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Geographic Information Systems

GIS Team 2014 with Label

Who We Are:

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program at Washington College was established in 2003 by Dr. John Seidel, Director of the Center for Environment and Society, and is currently led by GIS Program Director Erica McMaster. The GIS Program now has 9 professional staff and more than 50 student interns, ranging across all grade levels and majors, operating in a guild environment. Our mission is to provide Washington College students with experiential learning opportunities via contracts and grants that provide professional experience for our undergraduates.  

What We Do:

The talented team of staff and students at our GIS Program work together on a variety of funded projects designed to teach students GIS software, while providing them with a unique environment with which to practice their skills. Our students constantly have to expand their critical thinking and analytic skills, networking with clients and responding to the demands of a real-world professional workplace. These experiences, combined with the top-notch Liberal Arts education provided at Washington College, helps to prepare them for their future. In addition, the GIS Program provides technical support for Washington College’s administration and supports faculty research programs and academic courses. 

The GIS Program partners with organizations such as the Maryland Highway Safety Office, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, as well as more local organizations such as the Upper Shore Regional Council and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The plethora of partnerships and grants at the GIS Program allow for a diverse array of work to be done.  Our undergraduate student interns are the engines of ability that allow us to accomplish the work that we do. 

Why It Matters:

The projects that are completed by the GIS Program at Washington College are used by agencies such as the Maryland State Police, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Department of Juvenile Services, and through them by law enforcement agencies statewide. Projects devoted to crime and traffic analysis and environmental analysis provide a framework that organizations can use to enhance their decision making capabilities. Our partners and clients depend on us for timely and accurate analysis that they use to make better informed decisions that impact the health and safety of Maryland citizens.