Industry Talks

This year we’re kicking off TUgis with Industry Talks—60 minute sessions featuring industry leaders speaking on geospatial technology and the influences of integrating with other current technologies.

Across the state, public safety officials are utilizing an emerging management approach—Crawl, Walk, Run—to help identify current GIS capabilities and conceptualize potential areas where GIS could improve operations. How are local and state agencies utilizing GIS technology in their daily operations? During this industry talk, multiple representatives who support GIS systems will discuss how they are building and enhancing GIS programs for the public good.

Joanie Appell AICP, GISP, is a GIS analyst with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department and is the primary GIS support for the County’s Office of Emergency Management.

Shelby Zelonis is the GIS Manager at Montgomery County Police Department and a Technical Advisor for the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation.

Anne-Sarra Blevins is a GIS specialist with the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Will Melville manages the GIS and WebEOC systems for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and supports the OSPREY system during State EOC activations.

Tim Hutchinson is a GIS specialist at the Towson University Center for GIS, where he provides GIS support to MEMA and OSPREY.

Kiona Leah, P.E.

The MDOT State Highway Administration is well known for its roadways—I-95, the beltway, and US 50. It is less known for its waterways, which includes over 5,000 storm water facilities that clean and treat water runoff from roads for pollutants that could otherwise flow into streams, rivers, lakes and the bay and do harm. The talk will focus on the use of GIS systems to map, track, inspect, maintain and plan projects for these small ‘hidden’ facilities as an essential tool. We will review internal and ArcGIS on line systems used by the Drainage and Storm Water Management Program as well as some database set up, integrative inspection tools, and the ongoing evolution of GIS use.

Kiona Leah is a professionally licensed engineer who graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in environmental engineering. Kiona worked in private consulting as a site design engineer for 10 years before moving into the public sector as a transportation design engineer for the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration in 2011. In 2015, she was promoted to the Drainage and Storm Water Assets Manager where her involvement in GIS really began to grow by leaps and bounds. She has worked diligently to expand the program from barely 3,000 facilities to well over 5,000. She works with her team to increase communication and collaboration using the GIS system heavily between TMDL projects and highway design projects as well as with districts on maintenance, remediation and other pertinent activities for compliance with the agency held NPDES permit.

Martha Morecock Eddy

Several times a day the media is filled with articles addressing connected vehicles, automated/self-driving vehicles, electric vehicles, and smart cities/communities. It can been overwhelming. What is “real” or accurate information? What are the driving forces behind the market push and pull? What do these exciting new technologies mean to a transportation GIS practitioner? How will it impact your role? What are the benefits? How do you prepare for the onset of these technologies?

During this Industry Talk, Martha will discuss the evolution of transportation technologies; address common aspects and differentiators among the sectors; identify “still evolving” technologies that are on the horizon; industry trends for localities, regions, world-wide; the role of GIS in the technologies; suggest “next steps”; and lessons learned along the way. After a question and answer session participants can expect to have developed candidate action plans for how to best be prepared for the onset of these transportation technologies.

Martha Morecock Eddy serves as corporate practice leader for transportation technologies at KCI, where she is responsible for leading KCI’s presence in the advanced and emerging technologies market. Martha has more than 30 years of experience in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) industry, which now has entered the Connected/Autonomous/Electric Vehicles and Smart Communities spaces. Martha’s career focus and passions are focused on saving lives caused by vehicle crashes and mobility for all. Technology can help save lives and can safely help those underserved by the transportation networks currently in place. The current transportation engineering market is transforming how transportation (and other engineering fields) interacts with a host of daily activities.

James M. Shaw, Jr.

Land surveyors absolutely need GIS. GIS absolutely needs land surveyors. So why has the union been so fraught with peril? Join James Shaw, a technology-focused land surveyor, as he shares his own stumbling journey from ArcView 3.1 to the current ArcGIS Pro. This light-hearted and informative discussion will examine the often confusing intersection of high-accuracy geospatial technologies (GNSS, LiDAR, sUAS), the software tools of choice for surveyors, and why all surveyors must become GIS proficient for a brighter geospatial future for everyone.

James M. Shaw, Jr., is a Maryland licensed professional land surveyor. He is a geomatics project manager for GPI Geospatial, Inc. overseeing reality capture projects. Mr. Shaw is a past-president of the Maryland Society of Surveyors, a current board member of the MSS serving as the Technology Chair, the MSS Liaison to MSGIC, and a contributing writer for xyHt Magazine.

Michael Crino

In 2011, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched its GeoCenter, a dedicated team of geographers with the goal of integrating geographic analysis into development programs to improve the Agency’s work. Since then, the capacity of the Agency to apply geospatial technology has significantly increased with GIS specialists helping to design, implement, and monitor development programs in more than 30 USAID Missions and Washington based operating units. This presentation will highlight where GIS has been successful in addressing issues of poverty and the resiliency of developing world communities but also examine the challenges for achieving a more complete embrace of geospatial technology within development programs. Notable challenges include building a base literacy throughout the Agency to regularly use geospatial data, applying tools and standards across an Agency comprised of more than 80 Missions and hundreds of implementing partners, and being adaptive to new advances in the geospatial industry driven by small satellite and advanced computing organizations.

Michael Crino has worked for 20 years in support of GIS programs and is currently the Deputy Director of USAID’s GeoCenter, where he oversees how geographic analysis strengthens USAID’s development programs and assesses emerging and novel geospatial technologies to help the Agency maximize the impact of its work in support of developing countries. Prior to joining USAID, Michael oversaw a program to map the entire New York City Sewer System, one of the largest civilian GIS programs ever undertaken at the time of its implementation. Michael is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserve and was deployed to Iraq with the II Marine Expeditionary Force in 2008 and 2009. Michael has a M.A. in geography and environmental planning from Towson University and a B.S. in geography and political science, also from TU. Michael is currently enrolled at the U.S. Naval War College completing the fleet seminar professional military education program.

Justin Towles

Over the past several years we have seen explosive growth in the UAS industry, which has led to significant technological advancements and progress in the regulatory framework to allow greater commercial operations. This session will take deep dive into the current capabilities of the technology, several innovate use cases and the current legal and regulatory environment.

Justin Towles is a Founding Partner at Ascension Global, which serves a management consulting firm focusing on innovative technologies in the aviation industry. He possesses complex and wide-ranging knowledge of the aviation industry, infrastructure, operations, and transportation policy. Prior to founding Ascension Global, Justin served as Vice President for Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for the American Association of Airport Executives, where he represented the interest of every commercial service airport and over 1,000 general aviation airports in the U.S. to Congress, the Administration, FAA, FCC, and the EPA. He handled key issues that included safety, experimental aircraft, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration.

Justin served on the FAA’s UAS Registration Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), the UAS Flight Over People ARC, as a steering committee member on the UAS Remote ID and Tracking ARC, on the Part 101 ARC, and as a member of the Federal Drone Advisory Committee’s Subcommittee and the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST). He also founded and co-chaired the 26 Coalition for UAS safety and managed the Annual UAS Issues and Integration Conference. He is widely recognized as a top expert on emerging technology regulation and is often called upon to build coalitions and forge consensus on the most contentious issues.