GIS/Cultural Resources Specialist

Colorado State University

Guam, US Territories

A GIS/Cultural Resources Specialist position is available with the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) to support Joint Region Marianas (JRM) on the Island of Guam. This position will provide on-site technical support and assistance to the JRM Cultural Resources Manager (CRM) concerning activities related to the Programmatic Agreement between the Commander, Joint Region Marianas, and the Guam State Historic Preservation Officer regarding military training and testing on and within the surrounding waters of the Island of Guam. This includes researching and assessing potential impacts to cultural resources from military training and testing within the JRM Area of Responsibility (AOR).

To fulfill these objectives, the Cultural Resources/GIS Specialist will create, maintain, and provide GIS data and maps, as well as conduct quarterly impact assessments. This position involves a combination of office and field activities to collect, verify, maintain, and update cultural resource-related geospatial data in compliance with NAVFAC data standards and security requirements. The specialist will also provide technical support and training to other CEMML staff GIS users by offering guidance on geospatial issues and tools and assist in developing and implementing GIS standards and best practices.

Responsibilities include creating, managing, and maintaining geospatial databases to store and manage spatial data efficiently and securely in one or more data systems. Ensuring data accuracy, completeness, and consistency with data standards through a rigorous quality control process is essential. The specialist will also create, update, and maintain metadata for all spatial datasets. Familiarity with installation plans, undertakings, pedestrian surveys, and cultural resources inventories is required to perform spatial analysis and generate reports, maps, and other visual representations to support decision-making. The specialist will respond to data requests to support program requirements and manage defined project scope deliverables and timelines.

The GIS/Cultural Resources Specialist will work as part of a team to support JRM’s cultural resources program objectives and will also be responsible for logistical planning, collaboration, communications, and coordination with Navy personnel and CEMML colleagues in Guam. Additionally, this position will support NAVFAC in preparing reports and documents.

All work must be done in accordance with applicable U.S. Navy, federal, and state regulations and laws, especially regarding geospatial data management, data integrity and security, historic/cultural preservation, endangered species, safety, and health. The GIS/Cultural Resources Specialist works in small teams and independently to fulfill all tasks and assignments. Must be able to communicate and interact with internal/external staff, officials, and the public in a professional manner. The work will be primarily conducted in an office setting on Guam involving operation of computers, printers, other peripherals, and standard office equipment. However the incumbent must be willing and able to conduct fieldwork under strenuous and extreme outdoor conditions at times.

This position is duty stationed at NAVFAC Marianas, Joint Region Marianas headquarters on the island of Guam, a self-governing territory of the United States located 3,300 miles west of Hawaii and 1,500 miles east of the Philippines. Guam averages 86 degrees (F) year-round with a multitude of activities, including diving and snorkeling at Tumon Bay Marine Park, sky diving, beautiful hiking trails; as well as three shopping malls and four movie theaters. Joint Region Marianas (JRM) was established in 2009 as the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force on Guam combined headquarters. The Department of the Navy manages thousands of known terrestrial (and submerged) cultural resources on Guam and within the JRM Area of Responsibility (AOR), including Chamorro (prehistoric), Spanish-era, and World War II era historic properties retaining a high degree of integrity and historical significance.

Work location is dependent on the needs of the partner/project/role. In some instances, positions may require staff to be fully in-person. In other instances, hybrid or remote arrangements may be possible.

Required Job Qualifications    

  • BS/BA degree in Geography, Computer Science, Geographic Information Systems, Anthropology, Archaeology, or related field.
  • Five (5) years of post-graduate professional work experience applying spatial data standards and maintaining metadata.
  • Proficiency in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software including ArcGIS 10.X, ArcGIS Pro, and Survey123 for data development, spatial analysis, and geodatabase management.
  • Excellent working knowledge of mapping cultural resources using of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Ability to use compass, maps, and GPS devices.
  • Demonstrated excellence in verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks and maintain an organized approach to work, with limited supervision.
  • Experience working in a highly structured work environment with established lines of authority, procedures and protocols.
  • Must be physically able to carry and handle equipment up to 25 pounds. Long periods of standing, walking over rough uneven surfaces in remote areas, recurring bending, stooping, lifting, reaching, or similar activities are expected.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license by the employment start date.
  • The successful candidate must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. by proposed start date; CEMML will not provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Preferred Job Qualifications    

  • MS/MA in Geography, Computer Science, Geographic Information Systems, Anthropology, Archaeology or related field.
  • Expert working knowledge and experience with ArcGIS 10.X and/or ArcGIS Pro software, cartography, and data development.
  • Experience developing or working with predictive modeling techniques, validation, and testing to ensure performance.
  • Experience monitoring and updating predictive model’s performance and maintenance.
  • Working knowledge of basic geospatial statistical and mathematical skills.
  • Experience with SDSFIE (Spatial Data Standards for Facilities) and FGDC (Federal Geographic Data Committee).
  • Experience developing data dictionaries (specifically for cultural resource management needs).
  • Knowledge of database structure languages, such as SQL and database best management practices.
  • Experience managing data storage with assurance of data accuracy and consistency through the database lifecycle.
  • Experience instructing less experienced staff in the use of ESRI applications (especially Survey123) and GPS equipment.
  • Working knowledge and familiarity with U.S. federal historic preservation laws and regulations that govern cultural resource management, especially the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • Previous experience in the Pacific region, especially Mariana Islands, is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with military culture and its established lines of authority, procedures, and protocols is beneficial.
  • Demonstrated ability to present written correspondence, reports, and recommendations in a clear and concise manner.

Diversity Statement    
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties
Archaeological Fieldwork and Analysis

  • Assist in cultural resources management actions as specified by the JRM Cultural Resources Manager (CRM) and as related to Programmatic Agreements.
  • Assist with quarterly impact assessments regarding historic properties potentially impacted by military training and testing, responding to unanticipated sensitive finds, and performing small-scale archaeological reconnaissance surveys, site revisits, and recordation
  • Assist with historic properties re-location, navigation, and the detailed mapping of loci, features, and boundary delineation of newly identified or re-located historic properties. 
  • Assists with careful field documentation such as inventory, photographing, and provenience of artifacts and/or features.
  • Operates tools and equipment commonly used in cultural resource management, which may include but is not limited to, hand tools, radios, transits, total stations, global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers, metal detectors, weed and brush cutters, and 4×4 trucks.
  • Assists with the inventory and maintenance of field equipment.
  • Position requires physical exertion to operate equipment and carry supplies and materials long distances over uneven terrain. Long periods of standing, walking over rough uneven surfaces, recurring bending, stooping, lifting, reaching, digging, or similar activities are expected.
  • Assists with data analysis and interpretation for report writing.

Geographic Information System (GIS)  

  • Utilize GPS receiver(s) to collect geospatial data of cultural properties as needed, ensuring accurate and precise data collection in the field. Responsible for overseeing operations and maintenance of GPS equipment, GNSS receiver, and peripherals to ensure optimal functionality and accuracy.
  • Export GPS data and maintain it within a GIS geodatabase following current NVAFAC Spatial Data Standards (SDSFIE) using appropriate GIS software.
  • Create and update maps, drawings, graphs, and other visual products using various software applications.
  • Respond to CRM requests by producing specialized maps, drawings, charts, and other graphical representations as needed.
  • Provide expert guidance to NAVFAC regarding data management, data sharing, and control of unclassified information, ensuring compliance with federal regulations and standards
  • Convert hardcopy maps to digital formats, g georeference, and digitize them; Input scanned files into the GIS system and examine each file to collect and input attribute data.
  • Regularly update and maintain GIS dataset(s), troubleshoot software problems, and configure data dictionaries to ensure standards, integrity, and accesibility
  • Identify and download published spatial data sources to to support cultural resource projects and related actions, integrating new data into existing systems.
  • Transfer, analyze, mine, and inventory spatial data, using software applications (e.g. ArcGIS Pro, Excel, Access) to derive insights and support decision-making processes.
  • Convert digital and hard copy maps and files for georeferencing, ensuring spatial data is using the appropriate projected coordinate system and datum, and can be usable within GIS application.
  • Design and develop JRM predictive/sensitivity mode.
  • Validates and tests predictive model to ensure performance.
  • Regularly integrate new data sources and updates into existing models to maintain their relevance and accuracy.
  • Document and communicate validation and testing results as a quarterly report to CRM, providing clear insights into model performance and any areas requiring improvement.

Field data management and support

  • Assist with research designs, including pedestrian survey, testing, and mitigation plans.
  • Maintain and update data dictionaries and Survey123 forms for field staff.
  • Download, post-correct and export GPS data into GIS environment for further management (e.g. shapefile, KML, etc.).
  • Create figures and field maps, both in hard copy and electronic formats, to represent spatial data and analysis results effectively. 
  • Configure geodatabase settings, such as spatial reference, coordinate system, and data storage parameters, to optimize performance and data integrity
  • Regularly update and maintain spatial data within the project geodatabase to reflect updates.
  • Implement change management processes to track cultural resources data modifications, additions, and deletions.
  • Implement security measures to protect sensitive spatial data and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
  • Ensure metadata compliance with NAVFAC standards and metadata, making data easily discoverable and compatible.
  • Establish backup and recovery procedures to safeguard spatial data against loss or corruption.
  • Troubleshoot equipment and digital data files.
  • Provide staff with instruction/training and technical support on the use of the ArcGIS Pro and AGOL platform.
  • Develop and document best practices, data management workflows, and spatial analysis techniques.

Reporting and Communications  

  • Track and report monthly activity for submittal to DON Project POC and CEMML Principal Investigator as per project Statement of Work.
  • Assist with the preparation of quarterly impact assessment reports
  • Assist with coordination, communication, preparation and review of documentation.
  • Regularly and routinely communicate via in-person meetings, tele/video conferences, and email to provide technical expertise regarding all aspects of cultural resource management


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Category GIS Analyst , GIS Developer