GISInternshipsMy experience withLexington CountyCaitlin StrachanDepartment of Geography| M.S. StudentUniversity of South Carolina
My Internship• Lexington County GIS & Planning• Summer 2012• Summer between undergraduate andgraduate school• My level of GIS experience• Two undergraduate-level GIS courses• Very basic knowledge of ArcMap, datatypes, etc.• No exposure to GIS applications atcity/county government level
Questions I was asking…• Logistics of the internship• Is the internship paid?• What is the work schedule? (9am-5pm?)• Where will I sit? Do I get my own computer?• GIS applications at Lexington County• How does Lexington County use GIS?• With whom does the GIS department interact?• How does the GIS department function within the larger countygovernment?• My level of experience• Is it okay that I don’t have a lot of GIS experience?• Will they be upset if I don’t know how to perform a certain task?• Who can I ask for help when I need it?
What worked for me…• Logistics of the internship• Worked 9am-5pm all week (given time forvacation and grad school prep)• Separate computer workstation• Friendly and helpful coworkers!• Experiences gained• Time spent with each coworker to learnabout their job• Time spent around the building learningabout other departments• Invited to department meetings (ESRI, DNR,etc.)• Positive work environment• Included in most department e-mails• Out to lunch with coworkers• Department potlucks
Takeaways• EXPERIENCE• Internship-valuable addition to résumé• Knowledge of GIS applications outside of the classroom• Presentation to Lexington County Planning Commission• New skills• Data acquisition, creation, editing, etc.• ArcMap, SDE, The Addresser, OpenStreetMap, Pictometry• General computer skills• Products!• Demographic research put on Lexington County website• Creation of cemetery layer using online databases & imagery• Two ESRI Story Maps published online
Beyond the internship…• Contacts in the community• Graduate school – need data & assistance for GIS projects• Support for future endeavors• Advice, guidance, and reference letters for job-hunting• Keeping in touch!• Coworkers make an effort to include me in emails about newprojects• Local, supportive family during graduate school
Current Projects• Site Suitability of Fire Stations using ModelBuilder• GEOG 564: GIS-Based Modeling• Cartography projects using skills gained thissummer• GEOG 542: Dynamic Cartography• M.S. Thesis & summer research• Using LiDAR to identify Champion Trees at Congaree NationalPark• Using a variety of factors (land cover, soil, flood inundation level)for a spatial model predicting occurrence of tree species