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United States Geological Survey (USGS) Logo
Web Informatics & Mapping
Our Team

Modern web development delivering the best of the USGS to the public.

We are geographers, cartographers, and scientists who are passionate about science communication

Gary Latzke's Photo
Gary Latzke Program Coordinator

Gary Latzke

Program Coordinator


Gary has his degree in Cartography from Northern Illinois University and 27 years of cartographic experience in the USGS. His specialties include cartographic design and communication, digital application design, and implementation of cloud infrastructures for geospatial applications. In addition WIM, Gary serves on the staff of the Information and Technology Management Director for the Department of the Interior, leading and assisting in special projects for the Department. Outside of work Gary enjoys golfing, writing music and making unique cocktails with his wife in their home lounge.

Bruce Droster's Photo
Bruce Droster Operations Coordinator

Bruce Droster

Operations Coordinator


Bruce began as a traditional cartographer working on the USGS Ground Water Atlas of the United States. He considers himself fortunate that he was able to experience both the traditional methods of map making (scribing and darkrooms) and modern GIS and digital mapping. He is currently the administrative and operations coordinator for WIM. Bruce enjoys many outside activities including being a volunteer firefighter, volunteer ski patroller, SCUBA diver, wilderness camper, cyclist, and many other outdoor activities.

Hans Vraga's Photo
Hans Vraga Project Manager

Hans Vraga

Project Manager


Hans got his start as a CH-53 Super Stallion Helicopter Crew Chief from the USMC, callsign: 'Wedgie.' He turned ITIL disciple at the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology (DoIT) while earning a BS in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. After a 8 years at DoIT wearing Configuration, Incident, and Change Management hats, Hans moved to USGS-WIM to head up Project Management duties and earned a PMP certification. Hans currently spends most of his day coordinating a highly skilled and motivated team of developers, doing his best not to slow them down too much. Outside of work, Hans enjoys a good game of ultimate, hiking, camping and the occasional novel.

Blake Draper's Photo
Blake Draper Software Developer

Blake Draper

Software Developer

Blake is a software developer for WIM. He has a B.A. and M.A. from Florida State University and a GIS/Cartography certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Blake works primarily client-side, developing web apps in JavaScript, but also enjoys working with Python whenever the need arises. He also spends a lot of time configuring server environments and preparing GIS data for use in web services. His main professional goal is to create useful, intuitive, geographically focused data products that advance USGS science. Outside of work, Blake enjoys cooking good food, woodworking, and spending time in the woods hiking and canoe camping.

Nick Estes's Photo
Nick Estes Software Developer

Nick Estes

Software Developer

Nick is a senior developer with WIM. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 2001. His work with the USGS was initially focused on publishing, but has since developed an interest in and a knack for developing mapping applications and optimizing GIS services used by those applications. While most of his free time is spent with his family, he finds time here and there to write and record music.

Katrin Jacobsen's Photo
Katrin Jacobsen Software Developer

Katrin Jacobsen

Software Developer

Katrin has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. While going to school there, she began an internship with the USGS in Mounds View, MN performing GIS and database work, which eventually led her to WIM. She's always had a passion for maps - they're all over her home. Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering, playing with her puppy, reading, and hosting small get-togethers at her home.

Daniel Beckman's Photo
Daniel Beckman Software Developer

Daniel Beckman

Software Developer

Daniel Beckman is a career intern at the USGS. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Colorado in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minors in Chemistry and Computer Science. He currently attends Graduate school at the University of Colorado School of Engineering and Applied Science where he studies Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Daniel is a combat Veteran and former paratrooper with Special Forces. He has worked in data for almost two decades in a variety of fields including, counterintelligence, research & development, forensic chemistry, and genomics. Daniel joined the USGS in 2017 and WIM in 2018. Currently, he works in cloud integration. He and his wife Sarah live in Colorado with their two dogs and cat. They enjoy climbing, hiking 14ers, craft IPAs, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and paddle boarding.

Veni Kunche's Photo
Veni Kunche Software Developer

Veni Kunche

Software Developer

Veni Kunche is a senior software developer residing in Northern Virginia. She has over 10 years of experience in software and web development, and has worked in several industries such as financial, governmental, and bio-medical. She loves to travel with friends and explore new cuisines.

Erik Myers's Photo
Erik Myers Software Developer

Erik Myers

Software Developer

Erik is a software developer for WIM. He earned bachelor's degrees in geography and Asian studies from Augustana College in Illinois, and a master's degree in geography from Ohio University. He also holds a GIS Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to Erik's work developing web applications for WIM, his major areas of interest are cartographic and user experience design. Erik enjoys travel, photography, and outdoor sports. In his free time, he can usually be found rock climbing, skiing, cycling, canoeing, or kayak touring.

Jeremy Newson's Photo
Jeremy Newson Software Developer

Jeremy Newson

Software Developer

Jeremy Newson has been working as a hydrologic engineer for the United States Geological Survey for the past 8 years. He is currently a lead developer for WIM, developing hydrologic mapping applications. His programming skills include Javascript, HTML5, Typescript, C#, VB.net, Python, Action script, Flash/Flex and Fortran. He earned his master's degree in biological and agricultural engineering, emphasizing in sediment fluxes in fluvial systems, and a bachelor's degree in biological systems engineering from the University of Idaho. When he is not staring aimlessly at his computer monitors, he enjoys spending time with his family, fly-fishing, and camping.

Lauren Privette's Photo
Lauren Privette Software Developer

Lauren Privette

Software Developer

Lauren is a software developer with WIM. She received her B.S in Geographic Science from James Madison University. While she enjoys work centered around GIS and cartography, her interests have expanded into the world of open source internet mapping. She currently resides in Northern Virginia and is working out of USGS HQ in Reston. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys snowboarding and ultimate frisbee.

Mitch Samuels's Photo
Mitch Samuels Frontend Developer

Mitch Samuels

Frontend Developer

Mitch is currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where he will earn his bachelor's degree in computer science with certificates in entrepreneurship and German. He is a front end developer desigining WIM and other websites. Outside of work and school, he enjoys traveling, snowboarding, and hiking.

Martyn Smith's Photo
Martyn Smith Software Developer

Martyn Smith

Software Developer

Marty is a software developer with WIM. He received his M.A. in geography from the University of Connecticut. While his work with the USGS initially centered around GIS and Cartography, his main focus now is internet mapping, and he is committed to improving the mapping presence of the USGS. Within the internet mapping application realm, he is primarily focused on open-source solutions. Most of his free time is spent with his family and german shorthair, or with a chainsaw.

Aaron Stephenson's Photo
Aaron Stephenson Solutions Architect

Aaron Stephenson

Solutions Architect

Aaron Stephenson is a full stack developer and solutions architect at WIM, but essentially he is their jack-of-all-trades. He has a decade of experience in system administration, database administration, information management, systems analysis, as well as back end and front end development, almost all of which have been in support of GIS data, services, and applications. Currently, most of his time is engaged in supporting WIM's migration to a service-oriented architecture and cloud computing. In his free time, Aaron loves reading, getting outdoors to hike and canoe, and attempting to become a decent cook.