GIS Technical Intern

This job has been Expired
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Job Overview

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI – is offering an internship in GIS analysis as part of the Changing Landscapes Initiative (CLI). 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, we are in the beginning stages of applying our methods and models internationally.

Learning Objectives:

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.

Skill Building Opportunities:

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

Who Should Apply:

Interns with the following 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 from 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


$1700 per month with on-site housing possible

Terms of Appointment:

6-month full time (40 hrs/wk) internship, with possibility of extension, starting in late September 2018


The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is located at the north entrance of the Shenandoah National Park about 60 miles west of Washington, D.C., in Front Royal, VA.