Student Conservation Association GIS/GPS Technician in Albany, New York

SCA Hudson Valley AmeriCorps partners with State and non-profit agencies to address the conservation needs of the Hudson River Watershed region. Corps members are placed at individual host sites, where service activities range from providing environmental education to underserved youth, to restoring streambanks along the Hudson River, and beyond. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other events.

Organization/Agency Mission and/or Goals: The mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all NYS residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic and cultural resources.

Program Mission and/or Goals: The goal of the GIS Bureau is to provide high quality data, analysis and maps to State Park staff and patrons.

Community Need: The SCA member will be generating trail maps which directly benefits park patrons. Enhancing the quantity and quality of information that the agency provides to the public and state park staff is an important part of the GIS Bureau’s core functions. The member will be directly involved with this effort.

Member Position Summary: The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) is seeking a qualified candidate to conduct Global Positioning System (GPS) fieldwork. This individual will be responsible for coordinating and collecting data relating to trails, infrastructure and utilities within state parks. Once data has been collected, the individual will create maps of the trail system within the state park using geographic information systems (GIS). Other maps will be generated as needed. The position is located in Albany, NY at the 625 Broadway in the GIS Bureau. Extensive travel all over the state will be required.

Responsibilities: Under supervision of GIS Bureau staff, conduct fieldwork relating to trails and infrastructure. Complete an inventory of trails within a state park. Collect all pertinent trails and infrastructure data. This position will involve coordinating fieldwork with the individual parks. The SCA member will conduct the fieldwork under the supervision of a GIS Bureau staff person. Travel will be required. Specialized training in the software and hardware that the GIS Bureau uses is helpful but not necessary. Experience with GPS and GIS concepts is necessary. Experience with programming languages, especially Python, is highly desired.

Necessary Training or Training Plan to be implemented prior to Member Placement: It is useful for the member to have training and experience in using ESRI’s ArcGIS software and Trimble’s GeoXT GPS units along with Pathfinder Office.

Member Impact: The SCA member will be directly responsible for collecting all data associated with a state park and their trail system. From this data, they will produce a trail map that will be posted to the Agency’s web page. These maps are used extensively by park staff and patrons. The member will also be responsible for coordinating with park staff to make sure their mapping needs are met.

Essential Functions of Position: 85% - at least 85% of the member’s time will involve performing tasks related to trail and infrastructure data collection. This breaks down as follows: 10% - coordination and pre-data collection work (coordinate with park staff, evaluate and identify park data needs, establish project schedule to collect and analyze data) 35% conduct field work using GPS units 40% - post process data, incorporate into statewide database and produce required maps. Perform GIS analysis as needed. Remaining 15% is attending Hudson Valley Corps events and completing AmeriCorps reporting requirements including bi-weekly timesheets, monthly reports, pre/post tests for any education provided, evaluations at the beginning, mid-point, and end of term.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Experience with Trimble GPS units, such as the Geo XT and Pathfinder Office software desirable. Experience with ESRI GIS software, such as Arc Map and Arc Info, also desirable. Members must be at least 17 years of age at the commencement of service. Members must be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States; and must Satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria pursuant to 45 CFR 2540.202.

Required Academic and Experience Qualifications: BS or BA in natural resources, planning, forestry, environmental science, geography or GIS

  • Location Description

The position is located in the GIS Bureau at the central office in Albany, NY. Extensive travel all over the state will be required.

  • Training Provided

Members will receive AmeriCorps orientation that includes training on prohibited and unallowable activities, an orientation that covers risk management, reporting requirements, and a benefits overview, and Wilderness First Aid and CPR training.

  • Professional Development Opportunities

SCA offers all Hudson Valley Corps members with Wilderness First Aid certification, CPR certification, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, and Project WET, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree curricula. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics and other opportunities which may arise.

Specialized training in State Park’s methodology’s of data collection and cartography will be provided on the job.

  • Handicap Accessible?


Education, Training & Skills Expected

Forestry some coursework or experience Recreation Management some coursework or experience Resource Management some coursework or experience GIS competent with supervision GPS some experience Data Analysis some experience Orienteering compass skills some experience

Expected Dates: January 19, 2017 to November 15, 2017

Site: New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

Position ID: PO-00711715

Main Area of Focus: Geographic Info Systems (GIS, includes GPS)

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Valid Drivers License Needed Personal Vehicle Required

Housing or Stipend Provided?: Yes

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

US Citizenship: Required