Position Title: GIS Assistant
Park Unit: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Location: Hawaii National Park, Hawaii
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 20 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 10/14/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $565.00
Relocation Allowance: $1,050.00

CURRENT NUMBER OF APPLICANTS: Under 75 (This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first.)

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) is recruiting an intern to assist with GIS duties for the Natural Resources Management (NRM). The NRM program is comprised of native and non-native wildlife management, vegetation management, and restoration programs. Major duties include 1) transitioning natural resources data collection procedures from written field forms to digital data collection, 2) developing data quality assurance and control procedures associated with field data collection, 3) compatibility testing of digital data collection procedures in association with hardware and software programs currently utilized (e.g. mobile devices, ArcGIS Field Maps, ArcGIS Online), 4) Assisting with natural resources management fieldwork and/or field testing digital data collection procedures, 5) entering data into project databases and checking the quality of the data entered. Important responsibilities of this position include ensuring a respectful working environment, safely conducting work in a remote and physically challenging backcountry environment, collecting field data in a neat and complete manner, and communicating effectively with supervisors and crewmembers.

As one of over 400 units in the National Park System, HAVO protects a dynamic landscape of volcanoes and endangered species, including biocultural and geologic resources found nowhere else on earth. For decades, the park Natural Resources Management Program has led research and innovation in terrestrial resource protection in Hawai'i. NRM staff manage endangered bird populations, control invasive plants, construct and check fences and traps to control nonnative animals, and conduct community outreach and service projects. These management actions represent decades of critical efforts to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations of visitors, residents and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners alike.

Many recent advances in technology are now available to utilize in NRM work, including enhanced mapping and data collection, web-based tools, and services which allow for the sharing of knowledge with partners and the public, making it easier and more efficient to meet the mission of protecting and preserving biocultural resources for future generations. While the park collects and retains extensive GIS and spatial data to support natural resources work, the organization, management, and modernization of data collection are lacking due to shortages in staffing. The GIS Assistant intern’s management and creation of databases, modern data collection processes, and data quality control procedures will help the park to better manage and preserve biocultural resources into the future. Data and maps created will also be used to create additional educational materials for the public to further explore and understand the park, its resources, and management actions.


Deliverables include: 1) Database(s) and schema to organize and support electronic data collection for natural resources work on mobile devices, 2) A front-end for natural resources mobile data collection - preferably utilizing ArcGIS Field Maps or Survey123, 3) Document(s) outlining the appropriate steps needed to implement digital collection of field data 4) A science communication product (article, story map, poster, presentation, etc.) highlighting the work completed.

These deliverables are scalable depending on the intern’s skill levels and initiative.


Qualifications necessary for project success: 1) background in GIS and/or spatial data management, 2) familiarity with utilizing the following software applications: ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Field Maps, working with tables in a relational database, 3) strong work ethic and demonstrated ability to work self-sufficiently on assigned tasks, as well as with a field team from diverse backgrounds, 4) ability to work outdoors in rugged terrain in challenging environmental conditions ranging from hot and humid to cold and rainy. Applicant should demonstrate these qualifications by describing relevant coursework, school projects, previous work experience, or personal projects. Additional desired skills: 1) experience manipulating a dataset with a programming language such as R or Python. 2) Interest in applied natural resources management in Hawai’i, i.e. native wildlife management, invasive plant control, native plant restoration. 3) Interest in summarizing and analyzing vegetation or other natural resources data.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required. The applicant must be available to participate for 20 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

Offices and baseyard are located at 3000' elevation within the park. Field environments range from hot and humid at the coast to temperate and sunny on the slopes of Mauna Loa to cold and wet at the summit of Kilauea. Office space is shared in buildings without climate control, but typical indoor temperatures are 60-75 degrees. Situational telework for office work may be approved. Typical field work involves long days of driving and off-trail hiking through thick brush and over uneven, rocky lava, sometimes up steep slopes.

Housing may be provided at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaiʻi. Internship duties will be approximately 70% office work, 30% field work. At Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the resident community within the park is small and located in a remote area. The elevation at park housing is 4,000 feet. The climate is variable but can be cool with frequent rains year-round. Volcano Village, a small community with limited services, is located 5 miles away. The nearest large city of Hilo (population 40,000) is located 30 miles from the park. Government vehicles are available for work duties and obtaining groceries/necessities but are not available for personal recreation (e.g. site-seeing). The county bus has a stop at the park visitor center - however the bus schedule is very limited, so a personal vehicle is recommended for general recreation outside of the park housing area.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Shared housing within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is located within walking distance of scenic views of Kilauea Caldera, project offices, and the Kilauea Visitor Center. Interns would be provided private or shared rooms in a 3-bedroom house with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Housing is co-ed but any shared rooms are with same gender. Housing has basic furnishings, kitchen appliances, cookware, plates, utensils, towels, and linens. Wifi is available via provided cellular Verizon hotspot. Interns will need to bring all personal items including toiletries and laundry detergent.

GIS, Plants, Wildlife, Data Management, Birds

This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications, or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first. Once you begin applying for a position, the application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return later to complete it. Applicants can apply for up to five Scientists in Parks Intern positions per winter. You need to complete a separate application for each position in order to be considered. You should receive a confirmation email after successfully submitting an application. Sometimes institutional email filters/settings can redirect or block emails related to the application. We recommend watching spam, junk, and promotional email folders in case your service delivers messages there. Please visit How to Apply for additional resources and information about applying (i.e., learn what materials to have ready for applying, find a worksheet that previews application questions, etc.)