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GIS Technical Intern Changing Landscapes Initiative

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is offering an internship in GIS analysis as part of the Changing Landscapes Initiative. CLI is a joint spatial analysis and public engagement project utilizing both land use/land cover change modeling and scenario planning to inform land use decisions. The project is beginning a new phase where land use/land cover change models will be used to evaluate impacts to regional ecologic function. In addition, SCBI is in the beginning stages of applying their methods and models internationally.

This internship is intended for someone who wants to both refine and expand their quantitative and communication skill sets. The CLI team will provide opportunities for the intern to apply their knowledge to an authentic, ongoing scientific inquiry. The intern will have access to a diverse set of real-world spatial data and experienced spatial analysts will guide them through intermediate and advanced methods for analyzing that data using both R and ArcGIS. The intern will have the opportunity to refine their skills in R by both editing existing code and generating new code from scratch. The intern will also be introduced to, and develop proficiency in, the use of Dinamica EGO, a powerful modeling platform. Finally, the intern will gain first hand insight into how advanced spatial analysis is communicated to a variety of audiences (public, scientific, NGO) and, in particular, how it can be used to influence on-the-ground policy.

Learning Objectives: 

 Interns will have the chance to learn and develop quantitative and communication skills by:

  • Preparing spatial data for advanced analysis
  • Performing descriptive analyses in both ArcMap or R
  • Writing, editing and running R scripts
  • Participating in the development of Dinamica EGO models
  • Creating aesthetically compelling cartographic products
  • Assisting with data management
  • Occasionally assisting with outreach efforts

Interns with the following qualifications will benefit the most from this opportunity:

  • Degree in geography, ecology, environmental science or related field
  • Experience manipulating spatial data to meet analytical needs (projections, raster/polygon conversion, subset selection)
  • Experience synthesizing and summarizing diverse spatial data sets of varying formats
  • Proven ability to write and edit R scripts
  • Experience with basic statistics and ability to perform simple exploratory analyses
  • Interest in biogeography, landscape ecology/change and a desire to learn
  • Experience with land use modeling or species distribution modeling
  • Experience with the use of python in ArcMap
$1,700 per month
Low cost on-campus housing is potentially available depending on current space.
Parking is easily accessible on site.
Term of appointment: 

This is a six-month, full-time (40 hrs/wk) internship beginning in March 2018 with the possibility of extension.

Application deadline(s): 
Monday, January 29, 2018
Front Royal
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

Go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html. Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" and complete the information to create an account. 

Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • Professional resume or CV
  • A one-page statement of your interest in pursuing this position. The statement should mention relevant experience, career goals, your reasons for wanting this internship and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your statement is very important during application evaluations.
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Two letters of reference (one must be from a current or former supervisor)
  • Schedule of availability

Once you create your account and provide the information above, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. You will select:

  1. Type of appointment: “Internship”
  2. Unit of interest: “National Zoological Park”
  3. Program: “National Zoological Park Internship Program”
  4. Project: “SCBI – Changing Landscapes Initiative: GIS ”

IMPORTANT: Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit.” Your SOLAA submitted application with references must be received by the deadlines as noted above.

For Additional Information

Questions about this internship should be sent to Craig Fergus at fergusc@si.edu.