Kelly Hayhurst - Geospatial careers profile

Kelly Hayhurst is a Graduate Ecologist at Auckland Council

Kelly Hayhurst
  • Qualification and GIS component: Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity)
  • Tertiary Institute: Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland
  • Work role: Ecologist at Ecology NZ. Previously Graduate Ecologist at Auckland Council.

Why did you choose to study GIS?

I find being able to utilise data to create important, informative maps that help to reiterate what you are trying to say is crucial in my industry. GIS is used for everything, and I used the skill in all my university assignments and still use it now in my jobs. I find it challenging and very rewarding when the visual effects of a map are final.

What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from studying GIS?

It is a skill that is used by many different professions and can help make an ordinary presentation extra-ordinary. I find that having knowledge of the software and how to do simple maps and other aspects is extremely sellable as a professional skill. 

How important is GIS for your existing and future career options, and why?

Extremely important. I plan on keeping up with professional development around it either through future workplaces or in my own personal context. It is a skill that is well respected in many industries. Maps are used in everything!

What advice would you give to future students considering adding a GIS component to their studies?

Definitely do it – it is so extremely versatile and rewarding when you create a professional map to suit whatever work you are doing. Persevere through it and have patience.

I completed level 6 and 7 GIS courses as a part of this as electives. The level 6 was basic geospatial techniques while the level 7 explored more advanced techniques like climate modelling using maxent which was awesome!