Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Rising Through the Ranks: Katie Walker

Intern Katie Walker has her hands full with working on the Energy Index project, coordinating the FLC “Mapping, Satellite, and Sensor Technologies” Forum, and managing both of GIS’ ESRI K-12 licensing and geoworkshops courses.
 Walker started working with the GIS Program in the March of 2015 after hearing about it from her close friend, Daniel Benton, who was a Journeyman at the time.
 Now, in under a year, Walker has joined the ranks of Journeymen Leaders because of all her hard work.
 Walker has worked on a variety of non-crime projects, marketing the linear risk terrain model, editing website content, mapping tourism areas in Queen Anne’s counties, grading states on their renewable energy efforts, and developing the Eastern Shore Harvest Directory.
 Walker has a bit of a soft-spot for the Harvest Directory. “I love the Harvest Directory project because I enjoy reaching out to local farmers and getting them new business. Local food and services is a concept I am really passionate about, so being able to help work on a project of such magnitude to promote producers in the area was very fulfilling,” she said.
As junior majoring in environmental studies, with minors in biology and earth/planetary sciences, GIS has helped Walker a lot in her future career goals. “A lot of research can be better represented and presented to the public, and I think that GIS tools are just the way to do it. A lot of organizations like NOAA and NASA use GIS, so having this internship will be a great segue into future paths,” she said.
  “They’re using dredge material from the Chesapeake Bay to rebuild Poplar Island, planting cordgrass to stabilize the island. We are digitizing the cordgrass population to determine the health of the grass population, and thus the success of the project. Science nerd alert,” she said.Walker’s love for science is apparent, as another of her favorite projects was the Poplar Island Landscape Analysis Project. Although Walker didn’t get to work on the project very long, she was proud to be apart of the research going on at Horn Point Laboratory.
 Working at the lab has given Walker a “plethora of skills.” Besides becoming familiar with popular GIS software like ArcMap, Publisher, and SketchUp, Walker has learned skills that can transcend her time at GIS and has picked up other interests she didn’t expect to have.
 She said, “I have learned more about leadership, time management, and team effort. I would have never thought I would get into marketing, but I have really enjoyed using Publisher.”
 One of Walker’s projects, coordinating the FLC “Mapping, Satellite, and Sensor Technologies” Forum, is coming to fruition Oct. 15. The GIS Program is working with the Federal Lab Consortium and other county economic development offices to bring the Forum to Washington College. Representatives from NASA, NSA, USDA, NGA, and several different university centers will  be in Decker Theater in Gibson Center of the Arts between 8AM-4:30PM. You can register for the free event by following this link to Eventbrite.

AUTHOR:Brooke Schultz


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