Environmental Leadership Spring Break Trip

Environmental Leadership Blog Entry: Rick Fisher and the Anne Arundel County Watershed Assessment Administration

Ethan Dively

Many students today are concerned about finding employment after graduation. One field that can easily be overlooked is data analysis with the use of geographic information systems (GIS). Mr. Rick Fisher uses GIS to perform quality assessments of watersheds in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He uses several computer programs to assess which areas in the county are in the worst condition or are not meeting government standards.


Mr. Fisher spoke to a group of Gettysburg College students about how he uses GIS in his work. He also talked about his experiences in working with a limited budget and how he allocates the resources available to him.  He estimates that it will cost $900 million to clean up all of the watersheds in Anne Arundel County. With a budget of just $10 million available each year, the task of rehabilitating the polluted watersheds seems exceedingly ambitious. That being said, the use of GIS helps to prioritize the clean up projects and ensures that the available funding is spent in the best way possible.