Curriculum Vitae

I am interested in using my knowledge of GIS, natural resources, and technology to make our world a better place. You can download a PDF or text version of my CV if you want to get fancy.


MS, Ecology & Evolution
May 2005

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Thesis: GIS-based modeling of avian distributions in a montane tropical forest

BS, Natural Resources & Environmental Science
Dec 2002

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Specializations: GIS & Water Resources; Minor: English

ESRI Virtual Campus

  • Linear referencing with ArcGIS Desktop, May 2008
  • Creating and editing geodatabase topology, May 2008
  • Creating, editing, and managing geodatabases, April 2006
  • Geoprocessing with ArcGIS Desktop, June 2005


Ecological Skills

I excel at analyzing natural resource problems with technical methods. I am proficient with modeling techniques, including habitat & corridor modeling, urban growth modeling, and statistical analysis, and feel equally comfortable compiling data & conducting literature reviews.

Communication Skills

Skilled at communicating complex ideas with technical and non-technical audiences via reports, maps, presentations, and personal communication; adept at hand-coding web pages using web standards techniques; good eye for graphic design & cartography.

Computer Skills

Experienced in management of data-intensive projects and application of scripting techniques to optimize efficiency of large-scale analyses. I learn new software and technology quickly, and feel comfortable with the following:

  • Web & Design: XHTML, CSS, ExpressionEngine CMS, CodeIgniter (PHP), Photoshop, InDesign
  • GIS: ArcGIS, Python, ArcSDE, AML, Map Algebra


Sept 2012 - present

Senior Cartographer/Analyst

The Nature Conservancy Minneapolis, MN
  • Perform spatial analysis and cartography for The Nature Conservancy's North American Region science team.

Jun 2007 - Aug 2012

GIS Manager

The Nature Conservancy Tucson, AZ
  • Performed spatial analysis and wrote Python geoprocessing scripts for urban growth modeling, infrastructure impact analysis, conservation planning, and ad-hoc projects. Updated linear-referenced stream database. Created graphs, maps, and visualizations to communicate analysis to internal and external partners.
  • Managed SQL Server ArcSDE geodatabase containing 500+ layers for 8 primary users. Obtained, prepared, and managed new GIS data to meet staff project needs. Reorganized data file structure to improve internal organization and access to GIS data.
  • Served as statewide GIS coordinator for 17 staff. Provided GIS training and mentoring through presentations, one-on-one sessions, and GIS tip sheets. Mentored 3 staff to maintain data distribution websites.
  • Responsible for all aspects of Arizona Nature Conservancy science website, including functional requirements, visual design, information architecture, HTML and CSS coding, and content management system integration. Designed and programmed PHP-based database web application for collecting and distributing hydrological data collected at preserve sites.

Jun 2005 - Dec 2007

GIS Progammer Analyst

Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
  • Created suite of Python-based geoprocessing tools – CorridorDesigner – for conducting GIS-based wildlife corridor & habitat analyses in ArcGIS. Lead analyst on statewide wildlife corridor planning project – performed all GIS modeling, parameterized habitat models, obtained, organized, and processed GIS data, created > 200 maps, and developed efficient Python-based workflows to manage data output. Performed field visits; collected data using GPS and stored data with photos in custom-created Microsoft Access database application.
  • Conducted 5 training workshops to over 125 government agency, NGO, and university employees across Western United States. Documented workflows and trained and mentored colleague to perform spatial wildlife analysis. Assisted individuals from agencies and organizations around the world apply and troubleshoot GIS tools for designing wildlife corridors from 2007 to present.
  • Wrote eight 75-150 page reports detailing wildlife corridor conservation plans. Designed 25-page website to distribute CorridorDesigner; wrote and edited webpage content, software tutorials, and workshop materials.

Jul 2003 - May 2005

MS Graduate Student & Teaching Assistant

Purdue University Biology Dept. West Lafayette, IN
  • Created over 25,000 GIS-based distribution models for 41 bird species in Tilarán Mtns, Costa Rica, using 5 statistical classification techniques.
  • Used AML, SAS, Avenue, and R scripts to automate modeling tasks. Created topographic indices from digital elevation models. Obtained Landsat data and processed using Erdas IMAGINE remote sensing software.
  • Teaching assistant for four courses; introduced field ecology & conservation biology students to GIS principles using labs and presentations.

Jan 2002 - Jul 2003

GIS Technician

Purdue University Agricultural & Biological Engineering Dept West Lafayette, IN
  • Developed customized ArcView extension for Office of Indiana State Chemist to simplify common tasks. Created 92 volume GIS atlas for state of Indiana. Created, edited, and maintained GIS layers for watershed modeling. Performed complex water body and transportation sensitivity analysis for DOT.
  • Instructed 54 students in 3 lab sections of Introduction to Field Surveying course. Created labs and field exercises to introduce students to GPS collection techniques and basic GIS analysis. Assisted students with term projects for graduate-level GIS course.

Publications & Presentations



  • Majka, D.R., and T. Schnaible. 2011. Conservation by DESIGN: Using the power of design to improve science communication. The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Science for People and Nature Conference. Oct 20, 2011.
  • Majka, D.R. 2011. iPads, doors, and PeopleSoft: What the design of everyday things can teach us about science communication. Brown bag presentation given AZ TNC staff. Tucson, AZ. May 17, 2011.
  • Majka, D.R., M. Robles, J. Haney, and R. Marshall. 2010. Sustaining river flows in the face of growing municipal water demands. Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Chapters of the Wildlife Society. Flagstaff, AZ. Feb 6, 2010.
  • Majka, D.R. 2009. CorridorDesigner: ArcGIS tools for designing wildlife corridors. Society for Conservation Biology-USGS Colorado Plateau joint meeting. Flagstaff, AZ. Oct 6, 2009.
  • Robles, M.D., J. Haney, D.R. Majka, and R. Marshall. 2009. Sustaining river flows for biodiversity in the arid southwestern U.S:Effects of current and future municipal water use. 94th Annual Ecological Society of America Meeting. Albuquerque, NM. Aug 4, 2009.
  • Majka, D.R., M. Robles, and R. Marshall. 2008. Arizona's Natural Infrastructure (poster). ESRI User Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Majka, D.R., P. Beier, and J. Jenness. 2007. Designing wildlife corridors with GIS. Full-day workshops presented in Phoenix, Tucson, Boulder, San Diego, and Monterrey, Fall 2007.
  • Beier, P., D.R. Majka, and W. Spencer. 2007. Eight reasons not to use GIS analysis for corridor design. International Conference on Ecology & Transportation. Little Rock, AR. May 24, 2007.
  • Majka, D.R. 2007. A multi-species approach to designing corridors. Arizona Parks and Recreation Association 2007 Conference on Open Space. Tempe, AZ, May 9, 2007.
  • Beier, P., D.R. Majka, K. Penrod, C. Luke, W. Spencer, S. Newell, and C. Cabanero. 2006. How to design a wildlife corridor. Society for Conservation Biology 20th Annual Meeting. San Jose, CA, June 25, 2006.
  • Majka, D.R. 2005. Modeling the distribution of Neotropical birds using statistical classification techniques and GIS. Purdue Biology Graduate Student Retreat, West Lafayette, IN., March 2005.