Enhancing Quality of Life for Rural Communities
Great Lakes Rural Community Assistance Program (Great Lakes RCAP) is part of a national network of regional non-profit agencies that provide technical assistance to help small communities address their drinking water, wastewater and community development needs. Great Lakes RCAP stretches across a seven-state area of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Our mission is to empower our community partners to maintain their public utilities through sound fiscal management and staff development. We assist rural low-income individuals and under-served populations in developing and maintaining community infrastructure to improve rural quality of life through a network of community action agencies.
Our GIS Team is comprised of a highly trained professional staff with years of industry experience and education, which ensures that your needs are exceeded. Our communities benefit from the cooperative structure and grant-funding assistance which provides access to GIS expertise at the fraction of traditional consulting fees or the expense of hiring a similarly skilled GIS professional. We are administered via Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) based in Fremont Ohio.
Meet the GIS Team
Brian is the GIS Coordinator for the Great Lakes RCAP GIS Team. He initially joined RCAP as a Utility Mapping Technician while a student at Kent State University. Since then, he has spearheaded key projects including the development of the RCAP GIS web application, lead (Pb) water service line mapping processes for over 50 Ohio communities, and several Ohio EPA GIS training modules for water and sewer professionals. He has a B.S. in GIS and Environmental Geography and minor in Park Management.
Michael started working part-time with RCAP in 2017 as a Utility Mapping Technician. His GIS experience stems through his education at KSU where he currently is studying geosciences and will graduate in 2019. He is a Certified Volunteer Naturalist who plans to become a watershed hydrologist.
Karl “Sam” Eitner, a GIS Specialist, joined RCAP in 2015. He has assisted several communities in completing GPS and GIS data collection, and prepared multiple lead service line probability maps. Sam has a B.A. in Environmental Geography from Kent State University and is expected to graduate with a Masters in Geography in 2018.
Michael J. Kirsch
David is our Database Administrator and leads the GIS Team in developing and adhering to standard operating procedures and quality control measures for both field data collection and geodatabase management. He excels at mentoring new employees. Before joining RCAP in 2011, he worked for a contractor digitizing gas utilities. He has a M.S. in GIS from the University of Akron.
Michael joined RCAP in October 2017 as a Utility Mapping Technician. He brings 30 years of experience in public health, including serving as the Environmental Health Director of the Zanesville-Muskingum County (Ohio) Health Department for 21 years. He has a B.S. and is a Registered Sanitarian.
Amanda joined the RCAP team in 2018 as a GIS Technician. Attending the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at Miami University, Amanda completed a USDA-funded project programming models in ArcGIS to help predict suitable foraging habitat for managed honey bees. Amanda has since received her Master of Environmental Science with a focus in Applied Ecology, as well as a Professional GIS Certificate.
Laura M. Schuch
Chris joined RCAP in May 2018 as a Utility Mapping Technician. He is currently a Senior at Kent State University, pursuing a Bachelors in Environmental Geography with a minor in GIS and Sustainability (expected graduation Spring 2019). He serves as Secretary for the Geography Club at KSU.
Laura, a GIS Analyst, has previously worked in the public, private and academic sectors in GIS and data analysis. She loves to to work on projects that help people and the environment, especially if she can find ways to utilize data to benefit communities through geospatial analysis and visualizations. Laura has a M.P.H. in Environmental Health and a Ph.D. in Geography from Kent State.
Associated RCAP Personnel
Sherry Loos, GISP
Ben focused his studies on ecological sanitation and nutrient management to keep our water resources clean and our soil productive. He has intermittently used GIS tools over the last several years, including mapping pond management efforts in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. He joined RCAP in 2018 and is excited to keep learning more and leveraging GIS to help communities manage their infrastructure assets effectively.
Joe is a Senior Rural Development Specialist with a background in project management and training development with RCAP GIS Team. He is a certified Associate Water Asset Manager (AWAM) and holds NASSCO certification for PACP, MACP, and LACP pipeline assessment. Joe is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, with a B.A. in Botany and a GIS Professional Certificate.
Sherry was recently appointed as the new RCAP State Coordinator in Ohio. Prior to that, she served at RCAP’s Geographic Information System (GIS) Coordinator since 2010, and Sherry has been an RCAP Technical Assistance Provider since 2002. Sherry led RCAP’s effort to create an affordable GIS program for rural and small utilities across the state. She currently manages the RCAP staff, programs and services in Ohio.
Please click on the link to the right to open a PDF Directory for the Ohio RCAP Technical Assistance Staff.