Thursday, December 17, 2015

Campus Internship Set the Stage for World Travel with U.S. Army

In this special season of giving thanks we’d like to take a moment to shine the spotlight on a former Ultimate challenger who now travels around the world as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) subject matter expert for emergency preparedness.

Trevor Lancaster ’09 tells a familiar tale. He fell in love with Wilmington, UNCW, and the close proximity to the ocean after his first visit.

“I really felt at home on the UNCW campus,” Trevor remembered.

He made a name for himself as captain of the men’s Ultimate team, the Seamen, and travelled the country. In addition to his practices and tournaments, he chose to double major in Environmental Studies and Geography.

“I really learned the value of time management and prioritization,” Trevor said. “I was really busy, but enjoyed every bit.”

Trevor loved his time on campus, but his internship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is what helped him realized what life could be like after campus. Now, Trevor is a Geographer for the USACE and travels around the world teaching workshops and classes about GIS.

His most recent trip brought him to Belgrade, Serbia. As the GIS subject matter expert, Trevor presented and lead discussions about the value of GIS in Emergency Management.

“This particular event was a Scenario Planning Workshop (for Disaster Preparedness) where I taught the importance of emergency management and good data,” said Trevor.

This was not the first trip like this that Trevor has been on – it’s actually his second to Belgrade. He’s also been to Kabul, Afghanistan; Kazakhstan; and Tbilisi, Georgia twice.

“Each trip is a little different. In the republic of Georgia, I led what is called a Table Top Exercise – essentially simulating a real-time disaster with all the various host-country government agencies using their response framework,” Trevor recounted. “In Kazakhstan, myself and other GIS professionals travelled to two different cities and taught a week-long introductory course on GIS.”

Trevor’s work in Afghanistan was for a six-month civilian deployment, primarily working with GIS and mapping Afghan National Security Facilities.

Throughout his travels around the world, Trevor has never forgotten where he got his start.

“I’m proud of my university and I try to represent the school to the best of my ability in every scenario,” said Trevor.

UNCW Alumni Relations/Christine Schulze '15