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Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative Newsletter

Fall 2020


Greetings Partners and Friends of the ESRGC!


By Michael Scott, Ph.D., GISP

Director, Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative
Dean, Henson School of Science and Technology


Isn’t it ironic that in our age of wall-to-wall media content, it seems so much more difficult to communicate? The cacophony of sound often drowns out the stories worth telling and the messages worth hearing. With that in mind, behold the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative’s (ESRGC) inaugural digital newsletter! If there is one thing I know about the amazing staff, supporters, partners and friends of the ESRGC, it’s that we have some amazing stories to tell.


Our goal with this newsletter is to better connect with our community, inform those interested in the work that we do, celebrate the successes of our team and our partners, and better communicate where our organization is going as well as where we’ve been. Since 2004, the ESRGC has completed hundreds of projects on behalf of the citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations and governments of Maryland’s Eastern Shore – and beyond! From very humble beginnings in a barely converted closet in Devilbiss Hall on the campus of Salisbury University to now a full-service GIS consultancy with permanent offices on the Downtown Plaza in Salisbury, we’ve been about two major goals. One, we strive to make our little corner of the planet a better place by bringing intelligent spatially based technology to bear on a whole host of disparate challenges. From mapping the impact of erosion on our precious shorelines to predicting the potential impact of development to supporting the economic development of our small towns and seemingly every theme in between, we have always kept the enhancement of our state and our region as our guiding star. Two, we work hard to empower our people, both our employees and our partners. I am particularly proud of the almost 200 interns from Salisbury University who have learned how to operate as young GIS professionals in our center and have gone on to rewarding careers, both in and out of the specialization of GIS.


So, as we launch this first attempt at a newsletter to better communicate what we’re up to, it seems appropriate to thank the organizations that have supported the ESRGC since the beginning. The MidShore Regional Council, led by Scott Warner, and the Tri-County Council of the Lower Eastern Shore, led by Greg Padgham, have truly been our partners in this effort for over 16 years. It is with their guidance and direction that we have achieved so much. And finally, thank you to Salisbury University, led by President Chuck Wight. Through thick and thin, our Alma Mater has stood by us, supported us, encouraged us and allowed us the independence to find the best path to solutions for our partners. We are forever grateful.


Enjoy our newsletter!

ESRGC Project News 

Lead Nursing Forward


The need for more registered nurses with excellent preparation is urgent. aims to address the nurse and nursing faculty shortage by providing Maryland a “one-stop shop” where users can learn about the nurse educator role and find inspiration in educators’ stories, find programs to pursue an advanced degree in nursing, and search for open educator positions in academic institutions and health care organizations. Salisbury University School of Nursing (SUSON), in collaboration with University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), is committed to developing this free web resource to help address the nursing shortage. The ESRGC is proud to partner on this project by developing the design, code and programming for this site. This project is produced with the assistance of a Nurse Support Program II (NSPII), administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and funded through the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC).



The ESRGC partnered with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service, the Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Maryland Department of Commerce to assist in answering the question: “Where is Maryland’s forest suitable for harvesting located?” We first worked with our partners to define suitable forest for harvesting. Forest suitable for harvesting includes soil likely to support wet-weather logging, a forest canopy height of 40 to 120 feet, a total forested area of at least 5 acres and it must be in a parcel within 0.25 miles of a road. Data development includes LiDAR, SSURGO soil, parcel, roadway, Land Use Land Cover and USDA forest data. Next, we built the Maryland Forest Inventory Resource Viewer (MFIRV) to make this information available to potential investors and forestry industry. This tool offers a view of economic viability and potential markets in the Maryland Forestry industry.

Delmarva Index


The Mid-Shore Regional Council and the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, with support through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF), have partnered with the ESRGC to develop tools and resources custom built for the residents, businesses and community organizations on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Delmarva Index is an ongoing initiative and FY20 marks its third year of active development. The long-term vision for the Delmarva Index is to serve as an online data repository and visualization tool that will function as a comprehensive data source for demographic, economic, geographic and social data pertaining to the Delmarva Peninsula. It provides users free and easy access to a curated list of relevant datasets and custom visualizations. Better access to and visualization of data can facilitate data driven decision making and improve communication.

SU COVID-19 Testing Dashboard


The ESRGC has been asked by the President's Office at SU to design and implement a dashboard that will communicate COVID-19 test results and the status of campus community health to the public. As SU engages in regular testing of the campus community, ESRGC updates the dashboard to present key indicators of campus health to the public and to decision-makers. View the dashboard on SU’s COVID-19 testing information page.

NEW Website Launched

We are excited to announce the release of our new website! Just as the cobbler’s children have no shoes, the ESRGC website has been neglected and our web presence has limped along for many years. Thanks to the incredible efforts of Erin Silva, Brett Dobelstein and Tim Lanzi, our website now reflects the quality of our work! Visit to learn more about our projects, staff and our GIS services.

ESRGC Staff as Adjunct Faculty

This summer, Lauren McDermott completed her fourth year teaching GEOG 519: Advanced Geographic Information Systems for SU’s Master of Science GIS Management (MSGISM) program! As the first course most students take when entering the MSGISM program, Lauren’s instruction is critical to the success of understanding technical processes and principles as a manager.


Mary Buffington designed and instructed a new course for the MSGISM program this summer. GEOG 550: Spatial Database Design focuses on furthering students’ knowledge regarding spatial database design, management and best practices.


Be on the lookout for Anastassiya Suprunova teaching GEOG 320: Cartographic Visualization in fall 2020!

ESRGC Notable Achievements

Join us in congratulating Art Lembo’s selection as Esri’s GIS Hero for Spring 2020!


Three cheers for Mary Buffington’s recognition as SU's Employee of the Month for March 2020!


Where to find ESRGC

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Give to ESRGC

Salisbury University Logo

A copy of the current financial statement of the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. is available by writing 1308 Camden Avenue, Salisbury MD 21801 or on its website, Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401, 410-974-5534.


SU is an Equal Opportunity/AA/Title IX university and provides reasonable accommodation given sufficient notice to the University office or staff sponsoring the event or program. For more information regarding SU’s policies and procedures, please visit


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