Letter From the President
Hello to all you talented Geofolks!
For those of you that I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Jeffrey Munowitch, and I have had the honor of serving on the BayGeo Board (formerly BAAMA Board) for almost six years. I came to my first BAAMA event (the Holiday Party!) at the advice of an existing board member, and I knew immediately I had met my people. Geo is not always the first career path for many people, but it seems to be one of the stickiest vocations. The longer I am in the geospatial community, the more I see people that started their career somewhere else and ended up here, with us.
I am one of those people! I started college at UC Santa Barbara as a Computer Science major, and dutifully spent two years learning subjects that pushed me to my breaking point, including calculus, advanced physics, and assembly language. After spending one too many all-nighters trying to move bits in and out of the processor with assembly language, I was broken. I went to my academic advisor burnt out and out of ideas. Luckily, my advisor suggested I might be good at this cool thing called GIS. I was in the right place at the right time. My school had one of the best geography departments in the world, and I switched majors almost immediately.
After graduating with a BA in Geography and an Emphasis in GIS, I decided to try my hand at City Planning. For some reason, I did not get the message the first time around that I was made for Geo, and I interned at the City of Berkeley Planning Department. After about year, a classmate from college called me about a job doing GIS for an engineering firm that did environmental remediation. At some point, I had to concede that Geo was my destiny.
Since then, I have not looked back. Being in the Geo community has been an incredible experience. I have been fortunate that my involvement with BayGeo has put me in front of the right people at the right time as my career has progressed.
Enough about me; BayGeo is the reason you all are here!
First, I would like to recognize BayGeo’s past president Mōno Simeone. His dedication to the organization and five years as president has helped guide BayGeo through a big transition from BAAMA into the organization it is today. Much of the groundwork that Mōno laid will be built upon for years to come.
Second, I would like to guide you through the future of the organization. BayGeo is an organization in transition, much like our industry. Geo has grown explosively in the past ten years and BayGeo has worked hard to keep up. As Mōno laid out in his Letter from the President in the Fall 2015 Journal, BayGeo strives be the Geo community in the San Francisco Bay Area where “cross-pollination of knowledge and ideas is promoted to break silos.” BayGeo has worked to make that goal a reality by hosting CalGIS 2017 with a new emphasis on software developers, by growing new social events including #GeoBeers to bring people from different specialties together, and by developing BayGeo Corps, a way for local Geo folks to help local organizations in need.
BayGeo has a lot of goals for 2018 and we rely on volunteers and local partners to make it successful. Please consider giving time, becoming a member (or renewing your membership!), or sponsoring an event in 2018!
Wishing everyone a safe and warm holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones.
President of BayGeo