After graduating from Cal Poly (SOCS ‘91) and earning a Master’s Degree from CSULB (Geography ’93), Mike Ridland joined ESRI, and embarked on a fast paced career with the world’s premier Geographic Information System software development company. Over the past 20+ years, he’s experienced firsthand the evolution of GIS from “nerdy computer science stuff” to a mainstream technology. Through teaching, project management, and business development, Mike has taught hundreds of students, managed key Training Program components, and consulted with dozens of organizations. He’s also spoken as a GIS professional through focused workshops and Conferences, and to larger organizations including the United Nations Environmental Programme. Mike currently works with a small team to manage projects related to building the Esri Living Atlas of the World. He’s always interested in talking about GIS and how this exciting technology can (and is) creating positive change (not to mention a wide variety of job opportunities)!