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Rachel Seevers

In the past 25 years of DEVELOP, we have seen the deep impact the program can have not only on communities across the globe but also on DEVELOPers themselves as they build their capacity and grow into the leaders, educators, and ambassadors of tomorrow. As part of our anniversary activities, we are highlighting the many pathways alumni take on their career journey after DEVELOP. Here we spotlight alumni who are currently working to harness geospatial assets for societal benefit through the private sector.

Ryan TheUrer

"I knew that I wanted to use my background in computer science to work on scientific projects."
Man in baseball cap stands in front of landscape

DEVELOP Time & Location: 2018 Summer at NASA Langley (Participant)

Project Impact: Helped create the Colombian Data Cube for easy access to analysis ready satellite imagery to eventually help protect the vulnerable rainforest against illegal deforestation. (link)

DEVELOP's Impact: One of Ryan’s most valuable takeaways from the program was learning to lead a multidisciplinary team, sharing expertise from his background in computer science while also stepping back to take advice from those with more experience in other subjects.

Where is he now?: Ryan worked at NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) and Maxar Technologies before reaching his current position as a software engineer at Airborne Snow Observatories where he supports state water management in the western United States.

25th Anniversary Wishes: “Right now is a very exciting time to be working in the field of applied Earth sciences... I believe that DEVELOP is one of the few leading programs that focuses on this inspiring field of work and is actively training the future leaders in it. I’m confident that DEVELOP will continue to lead the way in this field for years to come.”

Oyut Amajargal

"I enjoy just learning about the world as a whole... within the earth sciences everything is pretty much interconnected."

DEVELOP Time & Location: 2019 Spring at Massachusetts - Boston (Participant)

Woman in puffy coat and scarf smiles for picture

Project Impact: Mapped flooding and created tools to assess flood risk evaluation following severe flood damage in the Spring of 2017. (link)

DEVELOP's Impact: Through DEVELOP, Oyut gained valuable hands-on experience problem-solving real-world challenges in Earth sciences and collaborating with peers from diverse backgrounds in geoscience fields.

Where is she now?: After her time with DEVELOP, Oyut worked as a researcher for Earth Innovation Institute where she studied tropical deforestation before beginning her current position with Gro Intelligence as a Geospatial Analyst.

Mark Barker

"The main thing that I still think about today is all the relationships that I built and all the friends I made along the way."
man smiles at camera

DEVELOP Time & Location: 2014-2016 at NASA JPL (Participant, Communication Fellow)

Project Impact: One of the first projects Mark worked on developed maps highlighting areas that can potentially be hazardous to human health.

DEVELOP's Impact: Mark had little to no knowledge of remote sensing data before joining DEVELOP, and his experience in the program kick-started his interest in remote sensing imagery. But beyond that, he will always remember the relationships formed and the effort put forth during his time at DEVELOP.

Where is he now?: Mark works at Esri as an ArcGIS engineer for the Drone2Map team developing software, writing documentation, creating tutorials, and conducting outreach.

Chippie Kislik

"Map Making is an art, and it's so gorgeous and so I just really wanted to stay part of this industry."
Woman with blonde hair in a blue shirt smiles for picture

DEVELOP Time & Location: 2014-2016 at NASA Ames (Participant, Center Lead, Communications Fellow)

Project Impact: Led projects in the Water Resources application area and “got really into thinking about water quality and how we can view that from space.”

DEVELOP's Impact: One of Dr. Kislik’s big takeaways from DEVELOP was just learning how to present to a diverse group of people, especially at DEVELOP Day and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting.

Where is she now?: Dr. Kislik is a Pre-sales Engineer with Planet based in San Francisco where she assists potential customers who want to use satellite imagery in their work. She previously was a Fulbright Scholar and pursued her PhD at UC Berkley.

25th Anniversary Wishes: “Reach out to your alumni network… I always love chatting with people about next steps and where they want to go.”

Jerrod Lessel

"Literally every step of the way, DEVELOP was there to help."
Father, mother, and two children smile for picture on the beach

DEVELOP Time & Location: 2013 Summer at NASA Langley (Participant), 2013-2016 at New York - IRI (Participant, Center Lead)

Project Impact: Worked on various projects that used Earth observations to address environmental issues in Uruguay, East Africa and Indonesia.

DEVELOP's Impact: For Jerrod, beyond the technical content learned at DEVELOP, one of the most important aspects of the program was all the connections he made. Jerrod credits the connections he made at DVELOP with helping him land his current job.

Where is he now?: Jerrod is a senior geospatial analyst for Gro Intelligence, a position which has a bit of a history of being held by former DEVELOPers!

25th Anniversary Wishes: “Have a great time while you're learning all you can.”

Annabel White

"This is only the beginning of your story as a professional."
Woman in red shirt wears a hard hat and holds technological device in an industrial setting

DEVELOP Time & Location: 2015 Summer at NASA Goddard (Participant), 2015-2016 at Virginia - Wise (Participant)

Project Impact: Identified and mapped suspected locations of disease transmission to prevent spread of a potentially blinding and debilitating disease & set out to predict storms on the African Great Lakes.

DEVELOP's Impact: DEVELOP opened doors for Annabel by being the foundation of her career and empowered her to confidently approach new opportunities while teaching her the importance of working with diverse teams.

Where is she now?: Annabel is now a Control Systems Engineer at Eastman.

25th Anniversary Wishes: “As scientists and engineers, our goal should be to leave the world a better place than it was before we were in it. DEVELOP embodies that goal and helps make it a reality. Here's hoping for 25 more years!”

Want to read more about where alumni go? Visit DEVELOP alumni featuring...

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Rachel Seevers
Rachel Seevers