GIS Day 2020 Presenter Biographies

David Black, Geographic Information Systems Coordinator
Cecil County, Maryland
Mr. Black oversees an enterprise level information system used by Cecil County’s Department of Emergency Services, Department of Land Use and Development Services, and Department of Public Works (amongst others). A portion of said system includes Cecil Maps (, Cecil County’s online GIS application that averages over 5,000 users per month and allows users to query property ownership data, zoning information, infrastructure location, and much more. Mr. Black’s current projects include working with internet service providers to extend service to areas lacking broadband, implementation of Next Generation 911 standards at Cecil County’s public safety answering point, and improving previously deployed field data collection apps used by field based personnel.

Faith Brown, UD Student

Faith Brown is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science at the University of Delaware with minors in Geography, Energy and Environmental Policy, and Environmental Humanities and a graduate certificate in GIS. She is currently conducting research with Dr. Tracy DeLiberty, Dr. Sean Ellis, and Dr. Kent Messer using remote sensing to analyze the persistence of cover crops in the state of Delaware

Sarmistha Chatterjee, Senior Product Engineer
Sarmistha (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a Senior Product Engineer in the raster analysis group at Esri. She works on raster and scientific multidimensional data analysis. Her primary interest is in the application of GIS for environmental and climate change analysis to study changes for conservation and improved decision making. Sarmistha completed her Doctoral degree in Geography researching on fluvial geomorphology, water resources and spatial modeling, from the University of Delaware before joining Esri. Prior to that, she worked at the Stroud Water Research Center, Kansas State University and Delhi School of Economics researching on water resources and spatial analysis.
Tracy DeLiberty, Associate Professor and Interim Chair
Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, University of Delaware
Tracy is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair with the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware.  She is an educator teaching a full range of courses from introductory physical geography and GIS to advanced climatology and geospatial data science courses.  As a researcher studying land cover and land use changes caused by climate, ecological, and socioeconomic drivers, Tracy uses all sorts of ground based sensors, remote sensed imagery, and models to document and understand landcover/landuse dynamics to environmental changes leveraging innovative tools and geo-analytic methods to conduct these studies.  Her passions lie in taking the knowledge gained and translating it into effective societal contributions for us to effectively manage human impacts on the Earth’s environmental systems. 
Jing gao Jing Gao, Assistant Professor
University of Delaware

Jing Gao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography & Spatial Sciences and the Data Science Institute at UD. Her research investigates large-scale human-environment interactions, especially the relationship between global urban land use, population, and climate change. Trained in Geography and Computer Science, she approaches interdisciplinary scientific inquiries by integrating diverse data, quantitative and computational methods from spatial statistics, machine learning, big data mining, geo-visualization, and remote sensing, with narrative-based scenario analyses of societal development. Her research is generating new insights and datasets on global, long-term, spatially-explicit changes in urbanization and population characteristics, extending the SSP-RCP scenario framework used by the IPCC and the research community for understanding global environmental change impacts, spearheading creative data-science practices in long-term spatially-explicit modeling of socioeconomic processes, and developing new methods for evaluating the uncertainty and the success of such practice.
Jay Hodny Jay W. Hodny, Ph.D., GIS Technician
Public Works and Water Resources Department, City of Newark, DE
Jay is the GIS Technician for the City of Newark, DE and has been with the City for four years. His duties include ArcGIS for Enterprise administration, development of internal and public facing GIS maps and apps, and GIS support for other City departments. Before joining Newark, Jay spent 25 years in the private sector using GIS to map soil and groundwater contamination. Jay is also an adjunct instructor at the Delaware Technical Community College. He has a Master’s degree in Geography and a PhD in Climatology, both from the University of Delaware’s Department of Geography.
Erin Lynch Erin Lynch, Assistant Policy Scientist
Center for Community Research and Service, University of Delaware
Erin Lynch is an Assistant Policy Scientist at the Center for Community Research and Service, Biden School of Public Policy & Administration. She holds an Honors B.S. in Organizational and Community Leadership from the University of Delaware and an M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Erin works with the Medicaid Research Program, KIDS COUNT in Delaware, and within Housing Research projects. She is passionate about using data-driven research and advocacy to effectively create change.
Christina Marsett, High School Social Studies Teacher
William Penn High School
Christina is a Social Studies teacher at William Penn High School in New Castle, where she has been teaching for the past six years. Christina became interested in harnessing the power of geospatial technology after learning about ArcGIS and remote sensing during a professional development session for Geography teachers and took it upon herself to learn the technology so that she could integrate it into her classes. She has found ways to teach her ninth grade Civics, Geography and Advanced Placement Human Geography students content through GIS-based inquiry and has been instrumental in increasing the use of this technology in other classrooms within the Colonial School District.
Becky McColl, Assistant Policy Scientist
Center for Community Research and Service, University of Delaware
Becky McColl is an Assistant Policy Scientist with the Center for Community Research and Service at the University of Delaware, where she is part of the Medicaid research team. She received her M.A. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy in 2017, and prior to joining CCRS she was a Policy Research Analyst with the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work. Her research interests center around studying social programs that impact families and children.
Miriam Pomilio, Principal Planner/GIS Coordination
Office of State Planning Coordination (OMB), State of Delaware
Miriam Pomilio is a Principal Planner with the Office of State Planning Coordination.    Her primary duties at OSPC are to provide geospatial support for all the programs at OSPC.  In addition to those duties, Miriam is the chair of the Delaware Geographic Data Committee (DGDC) which coordinates geospatial activities in Delaware.  She was instrumental in the rebirth of DataMIL into the FirstMap enterprise GIS solution. Prior to joining the OSPC Miriam worked for the Delaware Geological Survey at the University of Delaware as the lead on the Delaware DataMIL (a geospatial framework platform).  Miriam has over 25 years’ experience in GIS, having worked for DNREC’s Coastal Programs and Delaware State Parks.  At State Parks, Miriam created some of the first UV resistant park maps for display in kiosks at all State Parks.
Mary Schorse Mary Schorse, Program Director
Delaware Center for Geographic Education
Mary Schorse is the Associate Director of the Delaware Center for Geographic Education (DCGE), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with UD’s Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences. Since joining the DCGE in 2015, Mary has worked with GIS colleagues across the state to continue raising awareness about the power of geospatial technology in K-12 education. In 2017 she assembled a group of social studies educators to create a new high school geography curriculum which included ArcGIS based lessons. She was instrumental in getting the State Department of Education to adopt a Geospatial Technology Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathway. She is currently working with UD colleagues to formalize a Geospatial Technology Dual Enrollment Course for Newark High School. Prior to her affiliation with UD, Mary was a social impact analyst based in Trinidad and Tobago.
Olena Smith Olena Smith, GISP, Lead Geospatial Information Consultant
Olena supports the UD Geospatial Research community as a technological leader and facilitator to campus GIS projects in research and administrative realms. She develops and maintains internet mapping applications, supporting data for research, instruction, and administrative infrastructure projects. Olena provides UD geospatial cloud services along with a variety of other GIS applications support. She provides consulting, training, documentation, and outreach for the GIS community locally and nationally. Over the years Olena has worked in developing and managing servers and databases; developing and teaching geospatial courses at Esri. She has 18 years of experience in the GIS field.

Jack Stone, UD Student

Jack Stone is a Senior Meteorology & Climatology and Geography double major at the University of Delaware. Currently, he is using GIS in his research with Dr, Tracy DeLiberty and Dr. Dana Veron, focusing on the atmospheric forcings that influence shifting sea ice conditions in East Antarctica.

Deborah Sullivan, GISP, Sr. Application Support Specialist
Department of Technology and Information (DTI)
Deborah Sullivan is a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP). She has over 25 years of GIS experience as a State of Delaware employee. Deborah worked much of her career at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and is currently at the Department of Technology and Information (DTI) as a GIS Applications Support Specialist. Deborah’s past accomplishments include being an ESRI authorized instructor, a member of the Delmarva GIS Conference Committee and a Geo-mentor for local schools and organizations. She can be contacted at
Eric Wagner
Eric Wagner is nothing short of a geography nerd and is beyond proud of it! Currently, he works at Esri as a Solution Engineer on the Global Water Practice and volunteers much of his free time to several non-profit organizations in the region that focus on international development and environmental conservation. He graduated from Villanova University with a BA in Geography and an MS in Geography from West Chester University
Matthew Walter, Graduate Student
Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, University of Delaware
Matthew Walter is a PhD student at the University of Delaware in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences. He has a BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Planning and a minor in Public Policy, a Graduate GIS Certificate, and an MS in Geography from the University of Delaware. His interest is in using geospatial, remote sensing, and machine learning techniques to monitor the impact of humans on natural and built environments to inform the decision-making process.
Lillian Wang, GIS Professional and Cartographer
Delaware Geological Survey
Lillian Wang is a GIS professional and cartographer with the Delaware Geological Survey. She has a BA in Geography and Art, and a MS in Geography, both from the University of Delaware. Lillian creates, analyzes, and manages GIS data in order to produce publication-quality map products, illustrations, and reports for the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS). She also provides GIS applications support to DGS staff utilizing ESRI web mapping applications and services.
John Watson, GIS Analyst
geographIT, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc.
John Watson is a GIS Analyst with geographIT, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc. For more than 17 years, he has helped county and state governments and other clients find GIS solutions for solving data problems and improving systems. His most recent work involves implementing the ArcGIS Utility Network to track water leaks and water loss more effectively for a large municipality, as well as helping county officials prepare their road network data for NextGen 911. He helps clients leverage web maps, mobile data and mobile/web apps, and intuitive data dashboards to manage data and operations better while saving them time and money.