Ryan H.

Salt Lake City, UT


Flexible Geography Graduate Instructor

Background check passed as of 4/16/17
5.0 average from 1 ratings


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Auburn University
University of Utah
University of Utah


Auburn University (Geography)

University of Utah (Master's)

University of Utah (Enrolled)

About Ryan

I am a current graduate student at the University of Utah working on my doctorate in Geography. I have been involved professionally with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and GIScience for 14 years and I currently instruct courses in GIS at the university. I love working with spatial problems of all kinds, but my focus is on environmental hazards and disasters, particularly with how people fit into hazards and disasters.

When I left the private sector of GIS and returned to college, I set my sights on completing my doctorate in order to become a professor. I am passionate about teaching, and it is my mission as an educator to help my students to love what they are learning. I am flexible, adaptive, and informal in my teaching style, which affords me the ability to adjust to my student's needs on-demand. I have had success with this approach in the university with students ranging from new freshman to those completing their doctoral coursework.

As part of my doctoral training, I am nearing completion of certification in a Higher Education Teaching Specialty program with the university. This has contributed greatly to my ability to be a flexible but effective instructor, and has also provided me an opportunity to develop lessons which can be delivered in a variety of modes; more specifically, I have been trained and I have practice developing content for face-to-face instruction, online instruction, and hybrid instruction (some mixture of online and face-to-face).

I have over 20 years of experience working with computers on a daily basis, professionally and personally. I am an avid gamer and gaming on computers throughout my life has presented many opportunities to learn many skills relating to computers. I am fluent with the Microsoft Office suite of software as well as Open Office. I have 14 years of professional experience with AutoCAD Map and ArcGIS as part of my GIS background. I formally teach GIS theory and methods using ArcGIS, but I also have experience using QGIS and, as mentioned above, AutoCAD Map. I have developed curricula for training methods in both QGIS and AutoCAD Map software packages, as well. I have experience working with R, especially with spatial data and computational methods (e.g. machine learning, nonlinear classification) for the last four years. My research involves fusing social science with physical science using GIS, so I have experience with both physical and social sciences, as well. Because of the needs of my research, I am also fluent across operating systems; I am comfortable working in and instructing in Windows, Linux, and Mac operating environments. I am familiar with coding mechanics and principles and can train in basic programming concepts, but I am not an expert in any one programming language.

I am an educator committed to working with students to help them succeed, and I am actively developing my skills to improve my ability to help my students get the most out of the material I teach. My approach to teaching is flexible as I find it is more often the case that a traditional teaching approach works less and less for students overall. In being flexible, I can accommodate a wide range of student needs both long-term and as life happens. I always try to bring realism, optimism, and levity to working with students as a way to make them comfortable and to help set realistic and attainable goals for learning.
I am a current graduate student at the University of Utah working on my doctorate in Geography. I have been involved professionally with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and GIScience for 14 years and I currently instruct courses in GIS at the university. I love working with spatial problems of all kinds, but my focus is on environmental Read more

12 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Background Check: Passed
Microsoft Excel, R
Physical Science, Sociology
General Computer, GIS,
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Windows,
Microsoft Word, R,
Geography, World History
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Project Management

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


I worked with AutoCAD Map as the primary GIS software package during my time with Knight Technologies, Inc. in Northeastern Wyoming. We used the software to develop permitting maps and natural gas access road and well pad engineering designs. I also developed and maintained GIS standards and procedures for the company through AutoCAD and refined and codified the company's AutoCAD Map/ArcGIS interchange procedure. I developed a couple of automation routines in AutoLISP to accelerate many of our report-generation tasks for natural gas projects. My time with KTI was from 2003 to 2011 (with two less-than-one year gaps), but I have only worked with AutoCAD to develop advanced GIS curricula since leaving KTI.


I worked for Knight Technologies, Inc. from 2003 to 2011 (with two less-than-one year gaps), a GIS and engineering firm which was based in Northeastern Wyoming (Gillette). After working for KTI I returned to college and completed my bachelors and masters degrees in Geography, with continued emphasis in GIS and GIScience. I also worked as a freelance contractor during my undergraduate degree. I was hired by the DIGIT Lab at the University of Utah for the duration of my masters (two years), a GIS lab in the Department of Geography, which provides GIS consulting services for the university and outside clients. During my two years in my doctoral program so far, I have been serving as a lab instructor and classroom instructor for an introductory course in geography and GIS (GEOG 1100 Exploring the World through Google Earth), and two advanced courses in GIS, Methods in GIS (GEOG 5140/6140) and Spatial Database Design (GEOG 5150/6150). I continue to do some GIS consulting work here and there.


I was originally trained in the use of Macintosh computers as a child in grade school, and I have had a working relationship with the operating system since the early 90s. More recently, I have adopted Mac OS X as my primary research platform as the Unix base affords more flexibility for my use of open-source software. Mac is now and will likely continue to be my primary research and coding platform.

Microsoft Windows

I have worked extensively in Microsoft Windows as an office work platform, a gaming platform, a research platform, and a coding platform for over 20 years. I am familiar with the installation and management of the operating system and how to work with scripts, batch processes, and troubleshooting in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10. I am also familiar with server and individual software deployment strategies in the Windows environment. I have used Windows professionally and personally continuously since the late 90s.

Project Management

I managed for several years with Knight Technologies Inc. multiple large-scale natural gas development projects. I oversaw the layout of gas fields, survey teams to collect topographic survey data, conducted and organized engineering design and hydrological analysis for road construction, map creation and GIS standards for reporting and permitting, and final project submissions to our clients. I often worked with clients to set up project specifications and helped with guiding clients to the best possible solutions for their projects.


I have used R for four years now in my own research to do basic statistics as well as computational statistics. I completed my masters using Artificial Neural Networks using R with imported spatial data. My dissertation also includes R, where I am using Self-Organizing Maps, Artificial Neural Networks, and Principle Components Analysis as my primary methods for a portion of my research. I script frequently and I am also becoming proficient with authoring documents through R.


I am a human geographer by training, and my research has focused primarily on human systems and dynamics. I work specifically with social vulnerability to environmental hazards, which requires me to have a strong understanding of social systems: how they are formed, how they operate, how they interact with other social systems, and how they evolve. This includes understanding culture, language, and religion, in addition to urbanization and economics to an extent. I also teach in my introductory geography course (GEOG 1100 Exploring the World through Google Earth) many of these concepts. Further, as this entry is identical to my social studies qualification entry, I conduct sociology-like research, specifically using social and political ecology in my social vulnerability work, which involves the acquisition, preparation, and use of demographic data with statistical and computational methods.

Auburn University
University of Utah
University of Utah


Auburn University (Geography)

University of Utah (Master's)

University of Utah (Enrolled)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Travel policy

Ryan will travel within 15 miles of Salt Lake City, UT 84119.