2018 Presenters

Keynote Presenters

Michael Travis and Armand Spielman

Michael Travis is a 46-year Alaskan resident – 20 years in Fairbanks and 26 in Anchorage. He graduated from the University of Alaska, School of Engineering with a Masters in Environmental Quality Science. Michael is a registered Civil Engineer in Alaska. His professional career includes working for the environmental departments of Fluor Engineering, Northwest Pipeline Company, and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. For the last 21 years, he has been a principal of an environmental consulting firm with offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks. In his spare time, Michael enjoys flying his plane through the wilds of Alaska. He lives with his wife, Barbara, who is a third-generation Alaskan from the coastal town of Seward. Michael has authored several books – El Gancho, A Saga of a Mexican Family out of Mexico, and Melozi, A Teenager’s Adventure in the Alaskan Bush. And now, The Landmen – The Untold Story of Acquiring the Alaska Pipeline ROW.



Qassim A. Abdullah, Ph.D., CP, PLS

Dr. Qassim Abdullah is an accomplished scientist with more than 40 years of combined industrial, research and development, and academic experience in analytical photogrammetry, digital remote sensing, and civil and surveying engineering. His current responsibilities include designing and managing strategic programs to develop and implement new remote sensing technologies focused on meeting the evolving needs of geospatial users. Currently, Dr. Abdullah is the Chief Scientist for Woolpert Geospatial Services and a member of Woolpert Labs team. In addition, Dr. Abdullah serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and at Penn State teaching graduate courses on UAS, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing His latest accomplishments include evaluating and introducing the Geiger and single photon LiDAR to the geospatial industry and leading Woolpert research activities in the field of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), its sensor calibration, and its workflow development. Dr. Abdullah obtained his doctorate and master degrees in photogrammetry from the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Abdullah publishes a monthly column “Mapping Matters”, in the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) journal PE&RS. During 2017, Dr. Abdullah was elected as a Fellow in the ASPRS and he is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the ASPRS 2010 Photogrammetric Fairchild award, the ASPRS Outstanding Service award for publishing the monthly column “Mapping Matter” for more than 10 years, the ASPRS Presidential Citation award in recognition to his contributions in co-authoring the new “Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data”, and the ASPRS Outstanding Workshop Instructor award. Dr. Abdullah is a certified photogrammetrist by ASPRS and licensed professional surveyor and mapper with the states of Florida, Oregon, Virginia, and South Carolina. He is also a certified thermographer by the FLIR Infrared Training Center and a Certified GEOINT Professional in Remote Sensing and Imagery Analysis (CGP-R) by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF).


Robert Gadbaw

Robert Gadbaw has over 25 years-experience in the Civil/Surveying industry. He has worked as a consultant, trainer, draftsman, engineering technician and designer. For the past 10 years Robert has been traveling to Alaska training customers on the use of Civil 3D. Prior to that he lived in New Zealand where he owed an Autodesk Reseller and traveled the world training Civil Engineering and Survey companies. He was a regular instructor at Autodesk University for 7 years.


Mike Hendricks

Mike Hendricks is a geospatial data manager and analyst with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) in Fairbanks. His current focus is building and running web services to support GIS users and DGGS’s “Elevation Datasets in Alaska” web application. He is also an adjunct professor with University of Alaska Anchorage’s Department of Geomatics where he teaches GIS301 Spatial Data Structures. He has a PhD in Spatial Information Engineering from the University of Maine and over twenty years of geospatial experience. Previous to his position with the DGGS, Mike served on the faculty of the United States Military Academy’s Geospatial Information Science Program, at West Point New York, where he taught GIS, designed cartographic products, and conducted applied research in land navigation education using location-based technology.


Troy Hicks, PLS

Troy Hicks is currently the Northern Region Surveyor for DOT and has been practicing in Alaska since 2008. He has two bachelor’s degrees, one from university of New Mexico (physics, math, economics, business management), and from Great Basin College, Nevada, he earned a bachelor’s in Land Surveying and Geomatics. He has experience in all aspects of land surveying both private and public. At DOT, he designed and implemented low distortion projections for most of the state, while also managing three field crews. These days he does surveying in support of civil engineering design while making full use of remote sensing, and drones in support of those surveys. He has been working full time in land surveying since 2005. Prior he was an information technology manager, a physics technician, and US Marine. Currently he also serves as a military intelligence officer for the Alaska Army National Guard. In his community, he serves on the platting board for Fairbanks North Star Borough.


Nicole Kinsman, Ph.D.

Nic Kinsman is Alaska’s Regional Advisor for NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS). Based in Anchorage, she serves as our local point of contact for NGS and is available to provide technical guidance on geospatial positioning topics in support of activities such as mapping and charting, navigation, flood risk determination, transportation, land use and ecosystem management. Nic holds a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of California Santa Cruz, she formerly managed the State of Alaska’s Coastal Hazards program for 5 years, and is presently an affiliated faculty member with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Wendy Lathrop

Wendy Lathrop, PLS, CFM is president of Cadastral Consulting, LLC, licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in NJ, PA, DE, and MD and as a Professional Planner in NJ. She is also a Certified Floodplain Manager. Wendy has taught seminars nationwide since 1986 and has been a regular columnist in national magazines since 1983, currently for The American Surveyor. She is a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s “Land Surveys: A Guide for Lawyers and Other Professionals,” and co-author of “Professional Surveyors and Real Property Descriptions: Composition, Construction, and Comprehension.”

Scott Moore

Scott Moore is a Solution Engineer with Esri and currently works in the Olympia regional office. He focuses on assisting Esri software users with architecture design, application development and technical advice for deploying ArcGIS.  Mr. Moore’s areas of expertise include web mapping, server based GIS, developer technologies, and making spatial technology available to everyone.  He has been with Esri since 2006.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Geography with a focus on GIS from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1998.  Prior to joining Esri, he was a Senior GIS Analyst and GIS Manager for the City of Chandler, Arizona where he built the City’s Enterprise GIS.


David Parret, Remote Sensing Analyst

David Parret is a GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst at Quantum Spatial. He currently serves as the LiDAR Production Lead in the Anchorage office, with specific experience in raw data calibration and point cloud editing. David is a product of the University of Alaska Anchorage School Of Engineering, holding a B.S. from the Department of Geomatics with an emphasis in GIS. Being the newest member of the Alaska Region ASPRS Board of Directors, David has served the last year as Vice President. He continues to have a devotion to student and community outreach promoting the geospatial sciences.


Steven Schuetz, Lead Remote Sensing Analyst

Steve Schuetz is a Lead Remote Sensing Analyst in the derived products group with Quantum Spatial, where he has quickly moved up in the company during the four years he has worked there. He has in-depth knowledge of LiDAR derived product creation including specifications and accuracy standards. Steve has over five years of experience organizing, creating, and editing GIS datasets, with particular expertise creating LiDAR-derived datasets, and contributing to streamlining workflow in creating robust GIS products, maps, and reports. His strong technical background stems from his B.S. in Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech and graduate GIS Certificate from Oregon State University. When not diving head first into a LiDAR point cloud, Steve enjoys astronomy, photography, and hiking in the great Pacific Northwest.


Douglas A. Stephens, PLS

Douglas A. Stephens, PLS was taught land surveying at the University of Maine. He worked his way up through the ranks including owning and operating his own professional surveying business for 10 years.  Along the way he has laid out construction control on high-rises in downtown Boston, traversed tunnels, analyzed deformation monitoring on hydroelectric dams, researched colonial records back to the early 1700’s, monumented, blazed, and painted 60 miles of the Appalachian Trail corridor, and prepared countless topographic, boundary, title insurance and subdivision plats.

 In Alaska, under the able mentorship of John Kerr, PLS, he performed cadastral surveying for the Point Mackenzie Rail Extension.

A Registered Professional Land Surveyor since 1989 he has been the Land Services Manager at the Alaska Railroad Corporation since February 2014.

He doesn’t claim to be an “expert” in much of anything but is happy to share some of what he has learned in his 30 years of experience.


John Sharrard

John Sharrard is a Solution Engineer with Esri and currently works in the Northwest with Esri’s Local Government customers. John Graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Geography. John has been with Esri for twenty-three years. Prior to joining Esri, he was a Senior GIS Analyst for the State of Oregon for seven years.


Michael Umansky is the Director of Product Marketing for Applied Imagery, maker of the Quick Terrain Modeler LiDAR exploitation software.  He currently is responsible for state, county, and civilian markets.  Prior to joining Applied Imagery, Michael was a Geographic Information Systems Specialist with the Department of Planning, Development and Technology in Morris County, New Jersey.  While at Morris County, Michael spearheaded the LiDAR acquisition and integration with the county’s GIS infrastructure.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resource Management and an Environmental Geomatics Certificate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.


David B. Zilkoski

David B. Zilkoski received a B.S. degree in Forest Engineering from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University in 1974 and a M.S. degree in geodetic science from The Ohio State University in 1979. He was employed by National Geodetic Survey (NGS) from 1974 to 2009. He served as Director, National Geodetic Survey, from October 2005 to January 2009. As Project Manager of the New Adjustment of the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88) he worked with Federal and State agencies to develop plans to transition from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.

Since retiring from government service in 2009, as a geodetic consultant, he provides technical guidance on issues related to NGS’ modernization of the National Spatial Reference System [the replacement of NAD 83 and NAVD 88 with North American Terrestrial Reference Frame of 2022 (NATRF2022) and North American-Pacific Geopotential Datum of 2022 (NAPGD2022)]; reviews the results of GNSS survey projects; and performs training sessions on guidelines for estimating GNSS-derived heights, procedures for performing leveling network adjustments, the use of ArcGIS for analyses of adjustment data/results, and the proper procedures to follow when estimating crustal movement rates using GNSS and geodetic leveling data. Mr. Zilkoski is Chair of North Carolina Geodetic Survey Advisory Committee, a member of the North Carolina 2022 Reference Frame Working Group, and currently serves as a GPS World Survey Scene Guest Editor.