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Intern, GIS, Global Forest Watch

World Resources Institute

Washington,  District of Columbia

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an online forest monitoring and alert system pushing the limits of what it means for a data platform to provide accurate and actionable information to empower users everywhere. The platform provides access to forest and tree cover data as well as related contextual data to users with internet access around the globe. GFW also performs research to provide insight into forest trends and the drivers behind them and works hard to effectively communicate findings in an actionable amount of time.

Internship Summary

Global Forest Watch seeks an enthusiastic and dedicated individual with excellent technical, analytical, and communication skills for a full-time, paid internship position for Summer 2019. In this position, you will support the GFW team in preparing data, developing content for the GFW platform and its web applications, and undertaking technical research and analysis related to deforestation and its drivers.

The ideal intern is a graduate student pursuing a degree in the field of environmental science, physical science, geography or related fields. In this internship, you will work closely with GFW research analysts and the GFW Commodities and Finance team helping to create and implement data processing workflows. The focus of the internship would revolve around palm oil and oil palm monitoring and related projects.

Learning Outcomes

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Implementing workflows in data acquisition and processing
  • Cleaning and processing spatial and tabular data in support of GFW partnerships and external agreements
  • Manipulating large raster data sets through cloud computing, including large raster analyses using a variety of tools including Pandas, GDAL, ogr2ogr, Google Earth Engine, and ArcGIS
  • Performing geospatial analyses related to deforestation risk and tree cover loss using GFW data
  • Supporting efforts to communicate GFW data and analytical content to non-technical audiences
  • Supporting in authoring official reports for external partners

Internship Qualifications

The successful candidate will be someone looking to gain significant experience in forest information management and improving forest governance – particularly using GIS and remote sensing. Related work or internship experience in the environment or international development fields strongly desired.

  • Master's degree preferred
  • Strong technical communication skills
  • GIS experience; ArcGIS, QGIS, or Google Earth Engine preferred
  • Strong Microsoft Excel or experience with Python Pandas
  • Experience working with large raster and vector data sets
  • Experience with batch processing of raster and vector data

General Internship Requirements

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.
  • US work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas.


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