ESRGC Winter Spotlight 2020-2021
"Looking back, my time spent with the ESRGC is invaluable especially having moved into a career in the community they support."
Graduation date / School:
Salisbury University Bachelor of Science in GIS and Atmospheric Science – May 2019
When did you first use GIS?:
GIS first popped up on my radar when I took Map Interpretation and Analysis in the Spring of 2016 after switching into the class on a whim as an Environmental Studies major.
What is something you wish everyone knew about GIS?:
GIS is more than just visualizing data in a geospatial format; it’s storytelling, designing, problem solving and so much more. Virtually any industry has the opportunity to utilize GIS technology and people just have to be educated on the capabilities of GIS.
What interested you in working with the ESRGC?:
I knew prior to interning with the ESRGC of how knowledgeable and resourceful all of the staff were. I also knew that being able to get even a little bit of experience in the industry would not only teach me new skills but provide connections to professionals on the Lower Shore. So being offered multiple different internships was the best thing for building up professional experience.
What project(s) did you work on at ESRGC?:
At the ESRGC, I did a hodgepodge of things that provided me with many new experiences in the GIS industry. I worked two separate summers collecting housing data all over the Lower and Mid Shore for blight studies. I helped preserve historical aerial imagery by scanning, georeferencing, and creating scanned mylar mosaics. I also worked on several other smaller projects throughout many summers.
Where are you working now? And what are you working on?:
I currently work with the Wicomico County Planning, Zoning, and Community Development Department as the 911 Addressing Coordinator & Technical Services Technician. Most recently, I have been helping the department set up a Drone Program to bring a new perspective to many planning projects. I have also been working on utilizing ESRI’s online platform to bring GIS applications to more facets of County operations.
How has working with ESRGC prepared you for your current position?:
Interning for the ESRGC has allowed me to learn different skills and advance those I learned during classes by providing exposure to many different projects, tools, and experiences. Looking back, my time spent with the ESRGC is invaluable especially having moved into a career in the community they support.
Have you gone to any GIS conferences? How did they go?:
I have been to two different ESRI conferences. The Mid-Atlantic User Conference last winter gave me the opportunity to network and to learn about new tools available after just starting my first job in the industry. The User Conference this summer while virtual, was extremely valuable. Ultimately, these conferences provide inspiration for new projects and the opportunity for professional development and I look forward to attending more conferences in the future.
Dream job? (doesn’t have to be GIS/ESRGC related):
My dream job would be to start my own consulting firm for GIS, Surveying, and Drone services.
What do you like to do in your spare time?:
In my spare time, I love to read and spend time outdoors, hiking, biking, and traveling.
Do you have a LinkedIn ?
Yes, I do.
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 email@example.com.