Career Profiles

Remote Sensing / G.I.S. Specialist



Sherry McHugh

Hometown: Brigus

Company: C-CORE

“My career allows me to travel to many fascinating places around the world where I meet fascinating people and experience different cultures. It is an exciting and challenging field that is never boring but is very rewarding.”

 

Education

Sherry has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and attended Memorial University and the University of Delaware. Her high school courses in math, physics and English were most applicable to her post-secondary studies. Her love of traveling and exploring different places around the world helped draw her towards the field of geography.

 

Lifestyle

Sherry works 37.5 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Her permanent residence is close to her place of work; she commutes just 5-10 minutes a day. A Remote Sensing/GIS Specialist is someone who is specialized in the use/applications of remote sensing data (i.e. aerial photography, satellite imagery, sonar or radar equipment, etc.). Remote sensing is the measurement or acquisition of data of an object or scene by a device or instrument which is not in direct contact with the object. GIS (Geographic Information Systems) typically involve a software system designed to store, enhance and analyze layers of geographic data including maps, images, statistical data, etc. It is essentially computer mapping that is often used in natural resource planning and problem solving.

 

Sherry’s duties include conducting research into new application areas for satellite imagery or using satellite imagery to help solve resource-based problems. Her work is office-based and involves computer work, meetings with co-workers and clients, telephone calls and making presentations to clients which can involve traveling internationally. Her travels have taken her to Italy, Germany, France and all over Canada and the United States. Sherry began her career as a Research Assistant in the Geography Department at Memorial University. She then worked as a GIS Technician conducting field work in Forestry mapping, which eventually led her to work in Switzerland and now she is a Remote Sensing/GIS Specialist with C-CORE. Sherry says there are many career opportunities available to her in the future, especially in the Business Development or Marketing side of her discipline.

 

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for Sherry’s occupation is $30,000-80,000 annually, while career compensation can be much higher (>$100,000) with more experience in a higher management or marketing position. Her employer provides her with a retirement savings plan, four weeks annual vacation, health and dental insurance, 50% of annual fitness membership and the opportunity to further her education through courses at Memorial University. Annual bonuses are also given based on performance of the company and the employee. Her employer also provides career development training where needed. Sherry feels her salary is a little less than if she was employed directly by an oil company, but is higher than salaries in non oil and gas careers with similar amounts of training.