Why are you where you are? Personally: I am here because I embrace life. I control my present and enjoy envisioning my future. I am here because I make the most of my current opportunities. I try to model my personal life after those like Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Ghandi, Henry David Thoreau, William Penn, Bruce Lee, Dalai Lama XIV, and many more alike. Some words that inspire me everyday are Compassion, Courage, Grace, Fortitude, Gratefulness, Contagious, Passion, Integrity, & Leadership.
Professionally: I am a Geographer because I was born one. I haven't refined some ultimate professional mission/goal, but I am finally integrating myself to the landscape of being a professional geographer. I'm keen on cartography, GIS data, urban geographic landscapes, sports and tourism geography, epidemiological geography, and interdisciplinary geography. Geography's professional makeup isn't pigeonholed into one discipline. I enjoy continually learning/absorbing, inspiring knowledge, producing great work, and helping others.
What kind of role did fate or luck play in your success?
Personally: I was born to a loving family in a industrialized and technology enhanced nation. I have access to clean water everyday. I'm very lucky. Other than that, I am lucky because I taught myself how to lose weight and keep it off after 12 years struggling with obesity. I'm a healthy individual and I thank myself for the lesson in persistence, consistence, and hard work. My future personal success will derive from many lessons, but this one is most prevalent and revolutionary.
Professionally: Overall, this is still to be determined (TBD). I do want to thank the economic meltdown of 2008-2009 for a refocused commitment to my current profession. At the time, I was content to a 'career' in Sports Marketing. Through a ton of rejection in the great recession, the opportunity to travel throughout 2010 and into 2011 emerged. While sitting on the steps of the Boston Public Library, my 'ah-ha' moment came. I reevaluated my professional future and landscape in order to help others and not myself. 10 months after the Boston Library, I attended my first AAG conference and I committed to an identity as a Geographer/Cartographer.
In your brief history, what was your happiest moment?
Personally: Today. Other moments include:
- Climbing and hiking the mountains of Interlaken, Switzerland
- Reading fantastic books on the coasts of the Pacific, Atlantic, North Sea, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Caribbean Sea
- Cooking for strangers and friends
- Running marathons in Luxor, Egypt and Los Angeles, United States
- My first Home Run
- Hiking and walking the catacombs of Petra, Jordan
- Marinating in the sun
- Getting lost in the Taksim in Istanbul, Turkey
- Learning new recipes
- Visiting Jerusalem, Israel
Professionally: Today. Other moments include the time I landed the acclaimed Oregon Athletic Department Marketing Internship, successfully leading the activation of the 'Foot Locker March Madness Jam Exhibition', deejaying for over 500 people at a music showcase, increasing active membership of Alpha Kappa Psi by 10%, and transforming the educational aspirations of my student athletes through tutoring and mentoring on campus.
How do you spend your time?
Personally: Analyzing, Thinking, Action
Professionally: Thinking, Analyzing, Action
What do you think is more important to your success, raw intelligence or hard work?
The effortless execution of harnessing your raw intelligence through dedicated work is the essence to significantly impacting others. Those who can sculpt their raw intelligence into productivity are the ones I admire and want to affiliate with.
What inspired you to become a geographer?
On a rudimentary level, the inspiration comes from the dinner 'place-mats' my mom had me eat on and the world (Mercator projection) puzzle I played with as a boy.
The current inspiration comes from the likes of Shaul Cohen, Ron Wixman, Jim Meachem, Lize Mogel, Bill Rankin, Nick Kohler, Andrew Marcus, Sha Hwang, Bret Victor, and many more alike.
What do you prefer working on? (i.e. - large-scale maps, 3D maps, small-scale maps, renderings, alternative maps, radical mapping...)
My preference isn't defined just yet because of my limited experience. I envision the most satisfying projects and maps to be integrated with meaningful data for the end-user. I want to develop my 3D mapping portfolio in the next 3-5 years in addition to traditional map projects. I want to development my interactive computer mapping portfolio in the next 5-10 years. I definitely enjoy reading alternative and radical map projects.
What is spatial thinking and what does it have to do with our natural environment?
Geoform. Geoprocessing. Geofuture.
Spatial thinking is an intrinsic characteristic that geographers are keenly privy to. This distinguishable capacity gives geographers a distinct advantage because everything and everyone has an evolving geofuture. Spatially and temporally, our 21st century world is interwoven with massive amounts of data and layers. I believe when someone can subconsciously incorporate spatial thinking to their profession or industry, they have a deeper analytical advantage in decision-making and problem-solving.
In relationship to our natural environment, it has an increasingly significant position. When I think of "our natural environment", I have visions of my time in the mountains, forests, deserts, and coasts. But our urban natural environment is also a component in the conversation. Spatially thinking about our natural environment is critical for two, three, and more generations down the line.