Game Changer Guest: Sterling Harris


BIS Consulting is proud to present Sterling Harris, formerly of the General Land Office, as a special guest at the 2016 TechCon. Born, raised and educated in Texas, Sterling retired in late 2015 after a long and successful career in the GIS industry, which seemingly started by accident during the 1980’s slowdown in the oil sector. At the time, Sterling worked for Clayton Williams and was involved in mapping the oil and gas pipelines, but moved to work for the State of Texas in the mid 1980s. In 1991, the GLO formed an Oil Spill Response Division, which required a GIS system.
 
Sterling was involved in this game changing project from the beginning and later became the GIS manager in 1999. The Oil Spill Response project required many disciplines ranging from technical mapping and oil industry expertise to obtaining grant funding; it collated geographic information such as environmental sensitivity. Disaster teams use this database for important information such as wildlife habits. This is just one of Sterling’s projects, which all have a common theme: making life easier for people. Sterling considers his greatest achievement to be in creating a usable GIS enterprise system, which is used today across multiple state departments.
 
Sterling tells us that the most rewarding part of working in the GIS industry has been the people behind the technologies and systems. Join us at the TechCon to hear more about his experience working permanently changing the industry for the better.