Andrea McMahon is a Senior Scientist working on the Environmental Mapping team. With a background in geography and landscape ecology, Andrea has been working at SIG for two and a half years and focuses on technical scoping for developing proposals and understanding the intricacies of spatial data processing using Google Cloud infrastructure in order to tackle complex projects for clients. Andrea also contributes to mapping projects, including those in Cambodia and The Gambia.

Outside of her work at SIG, Andrea continues to practice sustainability in her own backyard. Andrea first began gardening when she was a Ph.D. student, and her landlord allowed her to plant some seeds in her backyard. Surprised by the success of the initial seedlings, Andrea’s love for growing her own food sprouted from there. Last year, Andrea decided to grow different varieties of tomatoes in her local community garden. Though the harvest was extremely bountiful, Andrea realized that sometimes there could be too much of a good thing. Today, her basement is still full of jars of homegrown tomato sauce.


Andrea’s tomato harvest, summer of 2023

Andrea has recently moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has decided to go a different route this year and plant a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Although she’s currently unable to grow anything, as it’s still winter, she’s enjoying learning more about how she can be sustainable and ecologically friendly by planting native species while also growing as much food in the small space as possible. She’s now incorporating innovative techniques like Hügelkultur, where decomposing wood acts as a sponge to reduce the need for excessive watering. She’s also set up grow lamps to keep herbs alive in her house during the winter, as well as sprouting seeds such as bell peppers and chilies before planting them in the warmer months. This hobby has given her an understanding and appreciation for the sources of her food. Today, most produce is grown in monocultures, which lack biodiversity and are harmful to pollinator populations and soil health. By growing her own food, Andrea is able to feed her family, grow a deeper appreciation for the food she consumes, and further contribute to a sustainable future, on and off the clock.


Andrea digging in her garden


Andrea’s leafy greens under the grow lamp


Andrea’s 2023 harvest

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