GEOSCIENTISTS-IN-THE-PARKS Internship Program Great Smoky Mountains National Park

12-17-2019 10:57 AM
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GEOSCIENTISTS-IN-THE-PARKS Internship Program Great Smoky Mountains National Park






PD #: 2020102

Position Title: GIS Assistant [Direct Placement] (1)

Position Type: Guest Scientist

Primary natural resource discipline: Air resources

Project keywords: GIS, Education, Air Quality, Water Quality, Story map, soil chemistry, critical loads

Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee


Position Description: The intern will work as a member of both the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) GIS program a well as the Air Resources and Water Quality Monitoring teams. Duties will include extensive training in the use of ArcGIS Pro, development of Story-maps, air and water quality monitoring protocols as well as air/water quality processes. The candidate will assist with air and water quality field monitoring, some of which may be in partnership with state and federal partners. The candidate will learn to use Microsoft Access and SQL databases to enter a variety of air and water quality data incorporating data validation and verification techniques. There may also be opportunities to speak with youth and adult groups during education programs on current GIS, air and water quality related research in GRSM.

Air and water resources at the park are critical vital signs that have been monitored for over 40 years. The park is a federal Class I area under the Clean Air Act requiring protection of air quality-related values at the park (including visibility, streams, soils, vegetation, ecosystems, and public health). Air quality has improved over the past 20 years, but problems still remain to protect public health and ecosystems. Some of the deposition issues facing the park from excess nitrogen, sulfur and mercury will take decades for ecosystem recovery. It is critical for the park to succinctly explain to the public some of the restoration efforts underway to improve and protect aquatic and terrestrial resources at the park.

This position is offered through the National Park Service's Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) Internship Program in partnership with Stewards Individual Placement Program (Stewards) and The Geological Society of America (GSA).

Work Products: The purpose of this project is to develop an ArcGIS on-line Story-map depicting how historic acid deposition has impacted air, soil and stream water quality as well as the mitigation's and significant deposition improvements that have been made in these areas. The Story-map will help educate visitors, the general public and local/national government leaders regarding these issues and the significant improvements that have been made using long term monitoring data, focused mitigations and sound science.



• Degree in either Environmental Science, Climate, or Computer Science;

• Above average computer experience;

• Exceptional experience with Microsoft Excel;

• Exceptional experience in recognizing data patterns;

• Exceptional experience in reading technical literature;

 Some knowledge of EPA Air Quality Monitoring programs.


The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”) between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. Prior to starting this position a government security background clearance will be required.



Applicant must have a valid driver license and a good driving record. The applicant may need to drive a park vehicle to/from various air and water quality sites across the park to take pictures, assist with field collections, etc.

A personal vehicle is not required for this position. Most of the housing units are within 2 miles of the city of Gatlinburg and there are other NPS housing units nearby. Staff without personal vehicles often carpool with other housing tenants to/from town for groceries, etc. There is also a limited trolley public transportation system in Gatlinburg.

If the GIP is required to drive a park vehicle for their position, Stewards will perform a driving records search, and the GIP’s ability to drive a park vehicle during work hours will be contingent upon the results. GIPs will have to have had their license for 3 years or be over the age of 21 to be insured as drivers under Stewards insurance policy. Examples of things that will preclude a GIP from driving a park vehicle include: GIP under the age of 21 years old that has been licensed less than three years, DUIs, multiple moving vehicle violations, suspended or revoked license, or three or more accidents (regardless of fault) in the last 3 years. If the driver’s search is favorable, Stewards will provide driver’s liability insurance while the intern is driving a NPS vehicle for their GIP position. If the GIP is denied coverage by Stewards, they will not be permitted to drive during work hours.


Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. GRSM housing is typically a shared ranch or apartment housing with a private room. Housing units are fully furnished, except for twin bed linens, and all utilities are paid by GRSM. Internet service may/may not be available at all housing units.


Start Date: 5/3/2020

Number of weeks: 26 weeks

Flexibility of dates: Yes


26 weeks ($400/week = $10,400)





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