Zack Avre—2012 Fellow

Zack Avre

Year: Class of 2014
Mapping Democracy: Using GIS to Inform Public Policy

This summer, I partnered with MN2020, a policy think tank in St. Paul, to implement GIS mapping into its policy work. My project included 1) a “Map of the Week” segment looking at various timely policy issues across Minnesota, 2) demographic and spatial analysis of human and agricultural resources for MN2020’s annual “Buy Local” report, and 3) creating a GIS internship to ensure that the organization can utilize GIS after I leave.

My interests lie in social and economic justice, as well as issues of empowerment in marginalized communities. As a geographer, I am particularly interested in urban geography, and I am fascinated by the complexities of the socioeconomic and political landscape of cities. After Macalester, I intend to get into urban planning, urban public policy, or urban geography research, with the hope of one day teaching.

The Chuck Green Fellowship has provided me with an incredible opportunity to combine my academic and vocational interests as well as grow, personally, academically, and vocationally. It has afforded me the luxury of learning more about what I want to after Macalester and has allowed me to explore who I am as a learner, leader, and person.