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 Terrestrial Wildlife Program. Our program works to manage, monitor, protect and preserve wildlife populations within Yosemite National Park. The applicant will work on data for endangered and common wildlife projects including (Great Gray Owl, Spotted Owl, Songbirds, Bats, and Sierra Nevada Red Fox). They will be a part of a dynamic team that provides reliable data to promote effective conservation decision making and the long-term viability of wildlife populations across Yosemite and beyond. The Intern will be mentored in managing and displaying data for this important park program. Office work will involve building geodatabases, dashboards, experience builder platforms, entering data, managing a database of current and previous wildlife observations, and displaying data using GIS data visualization tools. Data types include capture data, audio data, GPS location data, and thermal and infrared video data. Optional field work will include going out on captures of fisher and bats, and outreach aimed at emphasizing the ecological importance of the Park's wildlife species through education and communication to the visitors of Yosemite.

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, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Geological Survey to create conservation strategies for federal and state endangered species. Wildlife found in the mid-elevation dense forests of the foothills and mountains, which are considered at high risk for catastrophic fires. Multiple species that the GIS Assistant will work on are considered indicator species of forest health and requiring specific habitat structures that take decades or centuries to form (e.g., snags, tree cavities). Our Terrestrial Wildlife Branch is conducting interdisciplinary work with the Physical Sciences and Landscape Ecology Branch of NPS to model prospective habitat locations and analyze data in light of climate change. Additionally, YNP biologists are working together with NABat, and the National Wildlife Health Center to better understand species vulnerable to the effects of climate change, human disturbance, and other imminent stressors (e.g. disease).


The intern will be presented with a choice of various project deliverables that would further the conservation and research goals of the Terrestrial Wildlife Program. Project deliverables would include establishing a database of songbird, Sierra Nevada Red Fox (listed species), Spotted Owl (listed species), and/or Great Gray Owl (listed species) and creating a visual representation (e.g. dashboard or experience builder) of these databases. At the end of the internship, project deliverables would be included in a suite of geospatial resources which can be used by Yosemite, other National Parks and collaborators to observe species distribution through time and inform the future needs of conservation and biodiversity as some species wane towards extinction or are affected by disease.


Competitive applicants will have at least three years towards an undergraduate degree in GIS, cartography, biological sciences, wildlife biology, computer science, or another related field. 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.

GIS, geodatabase, Field Maps, wildlife, conservation

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.)