Your First Year

The Story of Where

The Washington College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program has the mission of providing experiential learning opportunities for students.

The means that we take the technology tools that professionals use and we make them available to our students. We train you, and we work with you to solve problems for real world organizations.

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS) on Jan. 30, 2015. Cristoforetti wrote, "A spectacular flyover of the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa. #HelloEarth"

Our plan is to show you how we think about the world, how everything is geospatial, and how you’ve been using this technology every single day of your life without realizing it.

More importantly, we hope to have some fun and share our passion with you. Who knows, we might accidentally learn something about each other while we’re doing it.

Hear it from our students:


The Plan: 

Sunday, August 19 - But wait, where am I supposed to go?

We’ll take the morning to get to know each other by the warm glow of a computer screen, sharing stories and laying the groundwork for the story you’re going to start building as a college student. 

The afternoon is the time for us to figure out where everything is! We’ve hidden secrets all over the place, and the ultimate geocache experience is finding the last secret before sundown.

Monday, August 20 - It’s just a bunch of pictures!

How well do you know your surroundings?

We’ll take the morning to show you the spatial world. The data, the images, and how to make sense of a data-centered world. Remember: everything happens somewhere.

The afternoon will be a “get to know you” activity smorgasbord, the old fashioned Washington College way: sweat equity. 

We’ll journey to the wilds of Echo Hill and practice solving problems, trusting each other, and working together.

Tuesday, August 21 - Help, we need data!

We’ve got a case of GPS units and a town to map. We’ll teach you how to collect data while introducing you to downtown Chestertown. Bonus points include finding the best coffee and sandwich spot in the area.

Once you’re trained, we’re taking to the high seas of the Chester river. The goal is to update some precision locations along the water, so the (waterproof) GPS units come with us onto kayaks. We’ll paddle, take note and see the sites.