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Geographic Information Systems

February 2018

Alumni: Where Are They Now?


Parker 1

The Washington College GIS Program is proud to announce that one of our alumnus, Parker Hornstein, has accepted a position with the largest GIS software company, ESRI, creators of the ArcGIS software. Hornstein is a 2017 Washington College graduate and GIS Program alumnus. He claims that he obtained this position from being “in the right place at the right time”. At the ESRI Developer’s Summit in D.C. in March of 2017, Hornstein was recommended for a summer internship at the company when he ran into an old professor. His experience as an intern at the GIS program gave him a boost into this new position. He was offered a full-time position with the company after his summer internship.  

At ESRI, Hornstein is a Solution Engineer for the defense team. His job tasks are to understand the company’s technology, market it to potential customers, and help support their active customers with geospatial analysis needs. As a member on the defense team, many clients are already established, so every day is new and exciting as he gets to create solutions to problems clients may have.  

His internship at the WC GIS program gave him the opportunity to develop a strong fundamental understanding of geospatial analysis. Applying for jobs outside of college was much easier with his experience at the WC GIS program on his resume. According to Hornstein, the work done at the GIS program is “real world work and can be marketed as such”, which will make any recent graduate standout. 

As an alumnus his advice to current student interns at the GIS Program would be to “embrace everything you can.” Student interns should take advantage of the knowledgeable staff and ask questions. He recommends that interns read up on topics and then propose their own methods and ideas. If you’re passionate about GIS and working in the GIS field after college, he recommends taking a basic computer science course. “GIS programmers are in hot demand right now as the future of GIS is moving to the web” says Hornstein. 

Hard work here at the WC GIS Program has allowed our interns to excel outside of Washington College. We wish Parker Hornstein the best of luck in his new position! 


North American Super Grid


The North American Super Grid Project is being done in partnership with the Climate Institute in Washington D.C. Through this partnership the GIS program is acquiring and using national data sets to help create an optimized route for a proposed HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) energy grid.  

This project will look at the current energy grid system for North America for a possible upgrade. Currently the country has an AC grid, which is above ground. The potential new HVDC grid would be buried beneath the ground. The decrease in overhead lines needed would be beneficial for the environment.  

This project is a feasibility study to check if the desired changes, an underground HVDC grid, are possible. The GIS Project is reviewing the primary concerns of soil properties and right of ways (ex: highways and Native American land). To learn more click here.


Eye in the Sky


Grant Twilley, a GIS Program alumni, has been hard at work since his 2015 graduation!

He is currently flying around the world as a specialist in Light Detection and Ranging. To read more about his awesome projects click here!


Historic Quail Habitat 


A student intern of the GIS Program is working with Dan Small from the Center for Environment & Society to understand changes in landscape on the eastern shore since the 1960s.  

To aid Smalls research in quail restoration the student intern will be using historic imagery, digitizing it, and comparing it to recent imagery to understand changes in landscape. This will correlate with historic and current bird survey data.    


Helping Women in Crisis 


Professor Rachel Durso of Washington College is working with the GIS program to help local women in crisis with their battle against domestic violence.

Durso and the GIS program have partnered with the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV). The Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) grant will help support a variety of services for domestic violence victims. To read more about this project click here.