Connecticut GIS User to User Network

March 31, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

8:00 AM - 12:30 PM



Metropolitan District Training Center
125 Maxim Road

Hartford, CT



The Steering Committee is proposing changes to the by-laws that will alter the structure of the Steering Committee.   There has already been several comments and replies.   The draft by-laws can be reviewed HERE.  The by-laws are in a Google Doc that is open for suggestions/comments.   Please keep comments professional and respectful. 


8:00 – 8:30 Networking
8:30 – 9:45 Network Business
            By-Law Revisions
            Steering Committee vote
9:45 – 10:00 Break
10:00 – 10:30 US Census LUCA
10:30 – 11:00 2016 Statewide Flight Update
11:00 – 12:00 CT Statewide Imagery - Thinking Next Steps & Future Flights


Steering Committee Meeting 12-12:30 PM.



Read the full meeting minutes.



PDFs of some of the presentations:

2020 Census LUCA (D. Kraiker)

Census Quick Facts

Post 2016 Flight - What's Next (M. Goetz)



We would also like to hear from interested individuals for the current and pending vacancies on the Steering Committee.   We have several interested individuals.  Any interested individuals are encouraged to submit a brief bio that can be presented to the members at the Annual meeting.   

Below is the list of current and proposed positions on the Steering Committee. Steering Committee nominees are listed below. Pending approval of new by-laws, the 2017-2018 Executive Committee will be selected by the Steering Committee.


2017 Voting Status



Cary Chadwick (UConn)



Open 3 year term



Vacant (1 year remaining)



Open 3 year term



Open 3 year term



Eric Lindquist (OPM)



Jim Wysor (MDC)


Member At Large

Meg McGaffin


Member At Large

Open 3 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 1 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


New Member At Large

Initial 2 year term


Meet the Steering Committee Nominees


Steven Birney, GIS Analyst
City of Norwalk, CT

Steven Birney is a GIS Analyst for the City of Norwalk, CT.  Steven graduated with honors from Central Connecticut State University where he holds a BA in Geography, specializing in Geographic Information Systems.  Initially he was introduced to GIS while working for the National Park Service at Haleakala National Park in Maui and Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. Now he administers the enterprise geographic information system for the City of Norwalk. He specializes in municipal GIS, QAQC, cartography, and application development. When not climbing, biking, or hiking, he’s working on solving problems with GIS.  He loves learning about new tools and features just as much as teaching about them, and is always excited to hear how others are using GIS.


Dan Bourret, Geospatial Coordinator
Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments

Dan Bourret is the GIS Coordinator for the Lower CT River Valley COG. I have been in the position for 10 years. I am also the zoning enforcement officer in Portland, CT. I graduated from UConn in 2007 with a B.S. in Geography. I’ve done a little bit of everything in that time but some large projects include a regional parcel dataset with town boundary study, Grow Smart economic study, and the COG’s Regional Transit plan. Most of my work outside of COG projects involves working with smaller towns in our region providing them GIS services.


Liz Congo, GIS Analyst
Tighe & Bond

Liz Congo is a GIS Analyst and Project Manager at Tighe & Bond where she manages a variety of projects for municipal and private clients. She received her Bachelors in Regional Planning and GIS from Westfield State University and has worked as a GIS professional since that time. She continues to mentor/volunteer with undergrad students in her former program. Liz is the current Secretary for the CT GIS User to User Committee and is hoping to continue in that role for the Steering Committee.


Jason Courter, Senior GIS Analyst
New England GeoSystems

Jason is a 2000 Graduate of Central Connecticut State University and is currently employed as a GIS Analyst at New England GeoSystems (NEGEO) where he has been since 2005. Jason has also served intermittently for the Connecticut Parcel Working Group on developing statewide parcel standards since the mid 2000’s. Jason’s experience is based on his 17 year journey from being a GIS intern to his current primary responsibility of managing municipal cadastral datasets for NEGEO’s 70+ municipal clients. Jason and the technicians under his watch are responsible for actively maintaining, updating and publishing datasets of multiple clients weekly and work to assure a high level of accuracy and adherence to the State of CT Parcel Standards. Jason is also responsible with working with management to complete these projects within tight budgets constraints and providing the quickest possible turnaround. Using the full suite of ESRI software products and AutoCAD as needed, Jason and team of technicians steward a municipality through the initial development of a cadastral dataset, through tax map design, implementation, annual maintenance and eventual hosting on NEGEO’s MapXpress online GIS application.


Kevin Dunkin, GIS Specialist
Town of Newtown, CT

Kevin Dunkin is the GIS Specialist for the Town of Newtown. Kevin graduated from Fairfield University where he holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and minor in Environmental Studies and Communications. He was initially introduced to GIS through his statistical analysis research with his professor at Fairfield where he provided support in the advocacy of local non-profit initiatives for legislative reform. His passion for both people and the natural world has led him to continue exploring the relationship between the two with the use of GIS. Since Fairfield, he now has direct municipal GIS experience with the cities of Bridgeport and Norwalk. He has worked extensively on planning, public works, and IT projects and looks forward to becoming more involved with and participate in the GIS

Thad Dymkowski, GIS Manager
Prime AE Group

Thad Dymkowski is a certified GIS professional working for Prime AE Group with experience successfully completing GIS projects for a multitude of organizations in government, private sector, and academia. He has comprehensive knowledge of data creation and analysis, GIS server management, application design, database administration, web mapping, and 3D digital model creation. He earned Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Geography from CCSU. He developed an original curriculum for a GIS certificate program and is currently teaching it at Central Connecticut State University for its seventh successful year. He is a founding member and facilitator of the annual GIS Day Event for State of Connecticut. He currently serves as the treasurer for the New England chapter of URISA and is a past President of the Connecticut GIS  User to User Steering Committee.


Gary Goeschel, Director of Planning
Town of East Lyme, CT

Gary is the Director of Planning, Inland Wetlands Agent, and GIS Coordinator for the Town of East Lyme, CT. Gary holds a BS in Environmental Earth Science from Eastern Connecticut State University with a concentration in GIS. Early in his career, Gary performed work as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst for the Connecticut DEP Bureau of Water Management, Inland Water Resources Division. Since then, Gary has acquired direct municipal GIS experience with the towns of Wilton, Colchester, and now East Lyme. He looks forward to becoming more involved in the GIS community.


Mark Goetz, GIS Director
CT Metropolitan Council of Governments



Mark Hoover, GIS Specialist
CT Metropolitan Council of Governments

Mark have been a GIS professional for the past 9 years.  Currently, he is a GIS Analyst with the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments where he works on a variety of transportation, conservation and municipal projects.  Before that he was involved in academia, first as a Research Specialist with CLEAR, where he modeled salt marsh migration from sea level rise and then as a Research Associate at Yale where he worked on modeling CO2 evasion from streams.  Mark graduated from UConn with a BS in Environmental Science and a MS in Natural Resources.  Mark is seeking nomination a initial 2 year term as a New Member At-Large.


Kristen LaBrie, Project Manager
Applied Geographics, Inc.

I have been working in the GIS field now for approximately 13 years, the past five as a Municipal Project Manager for Applied Geographics, Inc. Prior to my work with AppGeo, I worked as a GIS Specialist/Analyst for the Virginia National Guard in Blackstone, Virginia. My duties there included time in Operations, Real Property, and Environmental. Although originally trained as an archaeologist, during undergraduate (UNC-Charlotte) and graduate (USC-Columbia) coursework, I was introduced to GIS and I was hooked. My current position involves serving as Project Manager to over 20 municipalities, primarily in CT, but also in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. I have also worked on State- and Agency- level projects, but my passion is working with Towns.
I love my work. One of the things I love best is solving problems...using GIS as a tool to help other people do their job better. Advocacy and mentoring are two ways in which we can reach out and give back to our profession. I would like to be a member of the Steering Committee to promote both, and to help shape the vision of GIS in Connecticut.


Meredith Metcalf, Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Earth Science
Eastern Connecticut State University

Meredith Metcalf has a diverse background in the natural sciences with a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Colgate University and both a master’s degree in Geology and Geophysics and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and the Environment (with a concentration in hydrogeology) from the University of Connecticut.  Her research interests are in mapping and analyzing groundwater sustainability, ground water quality, and groundwater flow patterns in fractured rock.  She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Earth Science at Eastern Connecticut State University.  She is responsible for teaching courses in introductory and advanced geographic information systems where the content is directed towards the application of GIS within the sciences. 


Aaron Nash, GIS Project Leader
City of Hartford

Aaron Nash has served the public sector for close to 10 years. He is currently working as the GIS project leader for the Department of Public Works at the City of Hartford. His current duties include building mobile and web applications and managing all spatial data in the public right of way. Before his time at the City of Hartford, Aaron worked for the Town of Vernon as the GIS coordinator developing Vernon’s first GIS system. Aaron has earned his graduate degree in Geography from CCSU and has his GISP.


Steve Perry, Owner/Manager
Sperry Geospatial, LLC

Steve was first introduced to GIS during a college forestry careers class. He knew then and there his career path was laid out. Little did he know how much this field would evolve to what it has become today. Steve’s GIS career spans 20 years mostly with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and with Wayne County, MI. During his time with SEMCOG, he initiated the first ever multi agency regional orthophotography flight in Michigan covering over 5,000 square miles. While as the GIS Technical Manager at Wayne County, Steve oversaw the road network conflation initive as well as the conversion of over 800,000 parcels to the County GIS parcel fabric. However, the passion Steve has with GIS is how it can be adapted to so many disciplines to answer questions and build collaborative relationships. Six years ago Steve and his family moved to Connecticut for his wife’s job. While being a stay at home dad he volunteered his GIS services to the Granby Land Trust and just recently formed his own consulting company. Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Michigan Technological University and his Masters in Geography/GIS from Eastern Michigan University. He is also a GISP.

Kristen Ponak, GIS Analyst
GEI Consultants

Kristen Ponak is a GIS Professional (GISP) and GIS Analyst at GEI Consultants. She’s earned nearly a decade of experience in GIS design/analysis, Web-GIS deployment, mobile application development and 3D visualization for various environmental, water resources, ecological and geotechnical projects all over the northeast states.  She graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a bachelor’s degree in GIS and Web-Technology.  To round out her education, Kristen’s Master’s Degree from Central CT State University is in Ecology and Environmental Science.  Kristen stepped into the consulting world after she was a GIS Technician for Northwest Conservation District, Candlewood Lake Authority, and a Resource Assistant for CT DEEP Wildlife. To feature her heart in her work, Kristen also volunteers as Vice-Chair for Connecticut Envirothon, an environmental educational program for high school students.


Laura Zajac, Research Analyst
Connecticut Housing Finance Authority

I, Laura Zajac, am a Research Analyst for the past 19 years at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.  My current role is aligned with preparing and analyzing data associated with the planning of new funding strategies and initiatives as well as providing support for the development of the strategic and marketing plans.  I prepare written communications for the Authority Board of Directors, State Legislature, and Federal Congressional District offices as required. I have been an avid ESRI user to the Authority Leadership team for the past 14 years to assist in policy and decision-making.  I use maps in legislative mandated reports submitted to state delegates as well as to our constituents in Washington D.C.  The greatest strength I bring to the table is my strong work ethic relative to the accuracy and consistency of data and its integrity. Prior to my employment at CHFA, I worked as a self-employed cartographer for town assessors departments in Haddam, Southington, Cheshire, and Rocky Hill. I am seeking either a 1-year or a 2-year member at large position on the steering committee. 


Carl Zimmerman, Senior GIS Manager
Western CT Council of Governments

Carl Zimmerman manages data analysis, distribution, and mapping for WestCOG and is involved in state-level GIS planning in Connecticut. He is interested applying GIS to a variety of public service and regional problems. He has over 10 years experience in geospatial technology and GIS while working in consulting, academia (Tufts University and Coast Guard Academy), and state government (CT DEEP, Inland Wetlands Section). His professional practice areas include spatial analysis and remote sensing; transportation data and analysis; environmental planning; site planning and engineering, and water resource issues.  He has a PhD in Geomatics from the University of Connecticut, a Masters of Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University, and a B.S. in Geologic Sciences from the University of Michigan.