Monday, October 1, 2012

Student Spotlight: Susanna Comfort

     Don’t know a thing about Geographic Information Systems? Neither did Susanna Comfort. But she says: “You shouldn’t let that stop you from joining the GIS Lab team at Washington College.” 
     A freshman from Denton, MD she plans to pursue a major in Political Science and Economics. This being her first year with GIS, she was roped in out of curiosity. Only 5 weeks into the academic year, Comfort is amazed at her experiences with the technology.

     “I’ve learned so much about the GIS technology already. I walked in at the beginning of Sept. without even knowing what the acronym GIS stood for. Just a few weeks later I’m using the complicated software without a problem. The training and courses created by Mr. Bruce are well-written and informative. He makes complicated topics like raster data and symbology easy to understand."
     Comfort has taken hold of opportunity and initiative and has already become involved in the hands-on learning aspect of the GIS Lab. She recently accompanied another student and Mr. Bruce on a trip along the Chester River, analyzing how various objects of debris are carried to different locations by the currents. Comfort used a mapping camera with a GPS locator to photograph each piece of debris, and every photo now has a record of the X-Y coordinate of the location it was found.
     Even though she has just pursued her first project, Comfort has come to the same knowledge as so many students before her of the dynamic impact GIS technology has in the world today. “My first few weeks at the GIS Lab have made me realize how important the technology actually is. A lot of times you think of this technology as a person sitting at a computer, staring at a screen for hours entering data. There are actually real tangible uses for GIS, from crime mapping to significant tools for the environment. It’s exciting to be able to work with this groundbreaking technology and I can’t wait to become more involved in the future.”

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