Position Title: GIS Assistant
Park Unit: Yosemite National Park
Location: El Portal, California
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 12 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 12/02/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $565.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00

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.)

The intern will be an integral part of Yosemite’s Plant and Wetland Ecology Program and key player in a collaborative project to improve the GIS data management of wetlands delineations. The intern will be mentored in developing a geodatabase for delineated wetland polygons and plot point locations to organize and provide greater access to that information for park ecologists, hydrologists, and compliance specialists and a data management strategy for the future. The intern will deploy a variety of technical skills to compile and evaluate wetlands data from dozens of disparate geospatial datasets and wetlands reports across many years and publish the consolidated data in the park’s enterprise GIS (EGIS). The intern may also assist the Vegetation GIS Coordinator with managing mobile devices, computer devices, preparing and updating datasets in EGIS, and SOPs and documentation. Other projects may include drafting a wetland delineation map series for the Clean Water Act permitting process. Opportunities may also exist to apply the intern’s specialized skills to related projects that have the potential to benefit the park’s vegetation and ecological restoration program.

As a park that manages over 748,000 acres, GIS is a valuable tool in understanding the spatial locations and relationships of natural resources and landscapes that Yosemite preserves. GIS data are relied upon for park operations and management. The participant’s work will directly contribute to improving data quality and promoting the effective use of GIS in service of the greater NPS mission. The principal project addresses a strong need at the intersection of natural resource management and environmental compliance for complete and accurate wetland delineation data from the past and going forward to be managed consistently and readily available for project planning and scoping.


At the completion of this internship, the intern will have organized wetland delineation data files and reports and published a new wetland delineation dataset in the park’s enterprise GIS along with metadata and documentation. Preparation of a project presentation for the Yosemite GIS User Group will be encouraged. Deliverables for other GIS projects may include geodatabases, maps, ArcGIS Pro projects, toolboxes, scripts, web applications, and reports.


Applicants must have three years towards an undergraduate degree in GIS, cartography, biological sciences, natural resources management, computer science, or other related field. Applicants must be able to demonstrate knowledge and skill working in ESRI ArcGIS software and applications, experience managing geospatial data, and proficiency in geodatabase design. Must have strong organizational skills and an ability to work independently. Education or background in wetlands mapping or plant ecology is not required but may be considered.

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 12 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

The SIP Intern will spend the majority (90%) of work time in the office in El Portal with occasional (10%) fieldwork in Yosemite Valley. The office in El Portal, CA sits at roughly 1,900 ft in a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cooler, wet winters. El Portal is located in a steep river canyon, along the Merced River, and consists of a few separate areas tucked into flat parts of the canyon.

The El Portal office is located in the neighborhood of Old El Portal, approximately 1 mile east of the Rancheria Flat government residential area. Rancheria Flat consists of NPS houses and apartments which are rented to permanent, seasonal, and volunteer employees. Old El Portal contains a small grocery store, gas station, community hall, U.S. Post Office, and NPS partner offices.

As an El Portal resident, the intern can take advantage of recreation facilities in Rancheria Flat, including numerous hiking trails, river access, an employee gym, sports fields at the local school, and a local branch of the Mariposa County Library. Residents can shop at the El Portal Market for grocery basics, which due to its location tends to be pricey, or drive 45 minutes to Mariposa for a full grocery store. Yosemite Valley is an approximate 30-minute drive from El Portal and contains a larger grocery store, restaurants, and gift shops.

Public transit is available in the form of the YARTS bus with limited service to El Portal, Yosemite Valley, Mariposa, and Merced. Cell phone service in the canyon is best through Verizon, but all carriers can be spotty due to the landscape. The community hall, library, and two residential “hubs” offer free Wi-Fi.


  • 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. Housing is in shared facilities, either in a dorm, apartment, or house in El Portal. Interns will most likely be sharing kitchen and living space with another individual but may have their own room. Units are furnished with beds, couches, tables, dressers, full bathrooms, range, oven, and refrigerator.

You should bring any household items you cannot live without. Some recommendations of items you may want to bring: Sheets, pillows, and bedding for a twin size mattress, mattress pad, towels, toiletries, personal computer, a variety of warm weather clothing, rain gear, clothes hangers, laundry basket/hamper, bicycle (not necessary, but nice to have), decorations to make you feel at home, broom, mop, and cleaning supplies, kitchen towels, dishcloths, sponges, plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, pots, pans, utensils, and coffee pot or tea kettle. If placed in shared housing, you will receive roommate contact information before move-in to coordinate bringing shared items, if desired.

GIS, data management, wetlands

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.)