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Kristina Bechtold is a Geospatial Analyst at Axim, where she is a member of both the Cartography and the Content Management (CM) teams. She will be celebrating her 3-year anniversary with Axim in October of 2022! During her time with Axim, Kristina’s attention to detail and knowledge of project requirements has helped her secure integral roles not only on the quality control and finishing teams but also as a heavily-involved trainer for other QC members on both Cartography and Content Management. Kristina has brought many helpful ideas for process improvements and workflow updates to the projects she has been a part of, leading to increases in productivity and efficiency.

Kristina graduated magna cum laude from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Resource with a minor in Environmental Sustainability. She has always been very passionate about environmental issues, and first started learning about GIS while composing research papers on climate change. Through her research, she was intrigued by how GIS can be used as a stepping stone toward gathering scientific knowledge and conveying this knowledge in a format that all consumers can digest and glean valuable information from. She particularly loves how maps can utilize a “collage” of data, space, color, and imagery to tell a visual story in a universal language about environmental issues that may otherwise be placed on the backburner if one were to look at hard statistics alone. Cartographic products are an artform that calls to Kristina’s artistic interests, and she finds relaxation and a sense of wellbeing in her cartographic work (especially in JOG creation!).

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In Kristina’s work experience, her advice to other women looking to enter into the GIS field is to be confident in yourself and take initiative. There are times when people may be prejudice against you, but these are often instances where the other person is dealing with their own insecurities by projecting these feelings onto others. She advises to not take these opinions personally and to trust in yourself and your knowledge. When Kristina first started her career, she felt inexperienced and had doubts about her capabilities. However, she not only built upon her knowledge base through more exposure to GIS and collaboration with experienced analysts, but also built upon her confidence through realizing her strengths.

Kristina is a dedicated Bunny Mom to her two furbabies Ernie and Stella, and started her bunny brood with her first Lionhair named Beans. Though she didn’t know much about rabbit care at first, Kristina learned all she could about rabbits (which sparked her passion for environmental issues) and now volunteers at her local rabbit rescue and fosters when she can. 

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She loves to listen to music (she’s currently surfing the waves of underground East Coast rap) and listens to music constantly until she winds her day down with some It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Tim and Eric. Kristina loves to cook – there isn’t a vegetable she doesn’t like! – and likes cooking up vegan dishes. In college, she volunteered her time tending community gardens and providing fresh, organic produce to lower income communities. Kristina’s also an avid St. Louis Blues fan and has watched every single hockey game of the season, every season, since she was a little girl. Her “treat yo self” is floor seats to the game!


Topics: Environmental, Mapping & Visualization, Defense & Intelligence, Women in GIS