Providence, RI - Sept 16-19).  The NEURISA Board of Directors is looking for nominees who through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, have made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization, realizes a significant return on investment, or greatly improves the quality of services.

    Please submit a nomination by completing this form:  The deadline for submissions is August 9th, 2013!

    Potential Recipients: Geospatial or Information Technology Professionals

    Criterion: Through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, the individual has made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization; or realizes a significant return on investment; or greatly improves the quality of services. This contribution may be a single act or a cumulative performance. Significance will be measured by a positive impact on an organization or a community.

    Nomination Process: Nominations will be solicited from geospatial and information technologies professionals and the NEURISA Board.  The nomination deadline is August 9th, 2013.

    Selection Process: A committee of three NEURISA Board Members (President, President-Elect and Past-President) will select from nominees submitted based upon the criterion outlined above.
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