MapAction’s work is built around the skills and dedication of its volunteers. They work in numerous different fields in their day jobs and join us to undertake emergency and planned assignments both around the world and remotely.
This year, after a careful selection process, we are delighted to welcome two data scientists, a data engineer and a GIS expert onboard. They will help us to broaden and diversify our skill base and increase our analytical capacity.
We are now beginning the process of equipping the new intake with additional knowledge and competences they’ll need to function effectively in humanitarian contexts.
Chris Tilt (Data engineer)
My background is software development, primarily with .NET. I find building software fun when it helps people or when it solves an interesting problem.
Having not worked in this sector previously, for me the learning curve may be steep to begin with. However, joining MapAction is an opportunity that’s hard to find. There are many interesting people here and the work speaks for itself, so I’m looking forward to getting involved!
Outside of work or my interest in tech, I’m an avid runner, and enjoy learning new things, civilised arguments about politics and Scandinavian crime thrillers.
Cate Seale (Data scientist)
I was always torn between the academic and creative. Mapping and data science allows me to do both. I like thinking about the art of the possible, and figuring out and implementing algorithms. But also making design decisions on how to communicate that information in graphs and maps.
I love the idea of people with different skills all coming together to work towards common goals of rights, respect and dignity.
In my spare time, I am addicted to podcasts! My current favourites are Heavyweight and 99% Invisible.
Yolanda Vazquez (GIS)
I am currently working as a Geospatial Consultant at the Satellite Applications Catapult where I am part of a team focused on International Development and Humanitarian work. I wanted to join MapAction because the humanitarian character of the organisation aligns with my personal and professional values, and because I know it is full of passionate map geeks like me who want to use their skills to help people affected by humanitarian emergencies.
What inspires me about the humanitarian sector are its principles and the work that humanitarians do to support people in need with respect and dignity, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and social status.
In my free time, I love travelling and all things music related; playing, dancing, gigs and festivals.
Piet Gerrits (Data Scientist)
I am currently a PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow and work as a GIS technician at the University of Cambridge. I’m passionate about long-term human-environment interaction and so studied landscape archaeology. After being introduced to GIS and Remote Sensing, I made a career change to Geospatial Data Science and have worked on several research and capacity building projects in Turkey and Iraq that bring together historical data such as maps, censuses and (historical) satellite information.
Joining Mapaction provides the opportunity to be part of a team that brings together spatial data with the purpose of making people’s lives better.
In my free time, I enjoy learning new things, travelling and often go kayaking on the river Cam and elsewhere in the UK.