GIS Research Assistant(s), Evolution of the Geology and Biology of the American Southwest

As Earth’s surface evolves through dynamic changes in river channels, sea level, and climate, the habitats in which species live shift spatially and organisms adapt genetically and behaviorally to compensate for these changes. This unpaid internship will use a GIS to approximate changes in the physical landscape, the results of which will be integrated with genetic data and statistical models. Prior knowledge of geology and biology are not necessary.

Objectives will be based on trainee’s experience, but possible directions include: 

  1. Visualizing 3D reconstructions of the Colorado River and adjacent deserts that integrate lidar, climate, lithologic, and genetic data. 
  2. Python scripting to create a tool that will perform sliding-window calculations of coastal properties. 
  3. Developing an automated workflow to convert GPS data to paleo-coordinates based on tectonic reconstructions at specific times in the past. All objectives have the option for online implementation via web API for public consumption, which is a rapidly growing sector of GIS.

The research group is looking for 1–3 motivated students for this work who want to gain valuable applied experience. Based on progress, there is potential for this position to lead to a paid internship or capstone experience. The student(s) will receive direct supervision, have flexibility to work remotely and the latitude to direct project outcomes if desired.

Expected workload is ~15 hrs/week (done remotely) with weekly in-person or skype check-ins.

Product(s) developed as part of this project can be used in the student’s job or graduate school portfolio and authorship on publications is possible given substantive contributions. 

Good communication, note-taking, and problem-solving skills are required, as well as the ability to meet agreed-upon deadlines. Proficiency with ArcGIS 10 including modelbuilder and map-making is expected; familiarity with ArcGIS Pro 2 is desired.

If you are interested, please send a cover letter and CV as a single pdf to Dr. Greer Dolby ( by January 5th to be considered. Include “GIS-MAS” in the subject heading. Queries and questions are also welcome.

Job Location: 
Remote work, with weekly check-ins
Position Type: 
Research Support
Apply By Date: 
Saturday, January 5, 2019