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Wilmington Tech Company Tapped For Federal Forestry Contract

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Apr 15, 2024
Founded in 2013 by U.S. Army veteran Nicholas Smith, Geo Owl has a growing list of federal government clients like the Department of Defense and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. (File photo)
Wilmington-based geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) company Geo Owl was awarded a $70 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with the United States Forest Service, the company announced last week.

The contract ties Geo Owl’s geospatial services to research and development programs across the U.S. Forest Service’s 193 million acres of land in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to the company’s announcement issued Thursday. Geo Owl is expected to provide remote sensing, photogrammetry, geospatial analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartography, geodesy and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). 

Geo Owl was one of five vendors chosen for the National Geospatial Services (NGSC) contract with the U.S. Forest Service. Each vendor will support different efforts across the agency. The award has a $70 million ceiling and a five-year cycle for each recipient, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. 

The NGSC is one of two geospatial contracts the federal Geospatial Office has administered in the past five years, according to U.S. Forest Service officials, the other is the Remote Sensing and Geospatial Services contract (RSGS). 

Founded in 2013 by U.S. Army veteran Nicholas Smith, Geo Owl has a growing list of federal government clients like the Department of Defense and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The company is headquartered at 100A Old Eastwood Road in Wilmington and has another office in Fuquay-Varina.

The technology company specializes in location-based data finding through drones and satellites. It also provides IT services and other intelligence services, according to Geo Owl officials. Last year, the company began a hiring spree due to a capital injection of about $3 million in federal contract awards, growing to about 120 employees in 2024.

Some of the team works out of the Wilmington headquarters, said Geo Owl marketing director Audrey Robison. Many of its employees work remotely from military bases such as Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Fort Collins in Colorado and other areas abroad.

The four other recipients of U.S. Forest Service contracts are Daybreak, a Virginia-based data analytics company; Dj&A, a Montana-based civil engineering, planning and surveying firm; Innovate!, a Virginia-based geospatial services and business consulting firm and Xentity Corporation, a Colorado-based geospatial services company.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct that Geo Owl has 120 employees. 
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