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Our training team members are all real-world users of the GIS software and techniques they teach so they know exactly how to address your work challenges and GIS education goals. Yes, our GIS training program includes a fully-equipped facility, solid curricula, and excellent workbooks, but it is our training team members who ensure that you have a great learning experience in our program.

Mary Ullrich, GISP

Training Coordinator, Author, and GIS Analyst

16140_th_CWMary, one of our two primary instructors, is a GIS professional with sixteen years of experience in the industry. Her work has included GIS database design, analysis, mapping, and training curriculum development. Mary has been teaching GIS classes for eight years, during which time she has co-developed several custom classes and workshops for the King County GIS Center Training Program. Among Mary's particular areas of expertise are analysis and mapping of census data and the ArcGIS Online platform.

Mary holds a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from Central Washington University. Prior to joining the staff of the King County GIS Center she worked for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Mary is a URISA Certified Workshop co-author, holds COMP TIA++ and Esri Desktop Associate certifications, and is a Certified GIS Professional.

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Our students speak

Mary is an excellent instructor, constantly moving during the exercises from one student to another to ensure everyone was on track. In addition, she provided many good tips and shortcuts & help.
Thank you Mary! You are a great teacher who keeps the energy up in the room and makes learning GIS exciting.
Mary was a great teacher: funny and very knowledgeable.
Thank you, Mary! You are such an awesome instructor and brought humor into some of the more challenging lessons. I appreciate your patience, passion, and your willingness to share your extensive knowledge.

Greg Babinski,

Finance & Marketing Manager, Author, and GIS Instructor

16140_th_CWGreg has been with King County GIS since 1998. Prior to then he was GIS Supervisor of the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Geography from Wayne State University. He is a URISA Certified Workshop author and instructor. He served on URISA’s Board of Directors for six years and was URISA President in 2011-2012.

Greg has written numerous articles about his original research into geospatial industry management, finance, budgeting, and marketing. He was the author of the original GIS Capability Maturity Model and coordinated its adoption by URISA in 2013. He was the founder of URISA’s GIS Management Institute Committee. Greg has received the URISA Leadership Award, the WAURISA Summit Award, and was named a ‘GIS Hero’ by ArcNews. Greg has spoken about GIS at conferences and events in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and across Europe and Asia.

In his spare time he likes hiking steep, narrow, dangerous trails that lead high above the clouds to awesome views.


Our students speak

Greg makes difficult concepts easy.
Instructor was engaging and encouraged questions, which is great.

Dennis Higgins, GISP

GIS Client Services Manager and GIS Analyst

16140_th_CWDennis has worked for King County since 1993 as an intern, analyst, and since 2000 as a supervisor and project manager. He began in the Environmental Services Division of the Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES). He worked on sensitive areas delineation and in the mid-1990s had a hand in creating King County’s original comprehensive plan documents. In 2000 he succeeded Steve Johnson, GIS Manager for King County Parks, shortly before Parks was combined with the Department of Natural Resources.

Since 2002, Dennis has supervised Client Services for the King County GIS Center. In this capacity he manages a staff that is responsible for a wide variety of GIS projects, including rapid map production, analysis, custom cartography, data creation and maintenance, GIS training, and web application development for hundreds of clients from all over the Pacific Northwest.

Dennis has a B.A. in Geography (GIS emphasis) from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a certified GIS Professional (GISP). Dennis has held Esri-Certified Trainer status in years past, and is a URISA Certified Workshop co-author and instructor. He occasionally is invited to hold seminars on GIS in Municipal Government at UW.    


Patrick Jankanish,

GIS Instructor, Senior Cartographer, and Author

Patrick JankanishPatrick Jankanish creates publication-quality map and graphic products for print and online media. Patrick has practiced innovative cartography for more than thirty years in academic, commercial consulting, freelance, and government settings. Whatever the subject matter—parks and recreation, earth sciences, the environment and natural resources, public policy and information, education, transportation, public infrastructure, and more—Patrick takes a holistic approach to cartography that combines bedrock cartographic theory, modern graphic design principles and techniques, always-evolving GIS and graphic arts technology, and the careful crafting of the written word, both linguistically and visually, to achieve effective and beautiful cartography.

Patrick has a B.A in Geography (cartography emphasis) from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a URISA Certified Workshop author and instructor.

Our students speak

Great job.
Good presenter.
Patrick displayed great knowledge in the subject matter.

Mike Leathers, 

GIS Trainer, Author, Data Coordinator, and Metadata Guru

16140_th_CWMike has more than 25 years of experience in GIS and related database fields, with an emphasis on data development and enterprise warehouse data coordination. As part of the King County GIS Center’s Enterprise Operations group, he helps oversee an extensive vector, raster, and tabular data warehouse which includes a large component from external sources. Mike has developed customized scripts to optimize data management workflows and perform checks on data integrity and consistency. In addition to working with other King County agencies in posting data to the King County Spatial Data Warehouse, Mike works with data stewards to develop and manage metadata on all enterprise data sets, with an emphasis on a tight integration between data and its metadata. He developed our GIS Academy metadata class and frequently delivers live reports and presentations to King County staff and regional partners on KCGIS data maintenance status and new data acquisition projects.

Our students speak

Mike was great! - A knowledgeable instructor.