Professor of the Practice - GIS
Steven Hick, GISP, is the GIS Director and Professor of the Practice in Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Denver. For over twenty-seven years Steven has been directing the Geographic Information Science academic and research facilities in the department.
Steven is currently the Director of the GIS Certificate Program and the Master of Science degree program in Geographic Information Science at the University of Denver. He was instrumental in the creation of one of the nation’s first Master of Science degrees in Geographic Information Science. For nearly fifteen years, Steven taught crime mapping and analysis at the University of Denver in the Crime Mapping and Analysis program under the auspices of the US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. He continues to provide crime mapping and analysis technical assistance to law enforcement agencies across the country.
Teaching geospatial science and technology has always been a passion. He taught his first cartography class as an Adjunct over 30 years ago. Steven teaches a wide range of geospatial topics including introductory and advanced GIS, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), project management, crime mapping and analysis, cartography, and spatial statistics. Steven also supervises numerous GIS Capstone projects, the final work designed and implemented by GIS graduate students.
Prior to joining the University of Denver, Steven was a Technical Consultant at UGC Consulting and prior to moving to Denver, Steven was a Cartographer with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Defense Mapping Agency), based at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. While in Texas he also taught geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio and managed the geospatial labs at the University of Texas at Austin.
And before that...
I was a National Park Ranger with the National Park Service. Over five seasons I worked at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park (TDY), Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and Gateway Arch National Park.
Teaching and Scholarship
In the early years I was focused on Transportation, particularly passenger rail service in the United States during Amtrak's first 25 years. Amtrak turned 50 May 1, 2021 and maybe it is time to look back and look ahead to the next 25 years and the future of passenger rail service in the United States.
For nearly two decades I was focused on Crime Mapping & Analysis. As a principal investigator in the Crime Mapping & Analysis Program in the National Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology Center at the University of Denver, I was engaged in providing crime mapping training and technical assistance to hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the United States. I authored two workbooks used in a Crime Mapping and Analysis class; subsequent versions are still in use today. I spoke at many regional and national crime analysis conferences on the value and integration of GIS in law enforcement, specifically crime analysis. During that time I was also a volunteer with the Denver Police Department and helped stand up their first crime analysis unit.
Currently I am engaged in the application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology in the mapping sciences. I primarily provide flight and data collection support for graduate student research projects. I am flying DJI Mavic, Phantom, and Inspire drones. In 2021 I completed a high-resolution imagery drone data collection over the DU campus. Click here to see the results.
Service to the University Community
Director - University of Denver Field Station & High-Altitude Lab
The Mt. Evans Field Station is owned by the University of Denver and operated under a special-use permit from the Arapaho National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service. The facility is available year-round for use by academic groups and individual researchers with interests in the geography, geology or ecology of the Colorado Front Range. It is an ideal location for summer research groups, field camps or field courses.
In January 2016 I assumed leadership for the facility and have worked tirelessly to improve and upgrade the facilities. This is a little-known gem and asset of the university that all university community members should experience. The Field Station is located adjacent to the Echo Lake Campground east of Echo Lake and the Echo Lake Mountain Park maintained by the City and County of Denver. Click on the Mount Evans Field Station tab above to learn more about this facility.