Meet RJ Butrim

B.A. INDS: Remote Sensing in Disaster Response

portrait of RJ Butrim

Spring 2021 Capstone


My INDS Degree

During my five-year Navy term, I was a rescue swimmer who provided advanced first aid. After my honorable discharge I became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Maryland. This certification expanded my skillset and knowledge of emergency medical care. It also opened my eyes to the civilian side of disaster response. The limited readiness at a local level and the lack of interdepartmental collaborative training on a large scale is surprising. The constant readiness of the military placed me in mindset of always having a rehearsed primary plan and several backups. Additionally, the law enforcement community as a whole is not always thoroughly trained on how to immediately coordinate an effective response with local EMS. While studying Disaster Management in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at UMBC, I will learn how to manage the big picture of an incident at a command level while also gaining additional skills related to the workers who have boots on the ground. No other program at UMBC will allow me to hone my emergency management mentality while discovering a new computer based skill that can be put to use in related real world situations.

Post Graduation Plans

Upon graduation, I will continue to provide volunteer EMS services in Harford County. I will also continue to enhance my cartographic skills by making maps for New Germany State Park, the UMBC campus, or other locations if I have access to remote sensing equipment at a reasonable cost. Within one year after graduation I will seek employment with a police department in Maryland. I feel that some type of law enforcement experience is necessary in order to round out my first responder experience and make superior maps. During this time as an officer, I will enroll in the EHS graduate program, Administration, Planning and Policy Track. After a three to five-year term with a police department and completion of my graduate degree, I will attempt to transfer to a federal agency. Each agency will rely on one of my skills more than another, but they will all provide an opportunity for me to create maps to help others and protect our country.


Courses In My INDS Degree

✅ Expanding Emergency Medical Skillset: Learn and expand my skillset in stress coping tools with an eye towards reducing the number of psychological causalities during a disaster. (PSYC 216 / EHS 200, 311, 345, 470)

Cartography: Acquire the skills of cartography to form a solid foundation for additional GIS instruction. (GES 286, 386, 486)

Geographic Information Systems: Gain a deep understanding of GIS software in order to integrate vital first responder information into maps while making them user friendly for EMS providers and law enforcement officers. (GES 381, 462, 481 / EHS 320,330 / MGMT 210)

Individualized Study: Understand the methods of integrating disciplines and learn how to present those ideas to teammates while consistently exhibiting a sound and moral interdisciplinary mindset. (INDS 330, 335, 399, 430, 480, 490)