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Flood Hazard GIS Specialist

State of Montana

Helena,  Montana


The Flood Hazard GIS Specialist is responsible for the management, development, integrity, and maintenance of the DNRC floodplain mapping GIS inventory datasets and databases. The position’s duties include providing GIS and mapping information systems data management, analyzing and disseminating data, generating and quality reviewing flood hazard data, providing niche programmatic GIS knowledge/expertise, along with technical assistance, training, outreach and cross-agency collaboration. The position requires an extensive understanding and knowledge ESRI ArcGIS and FEMA’s Risk MAP program and associated standards and guidance for developing and serving flood hazard and flood risk products compliant with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The position serves the Floodplain Mapping Section of the Water Operations Bureau (WOB) and reports directly to the Bureau Chief. The Floodplain Mapping Section is responsible for implementing the Montana Floodplain and Floodway Management Act (MCA 76-5) and the 2005 Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Provision 76-5-201 requires the Department develop a comprehensive floodplain mapping program and inventory for all watercourses and drainways within Montana. Through the CTP agreement, the Department prioritizes and performs new floodplain studies and maintenance updates in collaboration with FEMA; and in compliance with standards of the NFIP.

The incumbent supports ongoing floodplain study prioritization and scoping activities, coordinating directly with program engineering and outreach staff. Responsibilities include creation and development of spatial datasets and derivative cartographic products needed for project screening, prioritization, grant applications, and professional services contracts.

The position is responsible for the administration, maintenance, and stewardship of the state’s flood hazard mapping dataset portfolio, including the program’s Mapping Repository and FEMA’s Coordinated Needs Strategy (CNMS) geodatabase and related datasets. This includes elevation/LiDAR, structure, new-historic floodplain study and other related datasets. The incumbent oversees coordination and dissemination of data with stakeholders and partner agencies including FEMA, USGS, and the Montana State Library. Serves as the Bureau’s programmatic liaison and member for the Montana Elevation Working Group.

The incumbent serves as the technical lead and expert for GIS application and development efforts both internally and with DNRC mapping contractors. This requires an intimate acquired knowledge of FEMA standards and guidelines for generation, development and distribution of FEMA Risk MAP flood risk analysis and mapping products. The incumbent leads GIS quality reviews of floodplain mapping submittals for compliance with state and federal criteria.

This position performs a variety of other duties as they intersect or interrelate with the GIS information purveyed by the Floodplain Mapping Program both within DNRC, FEMA, other agencies and stakeholders. This includes managing special projects, representing the program at various meetings and conferences, serving on committees, creating map products, and participating in ongoing training and outreach activities as assigned.


Demonstrated abilities in the following:

  • Expert knowledge of principles and practices of geographical information systems (GIS) and underlying relational database systems, including SQL.
  • Substantial knowledge of ESRI ArcGIS and ESRI mobile, desktop, & server software.
  • Knowledge of web mapping technologies using ESRI & Leaflet tools
  • Knowledge and demonstrated skill in object oriented principles and data management.
  • Knowledge of and experience customizing maps with ESRI software and services.
  • Demonstrated capacity to be proactive, efficient, and productive with limited supervision.
  • Experience working within a project management structure.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with program and agency staff and a variety of federal, state and local agencies, and the general public.
  • Ability to work as a member of an extended diverse team and coordinate with numerous state-federal agencies, community representatives, stakeholders, and the general public.
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, attention to detail, and organizational strengths

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: The knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position are typically acquired through possession of a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography, or related field, with an emphasis, or additional training, in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or information technology, and a minimum of 3 years applicable work experience. Desirable credentials include: knowledge and experience with the NFIP and FEMA’s RiskMAP program; expertise with ArcGIS; and spatial data management and maintenance.

Education and experience equivalent and comparable to that specified above may satisfy the minimum job requirements and will be considered on an individual basis. Training assignments may also be considered and/or required if an applicant does not meet all the competencies, skills or abilities.

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