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: 11/04/2024
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.)

This internship will support Yosemite’s Physical Science and Landscape Ecology (PSLE) program and Enterprise Geographic Information Systems (EGIS) team by providing technical assistance on a variety of projects and tasks. The intern may assist with creating map products, editing EGIS datasets, updating technical documentation, responding to GIS requests, troubleshooting technical issues in scripts and web applications, and collecting, processing, and analyzing raster, imagery, and/or LiDAR data. The intern will be assigned 1-2 principal projects based on their interest and experience. Projects may include preparing data for public sharing for an Open Data initiative, georeferencing historic maps, updating base maps, updating Python code for automated tasks, and/or remote sensing for forest and wildlife habitat monitoring using airborne LiDAR, spectral imagery, and terrestrial LiDAR. Work will be mostly office-based with some field work opportunities through physical sciences projects and routine activities, such as weekly air quality station visits and use of GNSS for field mapping.

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 intern’s assistance with Yosemite’s Open Data initiative will directly contribute to improving the quality and availability of the park’s geospatial data to a wider audience of students, researchers, and collaborators. The remote sensing projects provide a direct application of GIS in service of the greater NPS mission to protect and preserve park resources.


Deliverables for GIS projects will include databases, maps, ArcGIS Pro projects, “how-to” guidance documents, toolboxes, scripts, and final reports.


Applicants must have at least three years toward an undergraduate degree in GIS, geography, cartography, natural resources, Earth science, or other related field. Advanced GIS skills are required, whether gained through coursework or applied experience. Applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency with using ESRI ArcGIS software and applications and potentially other programs for geoprocessing spatial data, conducting dataset QAQC, producing cartographic products, and scripting in Python, R, or other languages. Skill and experience with remote sensing, LiDAR, or enterprise databases may be considered. Must have a flexible and positive attitude and an ability to work and contribute independently.

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.

Yosemite National Park is famous for its soaring cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, deep glacial valleys, and rugged wilderness. Yosemite Valley includes such geologic landmarks as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. The elevation of the park ranges from 2,127 ft. in the western foothills to 13,114 ft. at the crest of the range. Yosemite National Park is in the center of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which were formed during two phases of mountain building. The Yosemite landscape consists of primarily granitic rocks with sparse metamorphic roof pendants. Small glaciers and snowfields still cling to the highest peaks and feed clear rushing creeks and rivers. The 11,000 feet of altitudinal variation in the park supports a wide variety of life forms. Mariposa, the nearest community, has a large grocery store, hospital, public library, etc. Smaller versions of these facilities are also located in Yosemite Valley. Fresno (~90 miles away) is the nearest large town with a full range of amenities, including Fresno-Yosemite International Airport. Yosemite National Park has almost unlimited hiking, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing opportunities in the winter, and hosts a small ski resort at Badger Pass.


  • 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.

Cell reception in El Portal is limited (Verizon is best, but all carriers are spotty due to the landscape). Cable TV and Internet are not provided, but WiFi is available at the library, community center, and two residential 'hubs,' or can be set up at the resident’s expense. Pets and other occupants are not permitted.

GIS, remote sensing, LiDAR, enterprise data management

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.)