Hi, I’m Sara Lubkin. I am a GIS certificate student at Northern Virginia Community College.
I am also a geologist who studies fossil insects, paleoclimate and the current effects of climate change. I earned my PhD from Cornell University in 2008 and worked in web and social media marketing for a while.
I now teach introductory geology classes at the University of Mary Washington. When I’m not teaching or learning, I do research. I am currently collaborating with the NASA DEVELOP Program and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on a project tracking harmful algal blooms (HAB) in the Chesapeake Bay. I am also a mom.
For me, GIS is connecting data to geography. When non-scientists ask me what GIS is, I tell them that I put information on maps so I can better analyze and interpret. I was a scientist before I studied GIS, but GIS has allowed me to ask and answer different types of questions.
Before studying GIS, my fossil insect research focused on describing new species and determining how species were related to other species and modern species. I was getting frustrated with this work and wanted to do something more meaningful. Now, I am able to connect Pleistocene fossil insect species to specific climate zones and create maps of Pleistocene glaciation. I am hoping to use this research and my work with NASA DEVELOP to transition into the study of climate change and its effects on the Earth.