IMIA will be hosting a panel during the upcoming MeetUP in Denver that focuses on efforts that are currently underway to consolidate and improve geospatial data throughout the Federal Government.  Land management agencies are actively bringing together data from their various local and regional offices, while the USGS is making some of this data available through The National Map.  These efforts are helping to improve the quality and access to geospatial data.  This panel will allow those attending the IMIA Denver Meetup to better understand the data that is currently and to be available in the near future from various agencies of the Federal Government.  Participants will include Greg Matthews from US Geological Survey, Nate Irwin from the National Parks Service, John Varner from the Bureau of Land Management, and Robert Aiken from the US Forest Service.  

Facilitator: Brian Fox

Brian Fox is currently the Systems Development Branch Chief for USGS’s National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) where he oversees development activity in support of The National Map.  Prior to leading NGTOC’s Systems Development Branch, Brian supported the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in a variety of roles, including joint military assignments in the United States and overseas.  He holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Minnesota and a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Missouri – Saint Louis.

USFS: Robert Aiken


Robert Aiken is the Regional GIS Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Region of the US Forest Service, where he is currently focusing on data stewardship efforts necessary to support Forest and Grassland management activities and to provide authoritative information to the public. He also oversees production of the Region’s Visitor Map series. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Engineering from Oregon State University.

USGS: Greg Matthews 


Greg Matthews has been with the USGS since 2008 working as the Transportation National Partner Support lead, project manager for The National Map Corps, and most recently on mapping program research and project lead activities. Previous professional GIS work includes the City of Castle Rock Colorado as a database analyst and Parsons Engineering as a GIS Analyst. Greg has a Master’s graduate certificate in GIS from University of Colorado at Denver, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Park Resource Management from Kansas State University.

BLM: John Varner

JohnVarnerJohn Varner is the Data Standards Implementation Manager at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Operational Center where he’s responsible for implementation of national data standards across the agency and conducting quality checks for the combined national datasets as well as documenting the business requirements and establishing data standards.  He started his in 1979 at the US Forest Service and spent most of entire career residing at the District in multiple Regions. For almost two decades, he has specialized in databases and Geographic Information Systems, including seven National Forest Service applications and one international application.  He developed and still supports the management of the NIFC GIS application used in the mapping to support wildland fire suppression – Fire Incident Mapping Tools (FIMT).  John holds an undergraduate degree in Forest Management from Auburn University in 1982.

NPS: Taylor Long

Long_HeadshotTaylor Long is a cartographer with the NPMap team, working as a research associate through a partnership with Colorado State University. He also organizes Maptime Mile High – a Denver meetup group focused on introducing beginners to open source geospatial technology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies & Conservation Biology (2007) from Middlebury College a master’s degree in Geographic Information Science from the University of Minnesota (2015). Taylor’s favorite park is the Buffalo National River in his home state of Arkansas.