Friday, January 31, 2020

Connecting to Agriculture (and Beyond)

Since joining the GIS Program in August 2013, senior Marissa Seidel has worked on a variety of projects for the lab. This year, she’s tackling the Eastern Shore Harvest Directory.

The Harvest Directory is a database of local, agriculture-based businesses, a project that GIS mans in conjunction with the Upper Shore Regional Council. The database is free and is provided to businesses in Kent, Cecil, Queen Anne, Caroline, Talbot, and Dorchester counties. Seidel is a Journeyman Leader for the project, the highest position for student interns at the lab, and four other students work under her.
“It is my responsibility to guide these students into reaching out to help grow the Harvest Directory by adding more businesses,” she said.50648_022_edited
Because of her involvement as a project manager for the Harvest Directory, Seidel is currently learning management skills, but has also learned to digitize maps and utilize Microsoft Office in ways she never had been able to previously.
“The skills I have acquired in the lab will follow me through life. Being able to effectively manage a project and others is a priceless skill and one that can only be acquired by actually doing it. It will help to make me stand out from others because it shows that I am a leader,” she said.
Seidel is a senior at Washington College, and plans on graduating in December. She’s an Anthropology and American Studies double major.
“My interest lies in being a Historical Archaeologist, though I do like GIS work as well, especially as it relates to Historic Preservation,” she said.
In the past, Seidel has worked on the Washington Maps Project for Mount Vernon, creating a comprehensive map of all the places George Washington ever went, stayed, or visited. Seidel also worked on updating the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay App, along with a lot of marketing for various GIS events, as well as helping to distribute free GIS software to high school teachers to use in their classrooms.
“I would have to say that my favorite project – other than what I do now – was the Washington’s World project. This is where I learned digitizing and got to use my historical research skills to help supplement the project,” she said.
Seidel plans to keep expanding the Harvest Directory, including featuring businesses on their Youtube Channel by doing interviews. In a few days, on Oct. 10, the Harvest Directory will be passing out information, signing up businesses, and trying to increase their number of users at the Easton Elks Club Oktoberfest and Family Fun Day.
You can check out the Harvest Directory’s Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the project and learn about all the great businesses in the Eastern Shore area!


Brooke Schultz

GIS’ Biggest Open House Yet

So much goes on every day at the GIS Lab – web design, 3D Visualization, virtual worlds, crime and traffic analysis, animations, etc – and on Nov. 14, we’ll be welcoming people into the lab to see it.

10304340_10152567046871225_8702496293805266780_nStudent interns will be showing their work in a wide variety of subjects, from environmental mapping to historic reconstruction, and a slew of other things in between. GIS’ recent program that launched over the fall, the METS Guild of Chestertown, will be demonstrating the skills they learned from their Journeyman Leader instructors.

The METS Guild is funded by the Verizon Foundation and Upper Shore Regional Council and aims to give local children in grades 7-9 a unique STEM education. Throughout the fall, the young apprentices learned from GIS student interns and will be applying that knowledge in the spring to real world projects.

With the METS Guild, staff and student workers, the lab will be busy, showing attendees their work and handing out free licenses for GIS software along with information about how to sign up to learnAAEAAQAAAAAAAAYqAAAAJDk3YzVjMmI3LWJiZTgtNDBkYy05NmJhLTU0NTA0OGI3OTMzNg how to use GIS for free.

The Open House is in conjunction with an Open House at the College and part of Maryland STEM Festival, and although the GIS Lab is short walk off campus, there will be a shuttle running between the College campus and the lab.

The Open House runs from 12-2p.m. on Nov. 14 at 151 Dixon Drive, Chestertown, MD.

For more information, you can contact former GIS Program Coordinator Stewart Bruce at 253-508-9672 or  And check out for info on grants and funding.

For more information about Washington College’s GIS Lab, go here.

More information on the STEM Programs are here.

AUTHOR:Brooke Schultz