Charmel Menzel is a certified Geographic Information Systems (GIS) practitioner with over 20 years professional experience.
She initially combined her GIS skills and desire to reduce loss from disasters while employed as the South Carolina State Hurricane Program Manager.
She currently holds a position as GIS Solution Engineer with Esri. Since 2001, she has advised, non-profit organizations, commercial industry and local, state and federal agencies on map visualization and geospatial analysis to improve mission operations. Several of the federal agencies supported include FEMA, NOAA, NASA, DOE, Census, VA, HUD, CDC, USDA and EPA. Charmel develops and conducts workshops on GIS techniques, implementations and the delivery of information products. A key responsibility is creating GIS proof of concepts supporting specific organization priorities. She holds GIS professional certifications with GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) as a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) and with Esri as an ArcGIS Desktop Associate.
Before joining Esri, Charmel was the State Hurricane Program Manager for South Carolina. Here she organized and maintained the state hurricane evacuation plan through coordination with American Red Cross, federal, state, county and city government officials. During her tenure, Charmel was state lead in the hurricane storm surge modeling and evacuation area mapping restudy conducted by FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers. Each year she instructed emergency managers on the usage of hurricane evacuation software (HURREVAC). After attending HAZUS training, she supported the implementation of this multi-hazard risk assessment tool in South Carolina. Charmel’s appointment to the State Mapping Advisory Committee as an emergency management representative provided the opportunity to work with stakeholders improving utilization of geographic data in South Carolina.
After Hurricane Fran impacted North Carolina, Charmel was hired by FEMA as a GIS Analyst to support the Hurricane Federal Disaster Field Office Mitigation Division in Wilmington, NC. During this operation, she aided in the development of North Carolina’s Hurricane Fran Mitigation Plan and analyzed damaged properties in relationship to the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (COBRA) zones.
Charmel holds a Master of Sciences degree in Geography from the University of South Carolina where she focused on GIS, natural and technological hazards, and remote sensing. Her graduate research was on the potential of natural disasters triggering secondary technological hazards. Her LSU Business College Bachelor of Sciences degree concentration was Management Information Systems (MIS).