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Regional Planning and GIS Intern

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Boston,  Massachusetts
GIS Internship

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) seeks a Regional Planning GIS Intern to support members of the Data Services Department on data analysis and mapping for local and regional planning projects. The ideal candidate will be an experienced Esri ArcMap user with a strong interest in planning, sustainability, and social equity. Our team works on projects stemming from departments across the agency, so candidates should also be excited to work on several projects at once in diverse topic areas.

This internship is a unique opportunity to work as part of a dynamic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary team focused on using data and technology to support informed regional planning. The Data Services Department is recognized as a national leader in data dissemination, regional indicators, scenario modeling, spatial analysis, and open source interactive websites. This position is part of the department's Analytical Services team and will report to the manager of that group. To learn more about Data Services, visit

About MAPC
MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. We are guided by MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region, our regional policy plan for a more sustainable and equitable future, which was adopted in 2008. We are currently working on a successor regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together, which we expect to complete by 2020. MAPC's staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.

MAPC encourages all of our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC's planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times. We strongly support the professional development of each and every staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. For more information about MAPC, MetroFuture, and MetroCommon, please visit

Examples of Duties
Examples of projects past interns have worked on include:

  • Reviewing existing census tract and block group boundaries and adjusting them to reflect population growth and locally recognized boundaries for use in Census 2020
  • Researching food waste tonnage, disposal methods, and corresponding emissions to understand the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted from food waste in Massachusetts and strategies for their reduction
  • Synthesizing climate projections, demographic data, and public health data to inform municipal vulnerability preparedness workshops
  • Developing an interconnected suite of online data collection, storage, and mapping tools to improve stormwater management
  • Conducting an inventory of Massachusetts zoning by-laws and recording information for use in land use modelling
  • Mapping City of Boston 311 and Boston Police Department calls to understand concerns around public safety and housing issue

Primary Responsibilities

  • Creating informative, visually appealing maps, conducting basic spatial analysis, and creating and editing spatial data
  • Assembling, analyzing, and visualizing tabular data
  • Communicating methods and findings to members of the Analytical Services team and to other departments at MAPC in person and in writing
  • Working with the Analytical Services Manager to respond to data requests from MAPC colleagues and from the public
  • Performing other duties as necessary

Typical Qualifications
The following are required qualifications for the position:

  • Currently enrolled in an academic program
  • Training and experience (either academic or applied) using Esri ArcMap and MS Excel
  • Strong data management and data analysis skills, with a personal commitment to the quality of the product(s)
  • Ability to communicate effectively with internal staff and agency partners

The following are preferred qualifications for the position:

  • Experience with ArcPro and ArcOnline
  • Experience with SQL, Python, and R
  • Experience with design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign
  • Experience working with diverse data sets from federal, state, and local agencies
  • Familiarity with cartographic principles and technical methods
  • Familiarity with topics and principles related to regional planning, sustainable development, and social equity
  • Demonstrated innovative, strategic, and analytical capabilities, self-motivation and goal-oriented approach
  • Only candidates currently enrolled in an academic program will be considered for this position.

Compensation will be $17 to $21 per hour, commensurate with experience. This is a paid, part-time (7.5 to 15 hours per week) internship with flexibility. The position is for the spring of 2020 and will last 20 weeks beginning in January and continuing through May. To qualify as an intern, individuals must be enrolled in an academic program, provide written verification of their status, and agree to a scheduled end date upon hire.

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