My name is Carolyn Fish. I am a PhD student at Penn State. I study renewable energy, cartography, and GIS. I recently left my job as a cartographer at Esri in Redlands, CA, the makers of ArcGIS. At Esri, I worked with the solutions team to design basemap templates and develop thematic map content for specific user communities. I also worked on iconic design of point symbols for significant activities and incidents, support demonstrations of software, and collaborated with software developers to improve the functionality and capability of our product.
Before moving to California, I was a graduate student at Michigan State University in the Department of Geography. My master's thesis research, advised by Dr. Kirk Goldsberry (now known for making some pretty awesome NBA maps), evaluated how well people detect changes in animated choropleth maps. I concluded that most map readers often have difficulty detecting changes in animated maps and despite missing many important changes, readers often fail to even realize their own failures.
As a masters student, I was both a teaching assistant and a research assistant. As a TA I taught the lab portions of both cartography courses at Michigan State. I developed and updated lab assignments and evaluated my students' map designs.
As an undergraduate student at Penn State, I worked closely with Dr. Anthony Robinson and Dr. Cindy Brewer who both introduced me to the field of cartography. Some of my work with Cindy Brewer will soon be published in Volume 6 of the History of Cartography Project.
I love Big Ten football, working on jigsaw puzzles, skiing, reading novels, hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, scuba diving, and traveling. I have been to Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.