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Program Faculty

With a combination of appointed faculty from the University of Denver and adjunct faculty with extensive real-world experience in their fields, our expert faculty at University College understand adult learning theories and provide practice-based education to busy adults. Students gain the hands-on skills and foundational knowledge needed to excel in their chosen industries, all while learning from professional practitioners who work in the fields they teach.

Our faculty lead dynamic discussions in the classroom, hold rigorous academic standards, and embrace innovative technologies and curriculum designed specifically for adult learners. Learn more about the faculty at University College by browsing the descriptions below.

Ryan Abeloe

Ryan Abeloe (MS in GIS, University of Denver; BA in Political Science, University of Nevada, Reno; BS in Geography, University of Nevada, Reno) currently works in the oil & gas industry with responsibilities ranging across ArcMap, ArcGIS Server/Portal, SDE, and even a few non-ESRI tools. Ryan discovered his passion for GIS while he spent a summer working between McMurdo and the South Pole doing manual labor. He previously worked in transportation engineering and for non-profits doing primarily demographic analyses in GIS.

Greg Baca

Mr. Baca has been turning spatial data into information his entire career, the last 12 years in the GIS field specifically. Mr. Baca is founder and director of GIS Services for MGIS Inc. a firm specializing in GIS analysis and training. Mr. Baca has worked for private industry, local and county governments in a variety of roles including: GIS Programmer/Analyst, GIS Database Administrator, GIS Specialist, and GIS Coordinator. He has worked on, and managed a wide variety of projects for utilities, emergency management, and local governments. He teaches beginning, intermediate, and advanced GIS courses. Previously, Mr. Baca served on the conference committees for GIS in the Rockies (2000, 2001) and the International Geospatial Information Technologies Association (GITA)(2003). Mr. Baca also serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of GITA, and serves on the GIS Advisory Board for Front Range Community College in Colorado.

D. Joe Falconer

No biography available at this time. Please check back

Janet Gritzner

Janet Gritzner (PhD in Geography, Louisiana State University; MA in Geography, University of Maryland; BA in Geography, University of Maryland) has extensive experience in GIS and teaching. As a full-time faculty member in the Department of Geography, Dr. Gritzner brings knowledge of remote sensing, international program development, and planning and implementation of GIS technologies. Dr. Gritzner research interests are hydrologic modeling in GIS, LIDAR/IFSAR applications, prairie wetlands, place name generics, Great Plains small towns, and Caribbean food systems.

Nicholas Grove

No biography available at this time. Please check back

Steven Hick

M.A., University of Missouri, is the department director for Geographic Information Systems. Hick is the instructor for " Basic Geographic, Spatial and GIS Concepts", "Fundamental Vector GIS Concepts", and "GIS Project Design and Implementation" courses. Hick is a senior research associate with the University of Denver Department of Geography and directs the activities of the GIS Lab. Hick also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Geography Department of DU. Prior to joining the University, Hick was a GIS consultant with UGC Consulting of Englewood, Colorado. He has served as a lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio, completed post-graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin and was a cartographer with the Defense Mapping Agency. (GIS)

Heather Hicks

Heather Hicks, a certified GIS Professional (GISP) has 16 years experience in the geotechnical field, including GIS, geology, natural resources management, geomorphology, natural hazards, petroleum applications, as well as telecommunications, project management, homeland security, and governmental programs. Ms. Hicks has a BS in Geology and a BA in Geography from the University of Delaware. She earned a MS in Geographic Information Science from the University of Denver. She is completing a PhD in Geosciences from the Colorado State University using GIS as a natural hazard assessment tool.
Her professional career has included positions at the US Geological Survey’s Water Resources Division, an environmental consulting company, a telecommunications corporation, city government, and more recently as the GIS Coordinator for the State of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources for 6 years, and as the Director of the GIS Department of EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. since 2007.
She has been an adjunct faculty member of the University of Denver since 2004, teaching GIS, environmental applications, natural hazards, and natural resources courses in University College and the Department of Geography. She also serves as a part-time instructor at the University of Colorado at Denver in the Civil Engineering department, teaching GIS in Natural Resources and Spatial Theory and Analysis courses. In 2009, she started as an instructor at Johns Hopkins University for the Advanced Academic Programs GIS certificate program inaugural course offerings.

Edmond Holroyd

Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, is retired as a Research Physical Scientist from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation after 31 years of service. He worked on weather modification projects for four decades, specializing in their evaluations. After 1988 he was the lead research scientist in Reclamation's Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Group. Ed has been sharing his expertise in the GIS Department at the University of Denver since January 1999. (GIS)

Courses Taught:
GIS 4700 Remote Sensing
GIS 4740 Digital Image Processing

Devin Johnson

No biography available at this time. Please check back

Luke Kaim

Luke Kaim (MS in Spatial Information Science and Engineering, University of Maine; BA in Geography, University of Denver) is a GIS System Analyst with Applied Future technologies as a contractor to the Bureau of Land Management. Previously Luke was a GIS Application Software Specialist II for Cherokee Nation Technologies which is a contractor to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). His passion is to help answer spatial questions using programming. As a Python developer, Luke has created a GUI to support route by route analysis using linear referencing and dynamic segmentation. Luke has also scripted ecology analysis for a USGS client. Luke has over seven years of experience doing GIS and Remote Sensing projects.

Scott Kelly

No biography available at this time. Please check back

Joseph Kerski

Joseph Kerski is a geographer who believes that spatial analysis through digital mapping can transform education and society through better decision-making using the geographic perspective. He holds three degrees in Geography. He has served as geographer and cartographer at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and the US Geological Survey. He teaches online and face-to-face courses at primary and secondary schools, through MOOCs through Penn State, Esri, Elmhurst College, and elsewhere, and universities such as Sinte Gleska University and the University of Denver.

Joseph serves as Education Manager for Esri, focused on thought leadership in geospatial technology education. This includes curriculum development, research in the effectiveness of GIS in education, professional development for educators, and fostering partnerships to support GIS in education at all levels, internationally. He has authored books such as Spatial Mathematics, Tribal GIS, The Essentials of the Environment, International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS in Secondary Schools, and The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data.

Jeffery Kreeger

Jeff Kreeger (MBA, University of Colorado, Denver; GIS Certificate, University of Denver, BS in Business Administration, Biola University) is a PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina in Hospitality Management (target graduation date August 2017) and began teaching at University College since 1996. Jeff has taught the following six courses at some point since 1996: GIS Database Design, GIS in Public Health, GIS in Business, GIS in Telecommunications, Cartography, Introduction to GIS. Jeff has utilized GIS technology in his job from 1990 through 2012 for US West, Qwest, and CenturyLink as well as consulting firms. In fact, Jeff worked on an oil and gas project with one of his consulting firms and a taxation project in another position and still another position as a forecaster. Jeff brings his diverse industry experience into the classroom to add a real-world perspective to the course material. Even though he teaches solely online, he uses humor to keep the subject matter interesting.

Rod Kuhns

M.C.I.S., University of Denver, is the founder and president of Kuhns & Associate, Inc., a private consulting firm that provides software engineering, technical consulting, and business solutions for the Geographic Information Systems Industry. He has 15 years of experience in design, software engineering, implementation, and management of Geographic Information Systems and relational database management systems. Kuhns is an authorized ESRI instructor and instructs courses for GIS and MCIS master's degree programs as well as for other public and private organizations. (CIS

Christopher Leatherman

Chris Leatherman is the owner and chief remote pilot for Aerial Solutions of Wyoming an Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) company in Gillette, Wyoming. He is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified remote pilot and manned aircraft student pilot with extensive aeronautical knowledge. In addition he is a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics an organization of remote hobbyist pilots and DroneU a group of professional UAV pilots. He enjoys working with aspiring UAV pilots sharing his knowledge and learning from students.

Frank Orr

Frank Orr graduated from Colorado College in 1992 with a BA in Mathematics. While bartending at the Wynkoop Brewing Company he realized that a math degree wasn't quite the springboard to gainful employment he had imagined so he signed up for Introduction to GIS at Metro State with Rafael Moreno-Sanchez. Over the course of the semester he discovered the GIS Certificate Program at the University of Denver. After receiving his Certificate in GIS, Frank went on to become one of the first students to graduate with a Masters in GIS from the University of Denver.

Frank teaches numerous classes in the Certificate Program, including ArcIMS, Introduction to GIS, Introduction to Cartography, and Public Domain Data for GIS. The ArcIMS class has evolved into Internet Mapping, and now includes elements of MapServer, Google Maps, and Web Map and Feature Services.

Currently, Frank is a project manager and spatial solutions consultant in CH2M HILL's Enterprise Management Solutions group. In this role he has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of GIS professionals from around the state, including folks from local, state, and federal government as well as the private sector. CH2M HILL has developed partnerships with ESRI, Autodesk, Trimble, Google, and Safe Software which have enabled Frank to make use of a wide variety of spatially-enabled technologies when devising solutions for CH2M HILL's clients. Frank is a Trimble-certified trainer and conducts training classes around the state in GPS data collection and processing using Trimble and ERSI software.

Lisa Piscopo

Biography not available

Al Souid

No biography available at this time. Please check back

Shannon Sprott

Shannon Sprott graduated from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Biology & Ecology in 2002. After graduation, Shannon started as an intern, and moved into a full-time position with the Gunnison County Mapping Department as their GIS Technician, where she has worked since 2002 to the present. During this time, Shannon completed her Certificate and Master’s Degree at University of Denver in GIS. Shannon’s professional experience includes: 10 years as GIS technician for Gunnison County, GIS Consultant for Lidar Guys, GIS/GPS Director of The Rocky Mountain Biological lab, Adjunct GIS Faculty for Western State Colorado College, and Adjunct Online Faculty with University of Denver, University College.

Richard Thurau

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Michael Tuffly

Dr. Michael Tuffly (PhD in Forest Science, Colorado State University; MS in Natural Resource Management, Humboldt State University; BS in Forestry; Humboldt State University) is the Principal Scientist for Environmental Resource Inventory and Analyst LLC (ERIA Consultants, LLC) in Boulder Colorado for 11-years. He is also a Certified Mapping Scientist in Remote Sensing from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), Certified Forester from the Society of American Foresters (SAF), Certified Senior Ecologist from Ecological Society of America (ESA), and a GIS professional (GISP) from the Geographic Information System Certification Institute (GISCI). He has over twenty-five years of applied statistics, Natural Resources Management, GIS, and remote sensing experience. During his career he has provided expertise to federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations in the US and abroad regarding natural resource management issues.
Tuffly regularly gives lectures on geography, forest ecology, hydrology, to students at Colorado State University. Moreover, he also presents lectures at professional societies.

Norma Van Nostrand

No biography available at this time. Please check back

Marilyn Williams

Marilyn M. Williams, PhD, MPH received her doctoral degree from University of South Florida, Tampa, in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy. She also possesses a Masters in Public Health with a focus in Environmental and Occupational Health. Her research interests include environmental determinants of health and related outcomes, urban health and health disparities specifically focused on pollution exposure to susceptible populations. She is currently conducting atmospheric exposure and population work in Denver, Colorado and Houston, Texas as well as evaluating maternal access to health care and social resources in New Delhi, India.

Barbara Wolf

No biography available at this time. Please check back

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