4 Dec

Brian Monheiser I Am Geo

I am Geography

I’ve unknowingly been in love with geography and the “where” since I was a little boy. I’ve always had a good sense of direction, and my aptitude for spatial thinking, spatial recognition, and spatial awareness is something that can only be compared with Will Hunting and his ability to solve complex graduate-level math problems in the hallway at MIT.

All joking aside, my journey and lifelong commitment to the applied science of Geography happened by total accident following college-ish career. How does one attend and graduate from “college-ish?” Ah, it’s super easy (spoiler alert, you don’t graduate)…You join a fraternity, don’t attend class or do any homework, and spend most of your time enjoying adult beverages and playing mass amounts of video trivia until your parents finally figure out what’s happened. Next, you pass go and don’t collect $200 on your way home and make some radical decisions (greatly supported and encouraged by your parents) like joining the United States Marine Corps, and the million dollar question “How does a job in Geospatial Intelligence Sound?” I would love to say I answered it correctly, but that’s not what happened at all!  In boot camp, my Senior Drill Instructor answered it for me when I apparently took too long (more than 2 seconds) responding to the question. I’m forever indebted to him for his decision on my behalf that day.

Fort Belvoir Virginia is where unknowing love was quickly replaced with commitment and devotion to Geography.I learned more than I could have ever imagined about geography, GIS, and the science behind it. More importantly, I learned that the Geography empowered me to solve complex problems, predict environmental behaviors, and protect human life. I had never been motivated by anything like I was by geography, and the responsibility I now had to God, Corps, and Country. My radical decision and geography gave me purpose, has taken me to countless U.S. states and 29 countries, provided never ending stability, and professional opportunity. It even helped me secure a college degree. My reverence for Geography and how it makes everything better is very real.

As Director of U.S. DoD and IC programs for Boundless, I’ve been responsible for advising and consulting on all aspects of the Geospatial tradecraft and technology within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) relative to Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT). I’ve spent the past 15 years of supporting a number of large projects, programs, and applications using geospatial technology within the DoD and IC. I’m happiest (professionally) when discussing the implementation of geospatial technologies, evaluating workflows, and recommending improvements to the GEOINT tradecraft.   I’m active supporter and contributor to The American Geographical Society (AGS). As an AGS Fellow, I partner with industry and academia to improve spatially literacy for our youth, and I’ve even inked a map on my forearm!

I share my love of Geography with the most amazing 10 y.o. but smaller replica of me, and stand firm on my commitment to show him as much if not more geography than the story my map tells (He’s the Blue Pins). I am Geography!

Become a member of the AGS, and let us feature you as part of our “I AM GEOGRAPHY” campaign which will light the path for all of you closet geographers to get involved in making our world a better place through Geography.

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