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 Operations Manager Erica McMaster. The program now has 9 professional staff and 85 student apprentices and journeymen, ranging across all grade levels and majors, operating in a guild environment to advance the tradecraft of GIS. The program operates via contracts and grants from various sources and guild members work together with our numerous customers on relevant projects big and small.
What We Do:
The talented team of staff and students in our guild work together on a variety of funded projects designed to provide experiential learning opportunities to our student guild members to expand their critical thinking and analytic skills. These experiences, combined with the top-notch Liberal Arts education provided at Washington College, helps to make them very competitive for the careers of their future. We also provide technical support for faculty research programs and faculty academic courses in addition to providing technical support for other administrative units on campus.
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 sponsorships at the program allows for a diverse array of projects, giving student guild members the chance to work on important projects that are used in the real world.
Why It Matters:
The projects that are completed at 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 by many local agencies. Things such as crime and traffic analysis and environmental analysis help many people and organizations make decisions that they could not make without this analysis. Our customers depend on our guild for timely and accurate analysis that they use to make better informed decisions that impact the health and safety of Maryland citizens.