- SPECIAL REPORTS
- THE MAGAZINE
The Alaska Surveying and Mapping Conference (ASMC), the region’s largest conference for GIS (Geographic Information Systems), surveying, and mapping professionals, was held during the week of February 22-26 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Anchorage. Mr. Pearson was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ASMC’s Annual Awards Banquet taking place at the Alaska Air Heritage Museum near Lake Hood.
“GeoNorth is fortunate, not only to have someone like Mark who has a wealth of GIS experience, but also one who is as devoted to customer satisfaction as he is, striving to provide a level of service seldom seen in today’s workforce”, says Brian Minster, President of GeoNorth. “Mark has such a high level of industry knowledge and integrity, making him one of the most sought-after GIS minds in this part of the country”.
“This award clearly displays GeoNorth’s level of professionalism and expertise, as well as the commitment we have to our clients,” says Bob Johnson, GeoNorth’s Sales and Marketing Manager. “What is doesn’t clearly display is the effect it has on other GeoNorth employees, and the inherent benefits our clients receive. With on-hand GIS talent such as Mark, our clients can be assured that GeoNorth employees are receiving some of the best mentoring available to them, better positioning them to address client needs, to react to changing market conditions and customer expectations, and to provide our clients with the most up-to-date and technically capable personnel possible. This is a value added service we are proud to make available to our clients.”
Mark spent the majority of his youth growing up in America’s desert southwest on and around the Navajo Indian Reservation with his father, who was employed as an engineer with the Indian Health Service (IHS). He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a Civil Engineering degree and, following in his father’s footsteps, accepted a position as a construction engineer with IHS. He transferred to Alaska in 1985 where he worked in most of Alaska’s rural villages on water, sewer, and infrastructure projects.
Early on in his career Mark developed a PC-based land survey/mapping application which read electronic field books, performed traverse adjustments, and produced CAD files to be used for mapping. It was one of the first such programs available on the PC. He also assisted in the implementation of one of the world’s first GIS-based storm water analysis systems used by the Municipality of Anchorage to apply for their federal storm water permits.
In 1994, Mark’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to create a company of his own. Thus, he co-founded GeoNorth. Because GIS was still relatively new technology, Mark traveled extensively throughout the United States, assisting clients with their GIS implementations. Many of GeoNorth’s clients at the time were located on the east coast, the Pacific Northwest, and as far away as Buenos Aires, Argentina. He and his family then moved on to Portland, Oregon, where he established GeoNorth’s second office location. In early 2000, his work in Alaska included one of the most significant GIS efforts at that time; a large study of the proposed gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Chicago. Mark found himself as the technical lead responsible for one of the first large-scale GIS implementations in Alaska during the project, generating thousands of mapping sheets for various proposed pipeline routes up to 20 times faster than previously available technologies. Mark has also assisted with some of the first production implementations of the technology in the entire state, including the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, BP Exploration, the Alaska Railroad Corporation, and the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility.
Today, Mark continues to be an advocate of GIS, and has taught GIS technologies to hundreds of people as an authorized instructor. This is not a job for Mark. It is a passion. A passion which has not only allowed him a highly successful career, but one which also puts him in a position to help, guide, and educate upcoming GIS talent in the State of Alaska.
The ASMC Hall of Fame program honors the exemplary contributions of GIS, surveying and mapping professionals. The engraved award simply reads, ‘In Appreciation for the Professional Hard Work and Dedication Demonstrated in the Survey and Mapping of the State of Alaska’. The award is given annually, as appropriate, for sustained contribution in the surveying and mapping professions. Nominations must be submitted through the professional organizations Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors (ASPLS), American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).
Established in mid-1994, GeoNorth, with a second office location in Portland, Oregon, specializes in state-of-the-art IT solutions for GIS (Geographic Information Systems), Enterprise Web Design and Development, and Database Management applications, servicing clients throughout the United States and abroad. The constant pursuit of continuous improvement is part of the organization’s commitment to their clients, their employees, their communities, and the economy. Please visit us at www.geonorth.com, or search GeoNorth on Facebook.