Cynthia May she/her/hers

Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science

Cindy May headshot faculty
Office:Center for Science and the Environment 138
Email:Send a message...


Earned and Honorary Degrees

MGIS, Pennsylvania State University
MS, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
BS, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


I was born in Texas, but grew up in Wisconsin. I have done a fair amount of traveling in my lifetime, mostly in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. I enjoy the outdoors as a place to go for relaxation and appreciation of nature.

Why Northland?

My favorite things about Northland College are the people, both young and old. There is quite a diversity of personalities here, which makes life rich, somewhat unpredictable, but definitely enjoyable! The college’s environmental mission parallels much of what I’ve felt for years–we must work sustainably with our environment so that it will continue to provide future generations with what we’ve already come to love, living and thriving in northern Wisconsin.


Currently, I teach all the GIS courses on campus which comprise the GIS minor at this college. In addition to GIS, I teach about remote sensing, GPS, geodatabases, and world regional geography. I enjoy all the work I do as the courses are interrelated, helping to build a solid foundation for continuing work in the field of GIS.


While I am not doing my own research, I am usually involved with assisting other faculty and students with their questions about how GIS can be used in their work. I am quite willing to do research to figure out how to help others!

Student Involvement

Every time the GIS 260, GIS 301, GIS 315, GIS 380, and GIS 401 courses are offered, a portion of the student's final grade includes conducting a hands-on project related to the material taught in the course. I ask the students to identify a topic relevant to their own interests so that they are engaged with the work, rather than "just doing an assignment".


I play piano for a local church and volunteer frequently as a weekend cashier for a local thrift store. I am a lay speaker for the United Methodist Church, so once a month I share messages in two churches in this area. Personal interests include stargazing, reading, walking, bicycling, and caring for houseplants. I enjoy traveling, in addition to quiet days at home.