Lukas Kopacki smiling in an alpine setting with the sun in the background

Lukas Kopacki

Independent Study Mentor

Forest Science Analyst, Wildlife Works | Geospatial Research Specialist, Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative | Founder, Arborvox

Areas of Interest

ArcPy automation, climate change exposure and forest carbon modeling, LiDAR analysis for forestry, fish and wildlife applications


Hello! I’m Lukas and I am a New Jersey native currently living in Burlington, VT.  I have a deep love for forest ecosystems, and currently work for Wildlife Works, where I use GIS and programming to quantify forest carbon stocks to drive investments in forest communities in the Global South. Much of my work incorporates the use of Python and its ArcPy library, which automates workflows in GIS.

In a consulting role I also work with several natural resource organizations to develop GIS models and data visualization tools. This includes work with: the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative, focused on understanding how tree species are projected to be impacted by climate change across the northeastern US; the Native Fish Society, focused on the recovery of wild runs of Pacific salmon and steelhead; and the Cascade Carnivore Project, where I have analyzed habitat distribution of Canada Lynx throughout the northern Cascade Range.

I graduated from the University of Vermont with B.S. in Forestry with minors in geospatial technologies, computer science, and history. 

Why students should study GIS

It is one thing to want to learn GIS because it is a good skill to have in the job market. But GIS is at its best when you apply it to projects you actually care about. This pursuit of curiosity through projects outside the bounds of the certificate program will go ways in making you better at geospatial technologies, and allow you to see firsthand the power of GIS applications.