Friday, May 13, 2016

Adam Meinerz - Ho-Chunk Nation

Name: Adam Meinerz
Major: Comprehensive Geography with an Environmental Emphasis
Year Graduated: 2010
Current Employer: Ho-Chunk Nation
Job Title: GIS Coordinator
Length of Employment: 1.5 years
Interests and hobbies: Hunting, fishing, kayaking, playing basketball and softball.

What helped you decide what route to take after graduation (i.e. graduate school or type of job)?
After graduation I was working a few odd jobs to make ends meets.  I was working as a clerk at a gas station, working part time at a flooring company, performing accounting and other office duties at a family’s small business, and helping my uncles out at their farm.  After working eight months after graduation, and working those low desired jobs, I was hired by AeroMetric.  I was hired on as a LiDAR Technician and edited LiDAR datasets and digitized breaklines. I later moved into a Quality Control/Quality Assurance position.  In this position, I analyzed LiDAR datasets/deliverables for AeroMetric and other geospatial companies as well.  After two years of working for AeroMetric, the company merged with two other geospatial companies and formed Quantum Spatial. A year later, our branch was closed and almost 70 people lost their jobs.  I received job offers from Tampa, FL and Cedar Falls, IA.  After rejecting the Tampa job, I accepted the job in Cedar Falls. I know, sounds like the weirdest thing ever.  As I was planning on moving to Cedar Falls, I received a job offer from the Ho-Chunk Nation in Black River Falls.  It was perfect because it was 45 minutes from my hometown and parents.  Also, it is 40 minutes from my wife’s hometown and parents.

What do you think gave you to edge to get your current position? 
 I’m a visual communicator and I played that card during the interview.  With creating maps in the past, I had plenty to show off at the interview stage.  The maps were a great way to start a conversion and show the interviewers. Also, I had two different internships on my resume which is very important because experience is most vital aspect that employers are searching for.

Describe your typical day at work:
There is no typical day at work. That is what I love about my job! In a nutshell, I support the geospatial needs of a lot of people within various departments that include: forestry, wildlife, administration, IT, business, cultural resources, DNR, education, human health services, environmental health services, housing, labor, planning & development, register of deeds, BIA roads, president’s office, and the legislative office.  I’m the geospatial point of contact for county, state, federal agencies and etc. Some duties include: creating custom maps, restructuring data files, operating an interactive website, cartography, entering data in geodatabases, administer the geodatabase, digitizing features, GPS data collection, installing GIS software, post land boundaries, conduct prescribed fires, set up GPS hardware, and training employees.  With 400 different properties over the range of 26 counties in three different states, the tribe values GIS. GIS brings maps of all kinds to the hands of decision makers and an interactive intranet webpage is a highly valuable tool. I work 90% office time and 10% field time.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
Still working for the Ho-Chunk Nation in Black River Falls, WI.  I have a job that I enjoy and live in a town that fits me well. I have a beautiful wife and live in an amazing home in country with ten acres of land. With the way that GIS is always advancing, I don’t think I would ever get bored with it!

What advice can you give to those who are still in school? 
Be tough because nothing is easy in the “Real World.” You’re living the dream right now, you know, the college lifestyle.  Be patient and when opportunities arise, you better excel on those opportunities!

Feel free to contact me at

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