Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

GIS Student Testimonials

Levi Cecil


I've had a lifelong love of maps and geography. I used to collect maps from National Geographic and hang them on my walls. When I was 11 years old, I took part in the Idaho State geography bee and met the governor. When I learned about GIS, I knew it was a career path that would be a good fit for me. I was already working towards an Associate's transfer degree at PCC and I realized that I could earn the GIS certificate concurrently.

After graduating from PCC, I spent the summer working for Watershed Sciences as a Remote Sensing Technician. I worked on LiDAR data classification and feature extraction. I am currently preparing to enroll at PSU to pursue a Bachelor's degree in geography.

I thoroughly enjoyed the GIS program at PCC. I wish there had been more classes! The GIS Applications class was especially challenging, but also very rewarding. My final independent project will be used as part of ongoing campus watershed & sustainability research project. It was exciting to be part of a class where the students were getting hands on experience, and providing crucial services to community partners. In the program, I studied with some of the best professors in my three years at the school. They are accessible, helpful, and passionate about the subject. I can't speak highly enough of the program.

Joey Bard


When I chose to go back to school I had two things I knew I wanted in a career; I wanted the chance to explore and travel, and I wanted my work to benefit the world as a whole. Studying GIS is a path that will provide me with an endless puzzle to solve, and to continually develop new skills and apply them in the field.

In my first GIS class at PCC we conducted a food access study in North Portland with an advocate group. It was an amazing experience to put the lessons into action and conduct a meaningful piece of research. The GIS instructors imparted to me a breadth of knowledge that prepared me for my internship abroad with The Trailblazer Foundation in Cambodia. Back in Portland, I have been interning at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, where I authored a digital database of the Newberry Volcano Geologic Map. The skills I learned in the PCC GIS program transitioned seamlessly into the field and were vital to opening the doors to these opportunities.

This fall I will be starting my junior year at Portland State University. I am already working in my field and using my experiences in the PCC GIS program to forward my career. The quality of instruction I received at PCC has been first class. The instructors brought in industry know-how and communicated it in a way that was accessible and pragmatic. Most of all my instructors were wonderful people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for helping me in the classroom and supporting me in any way they could to help me on my path.