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Chris Schaffer knew that he needed highly specialized skills to succeed at Jacobs Engineering, one of the nation’s largest providers of technical, professional, and construction services. As a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Professional at the Fortune 500 company’s office in Irvine, CA, Schaffer regularly utilizes geospatial analysis, cartography, remote sensing, and computer coding to evaluate the environmental impact of prospective developments. To gain these technical skills, he enrolled in the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MSGISci) program. 

“CSULB’s MSGISci program curriculum was extremely well-rounded and flexible,” said Schaffer, “a focused one-year program with night and weekend classes that allowed me to maintain my career, while enhancing the skills needed for my profession.”

A significant feature of Schaffer’s MSGISci experience was a field trip to the Desert Studies Center in Zzyzx, CA, where he and his classmates explored drone technology while collecting aerial imagery and other data that is used in hi-tech mapping.

“The most rewarding part of that experience was the fact that it allowed our cohort to interact more with one another,” said Schaffer. “The bonds that were created during that trip were expressed throughout the program, up to the present day.”

When he’s not working at Jacobs, Schaffer shares the knowledge he gained by teaching a course in Human Geography at Cal Poly Pomona. The position was recently recommended to him by none other than the Director of CSULB’s MSGISci program, Suzanne Wechsler. So even though he graduated in 2015, his bond with the MSGISci program has continued to pay dividends—for both Schaffer and his students.

Filed under Alumni Profiles


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