Meet GIS instructor Jim Pomplun

by Vicki Heisser  |   

A “Midwest transplant,” Jim Pomplun has lived in Valdez for the past two years.

“I lived in Southeast Alaska, in Ketchikan for the last 13 years before deciding I needed real winters, so I moved further north. I’m originally from and grew up in Wisconsin.” 

Now in Valdez, Pomplun works for the city and also teaches a course at PWSC.

“I’m the (Geographic information system) GIS manager. I manage all things maps. It’s kind of my specialty. I’ve been involved with GIS really since college. Every job I’ve ever worked, GIS has been a main component. I did an internship with U S Geological Survey, and I also worked as an entry-level position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, both of those involved GIS.” 

An experienced GIS manager, Pomplun has taught an Introduction to GIS course at the University of Southeast in Ketchikan, and now PWSC students have the opportunity to learn about GIS from Pomplun.

 “I had the opportunity to teach Introduction to GIS…and I got excited and jumped at the opportunity. The class introduces the concepts and practical skills of geographic information systems (GIS) that is applicable in today’s modern computer age and teaches the skills needed to navigate that system. It covers digital representation of geographic objects, data sources, data input and manipulation, map projection and coordinate systems, data management and analysis, and mapping and presentation of geographic information.”

When he’s not doing all things GIS, Pomplun loves to explore the outdoors here in Valdez. “I love to hike, snowshoe. I recently acquired a fat bike, so I plan on year-round biking. Looking forward to having my first winter with it.”