Thursday, July 30, 2015

August Alumni of the Month: Rachel Berndtson

Name: Rachel Berndtson
Major: Geography
Minor: GIS
Current employment status:
·Employer: University of Maryland
·Position: Assistant Director of Academic Programs
Did you/do you currently go to graduate school? If so:
·School: University of Maryland
·Program: Geographical Sciences
·Degree: PhD
Why did you want to be a GEOG/GIS/ENSP major?
To learn about human environment interactions, and to gain the skills necessary to analyze a breadth of phenomena from a geographic perspective. Geographers aren’t limited in their context of study, but rather apply Geographic thinking, skills, and analysis to better understand a wide range of topics.
What internships or independent research did you do as a GEOG/GIS/ENSP major?
Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) internship with the Environmental Protection Agency;
Independent studies and honors research on coastal shoreline erosion with Dr. Michael Kearney.
What recommendations would you make to current GEOG/GIS/ENSP majors for career and academic success while they are still undergraduates?
Take advantage of all opportunities (internships, research, honors program) through which you can apply your geographic skills outside the controlled classroom environment. 
What recommendations would you make to current GEOG/GIS/ENSP majors for career and academic success after graduation?
Network at every opportunity. 

DC Latino History

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Position as EPA Geospatial Statistical and Data Analytics Support Associate

Recruiting for the- EPA in Cincinnati OH and the position title, EPA Geospatial Statistical and Data Analytics Support Associate 

The project description:  
The Land Remediation and Pollution Control Division (LRPCD) of the National Risk Management Research Laboratory is seeking an individual  to assist with a project that seeks to combine complex environmental, geographic, socio-economic, and policy datasets to assess and map different trajectories of community sustainability (Typology of Sustainable Communities).
An initial phase of research (Phase 1) was completed in May, 2014 which provided a basic, multi-scale Typology of Sustainable Communities using a variety of datasets covering several different component areas including: environmental stressors, land cover and use, demographics, policy and planning and government finance at Census Place and regional (county or MSA) scale.  However, the data coverage from Phase 1 is somewhat limited.  The aim for Phase 2, and the work for which this candidate is required, is to improve the precision and expand the coverage of the Phase 1 model.  The candidate shall assist the technical mentor to assess the limitations of the current approach, and evaluate alternative datasets and classification structures to improve the quality of the approach and the geographic coverage of the outputs. 

Master’s degree in statistics, geo-spatial statistics, geographic information systems (GIS), environmental sciences, environmental social sciences, urban planning, or a closely related field from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months.

Program and position details:

If you would like more information contact:

Karen Cleveland, PMP
Recruiter/Senior Program Specialist 
Scientific Assessment and
Workforce Development
(865) 574-4521
Twitter: @GovCareerPaths
Linkedin: Karen Cleveland

Global Reptile Assessment Internship with International Union for Conservation of Nature

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Intern - Global Reptile Assessment (GRA)

Status:Open (currently receiving applications)

Vacancy #:1128
Unit:Global Species & Key Biodiversity Areas Programme
Organization:International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:IUCN Washington DC Office, Washington D.C., United States of America
Reporting to:Manager, Biodiversity Assessment Unit
Work percentage:100%
Function group:-
Expected start date:01 September 2015
Type of contract:Fixed-term (3 months)
Closing date:31 July 2015

An intern is needed to prepare Red List extinction risk assessments and digital species distribution maps as part of the ongoing Global Reptile Assessment, an initiative to evaluate the conservation status of every species of reptile. Beginning in late August, this internship will support work underway to assess the nearly 1,000 species of snakes and lizards found in Australia
Specific Objectives

• Identify and extract data from field guides and academic literature on individual species’ distribution, population status, natural history and threatening processes.

• Using IUCN’s Species Information Service database, in which training will be provided, enter data into species accounts.

• Using ArcMAP software (in which training will be provided as necessary), prepare digital maps for a subset of the snakes and lizards of Australia, and calculate estimates of distributional extent.

• Providing additional support for ongoing Global Reptile Assessment work as requested, including calculating distributional extent and completing attribute fields for assessments and maps prior to final publication on the Red List.

• There may be some opportunity to liaise with specialists (mainly authors of academic papers) as necessary to follow up on issues that may be uncertain from text or maps.


The internship will be based in the IUCN-CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit at 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202, USA.


The intern will be paid a monthly stipend of USD 1'000.

• A basic understanding of ecological science is desirable; familiarity with scientific writing will be helpful.

• Prior experience in using GIS software is advantageous, but training will be provided in the necessary mapping standards and software.

• Good general knowledge of Australian geography will be helpful; knowledge of the region’s herpetology will be particularly well-regarded.

• Good attention to detail  
Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.
Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST).
Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website:

About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

Sustainability Internship Opportunities

Terps leave small footprints at the University of Maryland
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Dear Terps,

We are excited to announce a wide range of sustainability opportunities for the UMD community.  More information is available on our Internships and Volunteer Opportunities page. 

Office of Sustainability Internships
The following Office of Sustainability positions are available for the fall.
To apply, click here.  Applications are due Friday, August 21st.
UMD Internships and Opportunities
Off-Campus Opportunities



Copyright © 2015 Office of Sustainability, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for the Sustainable UMD Newsletter.
Our mailing address is:
Office of Sustainability
3115 Chesapeake Building
College Park, Md 20742
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                                                DC Latino History and Affordable Housing
Historia y Vivienda en el Districto de Columbia

Multimedia Presentation + Reception

Hear about local history and see our interactive maps. We've mapped where Latinos have lived in Washington DC since 1970 + how affordable housing plays a role in where people move next.

Con mapas interactivos y entrevistas, estamos examniando como el acceso a la vivienda juega un papel en nuestra comunidad local. Vengan a escuchar y compartir con nosotros.

Multimedia Presetnation + Dessert Reception
Viernes/Friday, July/Julio, 7 to 9 p.m.

GALA Hispanic Theatre
1333 14th Street NW, Washington DC
Metro: Columbia Heights

More info: 202-722-0335

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Undergraduate Student of the Month: Chima Okpa

Full Name: Chima Okpa
1) What major(s), minors, and/or certificates you are working on at UMD?
I am currently completing a degree in Geographic Information Systems with a focus in international and sustainable development.
2) What are your interests within your program(s)?
My interests include utilizing GIS to map locations for sustainable development programs in developing regions. I am also interested in how individuals from rural communities in developing countries respond to the introduction of progressive structures in their environment.
3) What previous jobs, internships, and volunteer experience have you had?
I interned with WindAid Institute, an NGO that works in the renewable energy sector, designing, building, and installing wind turbines in Peru.
4) Where you are from?
Lanham, MD

1) Where you are interning?
Currently I am working as a remote sensing research intern supervised by Dr. Matthew Hansen of the UMD Geographical Sciences department.
2) What are your internship responsibilities?
My responsibilities include image interpretation and classification of forest cover and forest loss in the Brazilian Amazonas, multivariate statistical analysis, and performing a quality assessment of the Geographical Sciences department’s product and Brazilian product PRODES.
3) What project(s) are you working on or contributing to?
I am working on a project that analyzes the accuracy of Brazilian forest cover data and the effectiveness of Brazilian policy in reducing deforestation.
4) How is the internship experience relevant to your studies in Geographical Sciences?
This internship has allowed me to take the knowledge, methods, and technical skills I have acquired in the classroom and apply them in a practical way.
5) What are your career goals after you graduate?
After graduating I intend to take a gap year to gain work experience before pursuing graduate degrees in Geography and International Development.

July Alumni of the Month: Tom Fitzwater

Name: Tom Fitzwater
Year of graduation: 2008 (BS), 2010 (MA)
Major: Geography/GIS, Anthropology
Minor: Astronomy
Current employment status:
• Employer: United States Census Bureau
• Position: Geographer
Did you/do you currently go to graduate school?  If so:
• School: UMD
• Program: GEOG
• Degree: MA
Current Research (if any):
I am a geographer and capacity building specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Programs. My group is funded primarily by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to build the capacity of national statistical offices through technical assistance and training. Why? Because high quality data are critical for making informed decisions, including geospatial data and GIS for mapping socioeconomic and health issues. In this role, I have worked in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Previously, I was a global population analyst with the Census Bureau working to build geospatial data products to better understand local population dynamics around the world. I serve on several data/geospatial advisory committees within the agency and across agencies.
Why did you want to be a GEOG/GIS/ENSP major?
Geography is the ideal applied interdisciplinary major. Over the course of my academic career, I was a data analyst, programmer, remote sensing specialist, website designer, technical writer, statistician, soil scientist, archaeologist, environmental scientist, anthropologist, economist, sociologist, and more. Few other majors give students such tremendous flexibility in researching challenging, timely, and important social and physical science questions using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research. 
What internships or independent research did you do as a GEOG/GIS/ENSP major?
As an undergrad, I interned with the Land Cover and Land Use Change (LCLUC) program in Dr. Chris Justice’s group to help manage their website. Between undergrad and grad school, I interned with UMD'sEarth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) to develop scripts and programs for processing data into the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), part of the Chesapeake Bay Forecast System. During graduate school, I interned with the U.S. Census Bureau to process and classify satellite imagery into a raster product of impervious built-up area in Pakistan.
What recommendations would you make to current GEOG/GIS/ENSP majors for career and academic success while they are still undergraduates?
Get an internship! Coursework is important, but practical experience will enhance your skills and give you a valuable perspective on the field outside of academia. You may even get your foot in the door and line up a post-graduation career. At the very least, you should aim to make a good impression with some potential references for future jobs or graduate school applications. Also, build your knowledge of programming languages, statistics, web development, and data analytics. All of those skills complement each other and are in very high demand.
What recommendations would you make to current GEOG/GIS/ENSP majors for career and academic success after graduation?
Network! Meeting people who share your professional interests has the dual benefit of building friendships and keeping you informed of the latest trends and practices. In a rapidly-evolving field like GIS, staying current is an absolute must and positions you well for the future. Attending conferences like AAG,EsriFOSS4GASPRSNACISState of the Map, etc. are very beneficial, but you should also look into local monthly meetups such as Geo DC.

Associate Remote Sensing Analyst (or Professional Trainee)


Apply on-line at

The Las Vegas Valley Water District/Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Information Technology Department is searching for individuals who possess education and/or experience in remote sensing and imagery analysis to analyze and perform quality assurance processes on natural resource and ground surface imagery data

Associate Remote Sensing Analysts perform a variety of professional remote sensing and imagery analysis assignments to maintain natural resource and ground surface datasets and provide analytical support for water research, water conservation, water acquisition, environmental impact analysis and/or land use requirements throughout the organization. Analysts apply remote sensing theories, principles, software and data acquisition technology to produce custom datasets, statistical analyses, data displays and reports and other products, including maps, to meet customer requirements and process, analyze and maintain imagery data and perform quality assurance processes to ensure a high level of data quality and accuracy.

The ideal candidate will be knowledgeable in the various types of remotely sensed data used in spatial analysis for environmental and/or hydrologic applications, and will have experience using the tools (ENVI, ERDAS Imagine, ArcGIS, …) used for performing spatial analysis.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from a four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree in geography, natural sciences, photogrammetry, GIS, engineering, computer science or a related field; and two years of increasingly responsible applied remote sensing experience; or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

NOTE: The hiring department may consider hiring a recent college graduate with a Bachelor’s        Degree in Remote Sensing, Geosciences, Geography, GIS, Photogrammetry or a closely related field including coursework in remote sensing. If the Professional Trainee job class is used to fill this position, the successful candidate will be hired as a Professional Trainee on a Limited Term (24 month) basis with the potential opportunity to advance to Associate Remote Sensing Analyst.

Salary: Associate Remote Sensing Analyst: $73,854 annually
            Professional Trainee: $52,490 annually
Hours of Work: 4/10’s, 7am – 6pm, M-Th
Date Opened: 06/30/15
Filing Deadline: 07/21/15
The LVVWD/SNWA offers outstanding benefits (health/dental, vacation/sick leave, basic life insurance), values diversity and sustains a dynamic work environment.
To apply on-line and to review a full job description for this position, please visit our website at
Contact: Doug Tanabe, Recruiter, at or 702-258-7276