Discover Your Island

Dr. Gary Jeffress

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Gary Jeffress

Mapping a Brighter Future

For the last 22 years, Dr. Gary Jeffress has helped mentor and educate University students in the Surveying Sciences fields of the Coastal Bend. As Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI), the largest endowed GISC (Geographic Information Science) institution in the United States, and as Coordinator of the Geospatial Surveying Engineering master’s program, Jeffress understands the demand for graduates in these fields throughout the U.S. Beginning in 2014, CBI will provide the only Ph.D. in Geospatial Computer Sciences in the nation.

Jeffress’ skill as a surveyor involves collecting and analyzing geographic data and information to result in sound environmental and economically viable land management and development. During his time as a faculty member, Jeffress has been successful in attracting more students to fill these well-paying positions after graduation. His experience in the field has also given his students a better approach to learning.

“The most fulfilling part of my career is seeing graduates that I have had a role in teaching, go out into the work force, and become successful professionals in their careers,” said Jeffress. “I get lots of accolades from graduates praising me on directing them into the career path that they have gone into.”

Jeffress, who has taught in his native Australia, the U.S., Russia, Kazakhstan, and Haiti, has taken the lead in filling high-paying geospatial job positions in the U.S. and around the world. He arranged an agreement through the CBI with Jiangxi Normal University in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China, in 2012 that would allow advanced Chinese students to enter into the five-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Jeffress also arranged a cooperative agreement between the Moscow State University Cartography and Geodesy and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Through these newly-signed agreements, the CBI has found a solution to address the shortage of expertise in these fields and has given students an incentive to receive their degrees on a fast track.

“There are lots of opportunities to do more research and attract more students onto our campus to do real-world projects,” he said.