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GFP Employees Receive Recognition

August 10, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. – Two South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) employees have received recognition for their work in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Kyle Kaskie, Program Specialist within the GIS team, has been awarded the 2020 Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (MAWFWA) Special Recognition Award  and the 2020 Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Outstanding Contributor of the Year Award. These awards are in response to Kyle’s continued efforts to support recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) efforts of recreational users throughout South Dakota. These awards are presented annually in recognition of significant cooperation, partnership and service to the associations. 

Additionally, GFP presented its Distinguished Achievement Award to GIS Program Specialist Nikholai O’Hara. This award is presented annually to a staff member whose accomplishments have made substantial contributions to the department and the Wildlife Division.


“These awards shine a spotlight on the trailblazing GIS work that GFP is known for across the country,” said GFP Wildlife Director, Tom Kirschenmann. “Nikholai and Kyle continually find new and innovative ways to take sets of complicated information and put them in easy-to-understand and user-friendly platforms.”

While the public might not initially realize the impact GIS has on their outdoor experiences within the state, the contributions of these two individuals, and the entire GIS team, are invaluable to all outdoor enthusiasts.

“Kyle and Nikholai are dedicated to the outdoor resources and citizens of South Dakota,” said Ross Scott, GIS Coordinator. “Their continued work on database management, and their abilities to visualize, interpret and relay information in simple, understandable and useable ways allows our customers to safely and confidently enjoy the outdoors.” 

Kaskie began his career with Game, Fish and Parks in 2019 and is currently stationed in Pierre, SD.

O’Hara has been with GFP since 2016 and is stationed in Rapid City, 


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