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  • Writer's pictureRyan Mello

ESRGC 20th Anniversary Staff Questionnaire

How many years have you been with ESRGC?

  • I started in June of 2017, so almost 7 years 😉. -Nastya

  • My first internship was in the Fall of 2008, so I am in my 15th year here. -Ryan

  • 18 years - Erin

  • I joined the ESRGC as a student intern in 2006 and continued through graduation in 2007. I love telling current students that I also interned at the ESRGC! I returned to the ESRGC as a Senior GIS Analyst in 2009 after working in the GIS department of an engineering firm in Savannah, Georgia. It's hard to believe this is my 15th year working as a professional staff at the ESRGC! - Mary

  • Started interning as an undergrad in June, 2010 (~14-years). Moved to research assistant (August, 2011 ~13-years) then fulltime (March, 2012 12-years) during grad school. - Brett

  • I have been working at the ESRGC for 3 years. I started as an intern and am currently a GIS Technician. - Anj

What is a highlight of your time here at ESRGC?

  • I've really enjoyed my time at ESRGC and definitely feel grateful for it. One highlight for me was when COVID hit and we had to go completely remote. Even though we felt isolated from the world, I felt a strong connection to my coworkers and the important work we were doing. It was a scary time, but it also brought a huge sense of gratitude for the team and its ability to pull through together, stronger than ever! -Nastya

  • My personal highlight would have to be my work with remapping Maryland's tidal wetlands and Critical Areas, which were originally mapped in the 1970's.  I started this project as a GIS Analyst digitizing the shoreline/wetlands in 2011 and am currently the GIS Manager for this project.  At this time, most of Maryland's counties with Critical Area have formally adopted the maps we created and I feel this is a huge career accomplishment. -Ryan  

  • The highlight of my time at the ESRGC has definitely been working with all the great people. Our staff is terrific and we also have the privilege to work with many amazing partners. I learn so much from our staff and partners and I really value those relationships. - Erin

  • There are many highlights!  I've been fortunate to represent the ESRGC at conferences across the country.  This has helped me develop professionally, has fostered relationships with current and past project partners, and has allowed me to keep in touch with fellow Salisbury University graduates.  I also completed my Master's in GIS Management at SU with full support from the ESRGC.  Finally, the ESRGC's team is incredibly talented and I've enjoyed celebrating our individual and group achievements over the years with kayak tours, clam bakes, soupapalooza soup competitions, and crab feasts.  Our team works hard and we know how to celebrate! - Mary

  • The camaraderie. Between meetings, birthdays, and team building you get to spend a lot of time with some exceptional people. It makes for a lot of great memories. - Brett

  • I do not have a particular one. I feel the wide range of projects and experiences I am able to be involved in are the highlights of my career here. I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given! - Anj

What was the first project you worked on with ESRGC?

  • I was working on digitizing sewer and water utilities for Lewes, Delaware. -Nastya

  • My first project as an intern was to conduct fieldwork for a flood hazard vulnerability assessment for Dorchester County.  I was tasked with collecting structure data on a list of homes in rural Dorchester County that would be used to determine the extent of potential damage caused by future sea level change. -Ryan   

  • My first project at the ESRGC was as an intern doing field work. I was responsible for collecting information on bridges and culverts in six counties of the Mid and Lower Eastern Shore. -Erin

  • I was hired as a Senior GIS Analyst in 2009 to support the Maryland Broadband Mapping Initiative, Maryland's part in a national broadband mapping project.  I gained valuable experience on this five year project and learned how rethink processes, work with big data, and meet deadlines.  Internally we joked about how my title should have read, "Slayer of Broadband Dragon" - a title that still fits as we recently completed a mapping project for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development! - Mary

  • If I recall correctly it was the big Broadband project – I was one of the “can you hear me know?” guys. We drove all over Maryland’s Eastern Shore testing the upload/download speeds of various broadband providers. - Brett

  • The first project I worked on was digitizing ditches in the area. It took awhile to complete but was the perfect start in terms of real-world GIS projects. - Anj

What is your favorite project you were a part of at the ESRGC?

  • This is a tough one GIS and dashboards are very different, I think for GIS it is State Land Vulnerability Project we completed for DNR and working on second iteration, and for dashboard is Academic Success Dashboard for Salisbury University. -Nastya

  • In addition to my work with the Critical Area Commission, I'd say that I have really enjoyed all of the outreach opportunities to share what we do.  Over the years we have hosted or visited hundreds of K-12 students, in addition I have worked with summer camp programs that encourage GIS/mapping skills. -Ryan

  • This is an impossible question! We are fortunate to have quite a bit of diversity in our projects and that makes it fun and interesting. I would say my favorite project is always the one I’m working on now. -Erin

  • My favorite project I’ve worked on is the ongoing Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund and regional council supported GIS Circuit Rider Program.  This project was designed to support small GIS projects in our region and I'm so proud of the assistance we've been able to provide to counties, municipalities, and non-profits across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. - Mary

  • Every project’s been rewarding so none stands as a clear favorite. If I had to choose, in the moment, I’d say… the big Broadband project. It was pretty unbelievable on a personal level. I drove across the entire Shore. I ended up in some of the most remote spots and saw a landscape that I would’ve otherwise never known existed. The exposure left a lasting impression. Upon reflection… this is my clear favorite but there have been so many I can speak highly of. - Brett

  • I created and updated a trail map for one of the Maryland state parks. I worked alongside Maryland DNR and rangers working within the state park. It was an exciting, new learning experience as I used ArcMap to create the products - Anj

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