top of page


After spending 5 years in the Coast Guard, I decided to move back home and open a commercial photography business. Growing up with a professional photographer for a father, I was trained in the lost art of film and medium format photography. I began schooling at Gwinnett Technical College, and finished at North Georgia Tech, rounding my academic imaging career with many well versed and professional instructors. After interning with a well known regional wedding photographer, Kenny Simmons, I opened Joshua Hoynes Photography, specializing in weddings and industrial photography, as well as graphic design and marketing. It was in 2012 that I realized I needed to take my career path to the next elevated level, and finally live my dream of working in the field of science, so it was time to earn a degree. After talking with several professionals in the field of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), I started my academic path at the University of North Georgia.


In 2012 I began my academic career at the University of North Georgia. Originally I started off with the intent of getting my GIS certification and gaining a degree in geology, under the tutaledge of Dr. Katayoun Mobasher. I revived the Geology Club, where I served as president for 2 years, organizing events, field trips, and budgeting. Along with working with the geology department, I began working with several of the biology professors with the schools Box Turtle project, utilizing GIS for tracking, mapping, and land classifications for the schools Tumbling Creek wetland preserve. Throughout my training in the field of environmental sciences, GIS, and remote sensing, I was expertly trained in Esri's ArcGIS software and Erdas Imagine, along with fundementals in eCognition, QGIS, and Google Earth Engine. With classes ranging from cartography, spatial analysis, and digital image processing, to an entire gamut of environmental sciences, such as freshwater ecology, hydrology, and soil sciences, each of which ended with a GIS/photogrammetry-based project & presentation. Through the course of my education, I switched from geology to Environmental Spatial Analysis with a concentration in geosciences. My education took me through the beginnings of fundmental GIS and photogrammetry (remote sensing) with lab based classes educating me in fundamentals of head-up digitizing, geocoding, and algorithmic spatial analysis, to wetland delineations, hydrology mapping, creating NDVI's, and advanced Landsat multi-spectral image processing, including Aster and various professionally sourced data. Through my training, my love for the outdoors was greatly enhanced with detailed field work, data collections, and ground truthing.

Research Assistant Position/ Scholarship/ & Internship:

In 2012 I was awarded 1 of 12 internship positions out of 800+ applicants, with Gwinnett County Water Resource Department. My position was serving the Watershed Improvement Program (WIP) in stream restoration mapping. I created photo point stations for each restoration site which included azimuth based imaging, geolocating, and GIS mapping which allows the department to have a before and after viewing of each site with detailed field data pertaining to location specific attributes, along with authoring an SOP of my production.

It was through this effort that I was awarded a research assistant position the last 2 years of school with the geology department for the Geology of Georgia project. This project is an education experiment utilizing mobile data collection per Esri's ArcMap Collector app to allow students to collect field data and generate an interactive map showcasing Georgia's geological structures and significant findings. My job included field data collection and meta data editing, as well as developing the Gigapan panoramic application of geological structures throughout the state of Georgia. Gigapan is a robotic camera device that allows the stitching of hundreds of full resolution DSLR images to be tiled into one massive image that allows the viewer to zoom in at impressive levels to detailed visuals of the structures geological presence. Examples of our project can be viewed here through Gigapan's website, all images shot and stiched by me (*note: clicking on the diagonal arrows in the upper right corner of the image will open up a full screen viewing, where you can navigate the image with your mouse, and zoom in and out with the mouse wheel or onscreen zoom buttons.). Through this project I won the 2016 American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) scholarship, I was published twice with AIPG and Georgia's URISA (Urban & Regional Information Systems Association), and served as a guest speaker in training Georgia university geoscience professors in geological/geo-based photography and ArcMap Collector training.



I joined the United States Coast Guard in 2002 where I was first stationed on the USCGC Barque Eagle, a 3 masted sailing ship won as a war prize from WWII in 1946. It was here that I began my love for all things navigation, and started my training as a quartermaster, a ships navigator. Learning to sail via celestial and modern GPS navigation on the open seas was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. After sailing with the training ship for 6 months, I was transferred to the Coast Guard Academy where I began my training as a small arms coach, later becoming certified as a Small Arms Instructor (aka. Range Master). It was during this time that I honed my skill as both a teacher and a leader, as I was in charge of training a large portion of the Eastern Coast stations and ships, as well as ordnance inventory, from Northern Deleware down to North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay.

Continuing Education

These are the applications I am currently studying to help reach my career goals:

GIS Certified Professional (GISP)


I have already started my application for my GISP and will be testing sometime this fall.

  • QGIS & GRASS Certification

Online certification courses designed to familarize the user with the fundamentals of the software. I'm expecting a very short learning curve here due to a strong profeciency to Esri's ArcMap. I'm adding this software to my repetoire to broaden the field of GIS work I can bring to a company.

References available upon request.
GIS - University of North Georgia
FAA 107 Commercial UAS Pilot
GNSS & DGPS Corrections - Trimble
GPS Pathfinder Office - Trimble


Drone Based Multi-spectral Mapping Analysis

This field has peaked my interest as a definite career path combining by expertise with Remote Sensing, GIS, Digital Image Processing, and Commercial Photography

Self-directed Field Work & Data Collection along with Digital Analysis Production

I have a strong desire to combine my expertise with  data analysis with corresponding field work. I'm more than happy to get my hands & boots dirty in order to obtain professional level ground truthing and data collection.


2012 - 2016

University of North Georgia

B.S. Environmental Spatial Analysis

A.S. Physical Geography

GIS Certification

2008 - 2010

Gwinnett Technical & North Georgia Technical College

Commercial Photography

bottom of page