Blue Skies Consulting

a division of



Blue Skies is a woman-owned small business that provides aerial photography for mapping and remote sensing applications established in 1999. Blue Skies is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Please click here to view our USDA Non-Discrimination Statement.


The company achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification for its aerial mapping services in September 2005, and continues to maintain our QMS to the current standard, which is now ISO 9001:2008.


Blue Skies is the only company based in the State of New Mexico with a digital photogrammetric mapping camera and a LiDAR sensor. Blue Skies' Microsoft/Vexcel UltraCam Lp digital camera and its Riegl VQ-580 LiDAR system are integrated with the Track 'Air flight management system, a Track'Air SteadyTrack LG IMU stabilized camera mount, and a Novatel Span SE 5-hertz airborne GPS receiver with a Northrup-Grumman LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit.


In March 2012, Blue Skies acquired the equipment, personnel, and accounts of New Mexico Aerial Surveys.  This alliance greatly strengthens the capabilities and technology available to Blue Skies' customers.



Please click here for an index of articles and press releases about Blue Skies.


New Mexico Technology Flying 40 award recipient, 2016


USDA Rural Development REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant Recipient, 2011


USDA Farm Service Agency's Woman-Owned

Business Contractor of the Year, 2010


U.S. Department of Agriculture's Woman-Owned

Small Business of the Year, 2003


ISO 9001:2008 Certification


New Mexico's National Geographic Geography Bee


MAPPS (Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors)


ASPRS (American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing)


NMGIC (New Mexico Geographic Information Council)


Central New Mexico Community College Geographic  Information Technology Advisory Committee

Tami Wiggins, Chair


University of New Mexico, Valencia Campus, Digital Media Arts Advisory Board


ESRI Southwest Users’ Group


Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce



Tami Wiggins

CEO, Team Project Manager, and Quality Assurance Coordinator


Tami received a Master of Science in Applied Geography degree from Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University) and an undergraduate degree from Rice University. For more than 25 years, Ms. Wiggins has been involved in the mapping and surveying, photogrammetry and remote-sensing industries. She has extensive experience in project management in the environmental science field, including work at the National Geographic Society, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Environmental Affairs, and Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. In January of 1999, Ms. Wiggins founded Blue Skies Consulting, LLC (BSC), with Michael Racine. At BSC, Tami is responsible for the daily operations of the business and is also project manager for BSC’s contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for archival film scanning and acquisition of aerial imagery for the Small Area Aerial Photography program.

Mike Racine

President, Chief Pilot


Mike received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of New Mexico. He has more than 20 years of aerial mapping experience and is a large-project specialist. Mike is a commercial pilot with single- and multi-engine land instrument airplane licenses and has more than 10,600 hours of flying time. He holds a second-class medical certificate and has had no accidents or incidents. Mike is also a Federal Aviation Administration-certified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) aircraft mechanic with Inspection Authorization (IA). His responsibilities at Blue Skies also include corporate-level decision-making and accountability; technology maintenance and upgrades; equipment maintenance and acquisition; facilities management; and project and personnel management.

Michael Grossman

Pilot, Project Manager



Michael received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico.  He has 25 years of experience as a commercial pilot, with 21 of those years acquiring precision aerial photography for photogrammetric mapping projects with flight altitudes ranging from 900' AMT to over 20,000' AMT.  He has over 11,200 hours of flying time. Mr. Grossman has been directly responsible for managing mapping projects, cost estimating of mapping and flight-only projects, and flight map preparation.  He has experience in project management, estimating, and flight planning and layout.

Paloma Wells

Executive Assistant


Paloma has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of New Mexico, and is also a math teacher.  She has been an executive assistant for Blue Skies Consulting during her summer breaks since 2012, providing support for aerial photography projects and the day-to-day organization and operations of the business.



Ethan Lacher

Aerial Systems Operator


Ethan is a 2014 graduate of the University of North Alabama and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and GIS Certificate. As our Aerial Systems Operator, he works closely with our pilots before, during, and after flights to ensure accuracy and quality.  In the office, his duties include processing digital imagery, LiDAR, and GPS/IMU data and assisting our film scanning team with various tasks. A jack of many trades, Ethan follows many projects through the phases of acquisition, processing, and delivery.  He is also spearheading the development of our experimental UAV department and is a Part 107 Certified Remote Pilot.

Lindsay Cole

Administrative Assistant


Lindsay joined the Blue Skies team in March of 2016. She attended both Columbia State Community College and the University of North Alabama where she studied Business Administration with a major of Accounting. Lindsay works closely with both the administration and image processing teams. She provides support services for archival photography projects as well as the day-to- day organization and operations of the business. She also maintains the upkeep of the Blue Skies Website.

Angela Arriaga

Imagery Production Manager


Angela is managing the imagery processing team that will be scanning and processing large-format aerial film into digital file format and processing direct-digital aerial imagery and airborne GPS data. Angela has over 15 years of management experience in the travel industry. She is also a 2016 graduate of The University of New Mexico’s Geography program. Her experience and energy bring a fresh view of the world to Blue Skies.

Daniel Montoya

Imagery Production Technician


Daniel was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, and he is a senior at the University of New Mexico majoring in geography and environmental science. He is part of the imagery processing team that scans and processes large-format aerial film into digital file format, the team also processes and prepares direct-digital aerial imagery and airborne GPS data for delivery to customers.

Michael Pretes

Consulting Geographer


Mike holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley, an M.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in Geographical Sciences from the Australian National University. He is currently Professor of Geography at the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL. He previously taught geography at the University of New Mexico, as well as at universities in Hawaii, Wyoming, Missouri, Finland, and Australia. During Summer 2015 he assisted Blue Skies as a camera systems operator.


Mark Hardesty

Consulting Flight Test Engineer


Mark has B.S. and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from NC State; for over 28 years he’s been designing and executing experimental flight test programs for manned and unmanned systems. Recent test programs include precision autonomous landings to ships and obstacle rich landing zones.  Mr. Hardesty holds FAA commercial and instrument pilot ratings, having logged over 3000 flight hours in fixed wing, rotorcraft, and high performance sailplanes as pilot-in-command or mission specialist.

In Memory: Steve Scharf




In August, 2013, Steve lost a two year battle with cancer. Steve was the Imagery Production Manager with Blue Skies, and he had over 25 years of experience in surveying and photogrammetry. He was a valuable and beloved member of the Blue Skies team and will be greatly missed by all of us.


© 2017 Blue Skies Consulting, LLC