Lillian Nix received the GeoFutures STL Scholarship, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation announced recently. A junior at Lindenwood University, Nix is one of 21 students nationwide studying geospatial intelligence or a related field of study to receive a scholarship.
USGIF is a nonprofit education foundation dedicated to promoting geospatial intelligence and developing a community among government, industry academia, professional organizations, and other groups.
Nix was selected by USGIF’s scholarship committee, a group of volunteers from the geospatial intelligence community.
“I have always had a profound appreciation for the natural world and a deep concern for its preservation, which is why I chose to major in environmental science,” Nix said. “One of the course requirements for my major was Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. At the time, I had no idea what that was, but by the end of my first fall semester at Lindenwood University, I had fallen in love with GIS. I then decided I wanted to get my certificate in GIS and it was the best thing I could have ever done.
“GIS technology plays a crucial role in allowing data to be captured, analyzed, and visualized to help identify patterns and relationships concerning the earth’s geography.”
Nix is working toward her BA in environmental science. She already has taken several GIS courses, as well as participated in a summer internship with the St. Charles GIS Department. She will earn her certification in GIS by the end of the 2023 academic year.
Geography instructor Tara Vansell, who has taught Nix, is thrilled for her student.
“She is such a hardworking, talented, and deserving student,” Vansell said. “Over the last year, I have watched her grow as a student, taking command of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology that she had never been exposed to before, worked with her to apply that same technology as a researcher to her project for the Student Academic Showcase, and am currently following all the impactful work she has been doing this summer for the City of St. Charles as their GIS intern.”
Nix has taken advantage of her coursework, which helped lead to a summer internship. It then turned into first-hand experience in the GIS field.