ESRGC Spring Spotlight 2019
Name: Liz Hitch (Wheatley)
Graduation date: December, 2006
Hometown: Damascus, MD
When did you first use GIS? I came to SU as a transfer student my sophomore year. I remember deciding on a Geography Major in part because that was the field my mom was in so I always had interest in it. I was lucky enough to get Dr. Scott as my adviser - he set me up as a GIS major day one. So the first time I used GIS was in Fall 2004 in GIS class - Geog 319.
What is something you wish everyone knew about GIS? How useful it is, you can really do anything with GIS!
What interested you in working with the ESRGC?
I was looking for a job to work for the Summer I was going to stay in town. I'm not sure if Dr. Scott approached me or I asked him but it worked out so perfect. I was able to have a job I actually got to use the skills I was learning in school.
What project(s) did you worked on as an intern? How long were you an intern?
I worked at ESRGC from 2006-2007. Since I graduated in Dec 2006 I was able to keep working after graduation full time for a few months. I worked on things like rectifying old railroad maps and a lot of digitizing. I was also part of the project over the Summer where I walked around using a GPS and satellite backpack to map all of the water and sewer network for a local town. I worked a lot with Erin from ESRGC on that - I'm pretty sure she still works there!
Where are you working now? And what are you working on?
I'm now working for the FAA charting office in Silver Spring, MD. I work in the landing procedures office to create the maps for the planes to land at the airports. I am currently on the south team so I work mostly with the southern states. We take a procedure that has been flight checked and create a map to be published for the flying public. We also have to update little things like frequency changes, note changes, new obstacles in the area, etc. So plenty to keep us busy. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of GIS work here - but I'm so happy to still be creating maps!
How has working with ESRGC prepared you for your current position?
ESRGC was my first "real" job during and after college. I feel like a lot of the skills I learned there I carried over to my current job. Although I don't use ArcMap anymore I still do a lot of Cartography work and even some digitizing. All things I got to do first at ESRGC.
Have you gone to any GIS conferences? How did they go? I
Yes I've been a few times over the years to the ESRI Federal User Conference in DC. Its always exciting to see what is new in the GIS world since I don't get to work with as much as I used to. I also always see past Salisbury graduates there and it's always great to catch up!
Dream job? (doesn’t have to be GIS/ESRGC related)
Can I come back and work for ESRGC? what a great job! But seriously I would always want to stay in the mapping world one way or another :) If I could be creating maps from a lounge chair on the beach that would be pretty perfect haha.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spending time with my husband - Kyle Hitch (also a SU geography graduate), traveling the world as much as I can, walking my dog, and just spending time with my family & friends.
The Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) at Salisbury University quarterly features a current or former intern for our Intern Spotlight. The ESRGC provides geographic information system (GIS) technology, data, technical support, and training to governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations in Maryland and across the Mid-Atlantic. Since launching in 2004, the ESRGC has provided valuable paid internships to hundreds of Salisbury University students, allowing them to learn real-world skills that prepare them for a direct transition to the workforce. ESRGC internships range from analyzing databases for local governments to field verifying broadband access in rural areas, and everything in between. For more information on how your organization could leverage the advantage of this inexpensive, highly-motivated, technical GIS intern, or how to apply for an internship, please contact Lauren McDermott at firstname.lastname@example.org.