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: 20 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 01/05/2025
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 Fisher Research Program, which involves learning about movement patterns and habitat preferences of the endangered fisher population in the Southern Sierra Nevada. The intern will be mentored in developing visual GIS data, entering data, monitoring a database of current and previous GPS locations, and visualizing findings using GIS. Data types include GPS location, LiDAR, image and physiological data. If the intern elects for a fieldwork component, responsibilities will also include setting and checking box traps, releasing non-target animals, assisting technicians with fisher captures, and performing telemetry missions to track fishers and download GPS points remotely from collared individuals. Field work would require hiking in steep forested terrain, driving on paved and 4WD dirt roads, working independently and with a team in the field, navigating using GPS and topographic maps, and following standardized protocols.

This work meets the NPS mission by preserving special status wildlife species. This work is one of the highest priorities in YNP (Yosemite National Park). YNP biologists are collaborating with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife to create conservation strategies for fishers, which are listed as a federal and state endangered species. Fishers are found in the mid-elevation dense forests of the foothills and mountains, which are considered at high risk for catastrophic fires. This species is of special conservation concern as they are an indicator species of forest health and require specific habitat structures that take decades or centuries to form these characteristics (e.g., snags, tree cavities). Our project is investigating how fishers are using a drastically changing landscape as wildfires are increasing in intensity and frequency, and whether their habitat and life requirements are at risk from severe fires. Our results aim to inform fire managers how to balance the need to restore forest resiliency using prescribed burns and thinning treatments with the conservation needs of fisher.


The goal of this position is to support our fisher project by maintaining our fisher geodatabase and developing usable products through Esri systems. Responsibilities will include creating visual data to observe fisher distribution through time and inform habitat management that increases habitat resiliency, supporting field crews with up-to-date GIS data points, performing data management, participating in multi-agency planning meetings, and developing data collection protocols.


Applicants must have three years towards an undergraduate degree in GIS, cartography, biological sciences, wildlife biology, computer science, or other related fields. Experience working in ESRI ArcGIS software and applications, producing well-designed cartographic products, and managing geospatial data are required. Additional skills with Python and R scripting, spatial analysis, working GPS and topographic maps will be considered. Must have an interest and ability to work independently, follow detailed protocols, adapt to evolving work conditions, and have a passion for wildlife conservation work.

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.

The SIP Intern will spend the majority (90%) of work time in the office in El Portal with occasional (10%) fieldwork in Yosemite Valley that involves educating and communicating citizens about bats. The office in El Portal, CA sits at roughly 1,900 ft in a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cooler, potentially wet winters. El Portal, which is strung along the Merced River just a few miles downriver of the Arch Rock Entrance Station, is largely home to other NPS employees. El Portal consists of a few separate areas tucked into relatively flat parts of the steep river canyon. NPS offices flank the town to the west, with the Rancheria Flat residential area just upriver. These houses and apartments are newer, and house a mix of permanent, seasonal, and volunteer employees. Heading farther east and upriver, the town center is located to the far east end. Here, there is a small grocery store, gas station, community hall, U.S. Post Office, and some NPS partner offices. A third housing area, Old El Portal, is located uphill and is home to mainly permanent residents. As an El Portal resident, the intern can take advantage of recreation facilities in Rancheria Flat, including a pool, sports field at the local school, and the local branch of 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 to Mariposa for a full grocery store, 45 minutes from El Portal. Of all the cell phone carriers, only Verizon gets service in town, and it is typically spotty. Both the community hall and the library have free wifi.


  • 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. If there are household items you cannot live without, you may want to bring them with you. Here are suggestions and recommendations of items you may want to bring with you: Sheets, pillows and bedding for twin size mattress, mattress pad, towels, toiletries, personal computer, variety of warm weather clothing, e.g., rain gear and 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, dish cloths, sponges, plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, pots, pans, utensils, and coffee pot or tea kettle.

fisher, GIS, geodatabase, Field Maps, wildlife

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.)