By Julia Clifton
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program offers five internships programs every summer. While their main focus is generally data collection, the internships are not limited to math and science majors.
“All students of any academic major would benefit from working for the GIS program. Our program focuses on making sure all of our interns get the most experience by matching them with opportunities similar to their future career goals,” Kelsey Newcomb, GIS assistant coordinator, said.
GIS is offering five unique programs across different fields. The first position, GIS trainee, is the only unpaid role. This internship, however, will provide students with a background in GIS computer programs and interacting with staff in a professional environment.
The GIS Student Analyst: General position is geared toward students who do not have an extensive background or experience in mapping.
Students in this role will complete research related to historical landscapes and energy infrastructure in addition to contributing to other client projects. Students will communicate with said clients under the direction of GIS staff.
The GIS Student Analyst: Traffic Analysis with the Maryland Highway Safety Office Grant does require previous experience in GIS. The focus of this internship is on interpreting traffic data.
Senior Katie McMillan participated in this internship last summer.
“We created products for various law enforcement and government agencies around Maryland to help target areas of concern for impaired driving, high crash rates, and see why they might be happening and improve traffic safety. It’s a blend of data analytics, data visualization, and a heavy dose of maps,” she said.
In a similar vein, the GIS Student Analyst: Vehicle Theft position also deals with understanding data as it pertains to Maryland’s counties. This internship does require a moderate amount of experience in GIS. This position includes data correction, data cleanup, mapping, among other various tasks.
The final role is that of GIS Student Analyst: Domestic Violence, which focuses on interpreting domestic violence data and determining areas where there is a lack of resources to combat domestic violence. This internship involves research, geocoding and aggregating data, digitizing, and working to develop and maintain web applications.
These internships are meant to provide hands-on experience in the field of GIS and data analysis, relevant skills for a variety of majors.
“I would recommend GIS to other students. You learn so many different skills and get to work in so many capacities that no matter your career path, this is a great job,” McMillan said.
Additionally, there are some opportunities for students who are interested in GIS outside of internships to get involved with the program.
Students who are unable to participate in an internship this summer but are interested in GIS can enroll in ANT-109, Intro to GIS, in the fall semester.
Additionally, those looking for specific outcomes from a GIS position are encouraged to contact program staff.
“If a student is interested in learning GIS but does not have the opportunity to do an internship, we encourage them to review the available academic introductory and intermediate GIS courses, as well as reaching out to our Program Director to learn about more tailored individual opportunities,” Erica McMaster, GIS program director, said.
The internships run from May 28 to Aug.16. For more information on these internships and how to apply, visit the GIS website. Applications are due April 5.