Center for Geographic Information Science Research (CGISR)


Bertha Garcia Muñoz, Class of 2016
B.S. Geography, GIS emphasis, and Anthropology minor

Bertha Garcia Muñoz is a Sr. GIS Research Analyst Production Supervisor at EDM Services, Inc. Her team specializes in creating project closeout packages that reflect updates made in the real world to the gas and petroleum pipeline networks using GIS survey data and linear network analysis applied to CAD/PDF construction drawings.

In 2016, Bertha Garcia Muñoz graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. Degree in Geography with an emphasis in GIS and a minor in Anthropology. She began her career as a contractor post-processing raw survey data into GIS features for the National Pipeline Mapping System. Shortly after, she was hired by an engineering company that sought to expand on GIS services for the gas and petroleum pipeline industry.

After seven years of experience as a GIS Analyst and access to a variety of GIS software and satellite imagery, Bertha enjoys creating visual processes and guidelines for the EDM GIS team. She also provides advice and guidance to multiple stakeholders to successfully add, update, and edit a GIS linear network for posting pipeline integrity features and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations on their database.

Marisa Valencia Silva, Class of 2016
B.S. Geography, GIS emphasis

"Working for the LAFD has been a gratifying career experience because I feel like I'm never doing the same thing every day. I get the opportunity to utilize my unique skillsets to supply our sworn members with tools they need to save lives and navigate through major incidents in the Los Angeles community daily. There's always a new project or request coming through, and seeing how our GIS unit can impact our department's efficiency with geospatial technology is very rewarding."

Marisa works as a GIS Specialist for the Los Angeles City Fire Department within the Information Technology Bureau that serves 106 fire stations in the city. Day to day, her tasks vary from inputting and validating data, creating web and paper map products, visiting fire stations to fulfill fire station requests, creating custom graphics for the department, and assisting in various projects in which geospatial technology is involved. She is currently training to serve as a GIS Specialist (GISS) on Field Incident Management Teams within the fire department, which are deployed during large scale wildfires. Prior to her service to the LAFD, Marisa's other professional GIS experiences include an internship with the South Coast Air Quality Management District while in college, followed by working as a GIS Specialist for the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.


Marisa Valencia Silva
Andrew Dahlquist

Andrew Dahlquist, Class of 2017
B.S. Geography, GIS emphasis

“Take advantage of all opportunities that professors and colleagues introduce. Field research, club participation, research assistance, and any other experiences will help you connect with more people and will help distinguish you from others.”

Shortly after graduating, I started at Sonic as a GIS Technician and within a few years was promoted through several positions ultimately becoming the GIS Manager of the company. Sonic is Northern California’s largest independent internet service provider and has been ranked as America’s fastest internet providing 10 gigabit speeds. I now manage a team of 12 GIS Analysts and Fiber Engineers; all working towards designing new fiber optic network deployments while building a GIS database. We manage all the engineering and construction documents, giving our company the means to visualize what we have built, and where we intend to expand next. Each city project comes with its own uniqueness and challenges, and being able to utilize and analyze GIS data helps us make informed decisions. We use GIS to support every aspect of the company, including engineering, project management, construction, marketing, field service, customer service, sales, and more.

While attending Cal Poly Pomona, I participated in a research assistantship that a professor was offering which gave exposure to real-world research they were working on. This opportunity allowed me to get my hands on real work that I had to solve on my own outside of structured textbook examples. Experiences like this at CPP gave valuable lessons and skills which helped apply that knowledge in the real world.


Diana DeGroot, Class of 2018
B.S. Geography, GIS emphasis, and Anthropology minor

In her capacity as a planner, she has collaborated extensively with local and federal agencies, communities, and consultants to ensure approval of significant transportation improvement projects. Some examples of GIS projects she helped to deliver include new interchanges, tolled express lanes, and wildlife linkages for endangered mountain lion populations. In addition, she is part of the Equity Group at Caltrans to advocate for disadvantaged communities. She is an active member in the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS-IE) and the California Native Plant Society (CNPS).

In November 2023, she will work as an Environmental Compliance Specialist for the Department of Housing and Community Development where she will help communities rebuild after disasters and aid them in federal grant assistance.

Diana DeGroot
Purdeep Dhanoa

Purdeep Dhanoa, Class of 2018
B.S. Anthropology, Cultural Resource Management emphasis, and GIS minor

 I minored in Geographic Information System (GIS) as an Anthropology major because I was worried that my Bachelor’s alone might not be enough to crack the job market and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. Becoming a geospatial professional has allowed me to explore varied opportunities around the world, while making me a better archaeologist.”

Initially hired on as an archaeological field technician, Purdeep’s GIS skillset was quickly leveraged to introduce data management solutions for archaeological firms allowing her to expand into a GIS specialist role early on. With her Anthropology and GIS background, she was able to translate archaeological and cultural resource management needs into GIS solutions and vice versa for archaeological firms through her start-up Obsidian Maps. After completing her undergraduate program, Purdeep continued to explore and expand her GIS career with the Office of Inspector General at United States Postal Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently, she is a senior GIS specialist for a leading archaeological consulting firm in the country and continues to practice archaeology in Guam. In conjunction with her professional work, Purdeep continued with her academic career and completed her Masters in Geospatial Information Science and Technology (MGIST). For her Capstone project she independently delivered a public-facing web-based application to explore georeference historic imagery for the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Purdeep hopes to continue growing professionally in the geospatial and conservation realms and wishes to bring her skills to the underwater archaeology side of the field.

Elizabeth Perez, Class of 2018
B.S. Geography, Environmental Geography emphasis

Elizabeth's GIS journey started at Cal Poly Pomona with an Environmental Geography major. But as her passion for GIS grew, she shifted her academic focus. Now, as UC Riverside's GIS Coordinator, she's amplifying GIS data across campus. Her work reaches planning, facilities, emergency management, and various other campus departments, demonstrating the invaluable role of geographic information systems. Using ArcGIS Online, she facilitates data-driven decisions and seamless collaboration across departments.