The Northern California Chapter of URISA is dedicated to serving its constituent region through professional development activities, objective educational outreach, open networking opportunities, and advocacy for effective uses of geospatial technologies and information.
To become the essential professional organization for urban and regional information systems practitioners in the Northern California region, promoting both the individuals and organizations engaged in the use and integration of geospatial information technologies for the management and improvement of both the environment and our communities.
Meet the NorCal URISA Board of Directors:
Lane Simmons Penn, President
Lane Simmons Penn, GISP is the President of 120 West Ventures - a women-owned small business that provides client centric geospatial consulting services in Truckee, CA. Lane began using GIS in 2006 as a Water Resources intern and decided to add GIS as a minor to her degree in Environmental Policy, Analysis and Planning from UC Davis. Upon graduation, Lane began her career as an Environmental Planner for RBF Consulting in Sacramento. In 2012, Lane transferred to Reno, NV for a new position as a GIS Specialist for a large telecommunications project. Lane founded 120 West Ventures in 2015 to focus on providing detail-oriented solutions to private and public sector clients. Mrs. Penn has served on the NorCal URISA board since 2016, first as a Board Member at Large, then President-Elect and now President. She also volunteers as a GeoMentor with AAG. Lane was born and raised in Northern California and currently resides in Truckee, CA with her husband and puppy. In her free time, Lane coaches ski racing, plays tennis and is learning to fly fish.
Christina Boggs-Chavira, Past President
Christina Boggs-Chavira is an Engineering Geologist with the California Department of Water Resources. Christina was conference chair for CalGIS in 2015. In 2013 Christina was voted URISA International’s Chapter Advisory Board Chair-Elect, she served as URISA International’s Chapter Advisory Board Chair for the 2014/2015 fiscal year including serving as a non-voting member of the URISA International Board. Christina is also an advisory board member for Geohipster and she runs the twitter account for @womeningis.
Jason Latoski, President Elect
Jason Latoski has over 18 years experience in Geographic Information Systems. Jason strives to deliver the highest quality of customer service and geographic products as well as technical knowledge to meet all needs. Jason continually expands his knowledge base through a verity of training courses, active involvement in professional networks, groups and organizations along with exposure to the newest technology and techniques in GIS.
Marcus Harner, Secretary
Marcus has worked in the GIS industry for 18 years as a technician, analyst, lead analyst, DBA, developer, web designer and instructor in both private and public sectors. Currently, with Shasta County, his primary focus is web mapping application, database and schema design, scripting, training and data development.
Maria Clay, Treasurer & CAB Member
Maria Clay is a GIS Research Program Specialist for the Labor Market Information Division of The Employment Development Department. Maria has being doing GIS since 2004 and began her career in GIS by pure luck and has never looked back. Maria currently uses GIS to analyze and map employment information and statistics. She really enjoys using GIS for emergency management. Maria really enjoys working in a collaborative environment with amazing colleagues along with meeting new people and learning how the different ways they use GIS.
When Maria is not doing GIS, she enjoys music, reading, being outside hiking and biking and travelling to new places.
Christina Brunsvold, Member at Large
January 2018- December 2020
Christina Brunsvold is a GIS Specialist for the California Energy Commission (CEC) and a Masters Candidate for Geographic Information Science and Technology at the University of Southern California. Christina learned about GIS while completing an A.S. in GIS from American River College and incorporating GIS into the renewable energy program at the CEC. She currently uses GIS to forecast energy demand, consumption, and efficiency for the State of California. Christina was also selected as a member of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet for 2018-2020.
Chong Chuan-Shin, Member at Large
CMS (ASPRS), GISP, UAV Pilot January 2018- December 2020
Chuan-Shin is Remote Sensing and GIS scientist and has worked on a wide variety of projects across diverse industries including forestry, environmental, and agricultural. Chuan-Shin also has FAA Part 107 UAV Pilot and Vapor 55 manufacturer UAV Pilot certifications.
Tyler Friesen, Member at Large
Tyler Friesen is a geographic information system analyst with experience in geospatial technologies in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Friesen earned his Bachelors of Arts in geography from San Diego State University in 2011. Following his degree, he worked for the City of San Diego as a GIS Management Aide where he provided geospatial and biological monitoring support for the management of the City of San Diego Open Space Parks and Preserves under the San Diego Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). In the public sector Mr. Friesen has assisted in the preparation of multiple environmental documents throughout the western United States. Currently Mr. Friesen is the lead GIS Analyst for Dudek’s Northern California GIS group where he manages and develops GIS in support of a wide range of development, municipal, transportation, energy, and resource management projects along the west coast. Additionally he provides expertise, support and guidance to Dudek’s other Northern California GIS staff. In his free time Tyler enjoys camping, backpacking, travel, craft beers, as well as competing in scenario paintball tournaments.
Bryan Ferri, Member at Large, Website Chair
Bryan graduated from Sacramento State in 2017 with his BA in Geography (GIS), and is now the GIS Specialist for Kjeldsen, Sinnock, and Neudeck Inc. in West Sacramento. While primarily focused on flood preparedness, emergency response, and H&H modeling, Bryan also offers GIS support for a variety of other engineering projects for KSN's West Sacramento and Stockton offices. Bryan loves working for an engineering firm as it gives him the opportunity to practice all sorts of spatial analysis and mapping applications pertaining to a wide range of industries/issues.
Bryan was also selected to serve on the URISA Vanguard Cabinet for 2019-2020 and is very excited about the opportunity to be more involved with URISA.
Carrie Carsell, Sponsorship Chair
Carrie’s experience with GIS includes system administration of the Enterprise Geographic Information System environment as well as planning, designing, developing, and implementing solutions which provide GIS based mapping and analysis functionality and tools to her customers. She manages GIS related tasks by providing planning, scheduling, resourcing, monitoring and reporting services. Carrie is able to utilize GIS information on all levels to perform complex geographic analysis, project consequences of proposed actions, and identify alternate solutions and provide recommendations.
Carrie is also passionate about enhancing other people’s careers and skillsets. She has given a variety of training sessions to staff across her company on a wide assortment of advanced graphic software and analysis techniques. She is compelled by a team-oriented atmosphere, and is usually focused on the GIS!
Jane Schafer-Kramer, Communications Chair
Jane discovered GIS while working as a secretary in the California Department of Water Resources (DWR.) While earning her GIS certificate at American River College she became a GIS Analyst for DWR in 2007, providing GIS support for a team of water resources engineers. In 2016 she moved to a new position in DWR and now serves as the technical lead for the National Hydrography Dataset Stewardship Program. She’s been a board member for NorCal URISA since 2013, served as chapter president in 2016, and serves on the planning committees for the CalGIS conferences. In her other life she is the coordinator of a Community Garden which is near her home in Davis.