Profile - Erica Black
How long have you been doing your current job, and what you do?
Since August 2013 I have been working as a Data Consultant at Critchlow. I’m involved in a variety of projects related to maintaining and updating the company’s core data, and this involves using MapInfo to edit and analyze datasets.
What made you want to work in the spatial sciences?
I'm interested in our physical and social world and I like solving challenges. Therefore, working with geographical data and capturing, manipulating, analyzing, managing, and presenting it in maps is very rewarding for me.
How did you first get involved in the spatial sciences?
I come from Spain and at the University of the Balearic Islands where I undertook my degree in Geography, GIS and Spatial Analysis techniques were a compulsory subject. I found GIS very interesting and useful so I then decided to do an MSc in GIS at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. While I was studying I did internships in a private engineering company and at a council, and then I was contracted at the council for a few more months after completing my degree.
What made you want to move to New Zealand?
My partner and I have spent the last 3 years traveling and working in different countries and New Zealand was one of the places we were dreaming of. When we decided to come to New Zealand the fact that ‘Other Spatial Scientist’ was on the long term skills shortage list was an incentive.
What did you study and how did it help you get to where you are now?
I have a degree in Geography and an MSc in GIS. My studies helped me to have a couple of years of work experience and to be considered for a position at Critchlow.
What is the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
During my internship at Grontmij (The Netherlands) I did research on the viability of using a model to identify, in a simple way, a planning area for the preparation of a spatial plan. The check was to request information from underlying layers based on a location relevant to the respective planning area. I used ArcGIS model builder to create a spatial planning cookie cutter for the check.
What do you like most about New Zealand?
About New Zealand I love the overwhelming scenery, the possibility of many outdoor activities, the quality and way of life and the friendliness of the people.
What advice would you give anyone considering a move to New Zealand?
You'll never know if you don't try!