UArizona GIST Program Launches Video Podcast

Sept. 1, 2020
Zoom screen grab with Nirav Merchant, Chris Lukinbeal, and Jenny Mason

Nirav Merchant was the first guest on the UArizona GIST video podcast. Chris Lukinbeal and Jenny Mason were the hosts.

The University of Arizona Geographic Information Systems Technology Program launched a video podcast on Aug. 31, 2020, with new episodes released every Monday. Guests of the podcast include alumni from the program, as well as specialist in the geospatial industry.

You can watch the podcasts on youtube and Soundcloud, as well as at

The university offers a B.S., an M.S. and professional graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems Technology, or GIST. The program is housed in the School of Geography, Development and Environment in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The podcast is intended for students and prospective students who are interested in learning about possible careers in the field; for GIST alumni and professionals who want to learn from colleagues; and for community members fascinated by the field of GIST and how it impacts our daily lives.

“The podcasts will not only highlight successful careers by alumni, but also show how applied geographic work contributes to improving the quality of life in communities in Arizona and around the world,” said Chris Lukinbeal, director of the GIST Program and associate professor in the School of Geography, Development and Environment.

The video podcast is hosted by Lukinbeal and co-host Jenny Mason, an assistant professor of practice in the GIST program, or Yoga Korgaonkar, assistant professor of practice in GIST.

Below are details for the first four podcasts. Upcoming podcast descriptions will be posted online as they become available.

Episode 1: A Conversation with Nirav Merchant: COVID-19 Watch Arizona, CyVerse, and Jetstream Nirav Merchant is the director of the University of Arizona Data Science Institute (Data7) and co-PI of CyVerse. In this episode, Merchant talks about ongoing research at the Institute and the university’s efforts in using an app for COVID-19 exposure notification.

Episode 2: A Conversation with MS-GIST Alum Elsbeth Hoggatt, Engineering Draftsman at Tucson Electric
Hoggatt talks about how the program helped give her the tools to advance her GIST career and provides tips and tricks for a successful career in GIST.

Episode 3: A Conversation with Jenna Leveille, the Deputy State Cartographer at Arizona State Land Department
In this episode, Jenna Leveille talks about her career in GIST and how she came to become the Deputy State Cartographer at Arizona State Land Department. She also shared some exciting things that will be happening (virtually) at AGIC (Arizona Geographic Information Council) this year!

Episode 4: A Conversation with John Ehlen, 2019 Graduate of the Online MSGIST Program and GIS Specialist for Yavapai County GIS
John Ehlen talks about his some of his current projects and gives potential students some tips for getting through the online program. He also talks about how the program has given him the tools he needed to advance his career in the geospatial industry.