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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program

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 Dr. Wayne Bell. The GIS Program is currently led by Director Erica McMaster. Our mission is to provide Washington College students with experiential learning opportunities, providing a professional working experience to compliment their Liberal Arts education.


Centrally located near the water of one of the world’s greatest estuaries, the Chesapeake Bay, CES engages with local and international communities, providing the tools, training and information to create scalable solutions balancing environment, people and cultures. As complex as the system it operates within, CES is a platform of opportunity connecting the resources of the area to possibilities dreamed in partnerships that bridge disciplines, political boundaries and ideas. Running under these connections is the drive to understand, to engage, to analyze critically and to share with the world.

A geospatial technologies hub providing experiential learning through professional internships, academic courses, and support for research. In partnership with external organizations, we pair students with projects to solve real-world problems.

Since its inception in 2003 under the current director of CES, Dr. John Seidel, the GIS Program has pursued a growth model based on training undergraduate interns as professionals to tackle the technology service needs in the State of Maryland and beyond. By tackling funded projects with student interns, the GIS Program has generated experiential learning opportunities creating functional maps, analysis, tools and a geospatial technologies framework for partners and clients throughout the United States.

  • Environmental analysis and mapping

  • Crime prevention and traffic analysis

  • Cultural, historic, and resource mapping

  • Economic planning and development

  • Professional workforce development

  • K-12 STEM education

gis group photo esri 2020


What We Do:

We provide our students with work that expands their critical thinking and analytic skills by pushing them to network and respond to the demands our paying clients and partners.  

We support faculty in their research and provide core classes on geospatial technologies. 

Why It Matters:

The projects that are completed by the GIS Program at Washington College 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.

Mapping Their Future

Through the Center for Environment and Society at Washington College, the Geographic Information Systems program provides students with professional training for their careers and the improvement of our local and global communities.


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