GIS / Policy Volunteer Internship
14-40 hours/week (flexible)
Position to be filled immediately
We are seeking a motivated individual to provide policy research and GIS (geographic information systems) support for our campaigns for open space protection and better city planning throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Supporting Greenbelt Alliance’s Role in the Bay Area
Between 2005 and 2035, the Bay Area will grow by two million people. This growth could make the Bay Area a better place to live, or it could hurt the region. Will people be able to find homes they can afford? Will they be able to walk or bike to work, or will they have to pay for gasoline, whatever it costs? Will natural areas and working farms continue to provide clean air, clean water, and fresh food? Greenbelt Alliance’s Grow Smart Bay Area vision and research shows that by directing growth to existing cities and towns, protecting the region’s natural areas and working farms, and making sure this growth happens in an equitable way that benefits everyone, the Bay Area will remain a great place to live.
Greenbelt Alliance staff are engaged in multiple land-use planning campaigns to carry out the Grow Smart Bay Area vision. Examples include:
● Exploring new policy pathways to protect farms, ranches and landscapes in Sonoma County, South Santa Clara County and East Contra Costa County.
● Creating vibrant, walkable neighborhoods in and around San Jose’s Urban Villages that includes homes affordable to all income levels and focuses mobility on people, not cars.
● Pushing new online platforms for civic engagement, greenbelt land mapping, infill development as well as sharing and harnessing smart growth information in the Bay Area
● Engaging in the implementation of Plan Bay Area to support effective conservation strategies and tools for the region’s the open spaces
● Evaluating complete street projects and street safety around the Bay Area
Volunteer Internship Responsibilities
● GIS research and display – What is the walking and bicycling distance from a proposed station or the collision rate along a corridor? What are the open space values at risk of urbanization in the Bay Area? How can maps tell the compelling stories of the land?
● Policy research – What new zoning tools could Sonoma County implement to prevent rural parcelization and sprawl development? How can cities improve the development process for infill housing? Where are the critical components of county food systems? What are conditions of the Bay Area county water and irrigation districts?
● GIS system development – updating and improving Greenbelt Alliance’s GIS data layers
● Emissions analysis – using the CalEEMod software package to calculate estimated greenhouse gas emissions and new vehicle trips produced from development proposals
● Analysis of public documents – for example, reviewing draft Specific Plans, Transit Area Plans and Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) and drafting formal comment letters
The GIS/Policy Volunteer Intern will support and directly report to the Planning & Research Manager and contribute to a supportive, collaborative, and productive work environment at Greenbelt Alliance. They must be a highly organized individual with the following skills:
● Required proficiency using Geographic Information Systems
o 1 year minimum experience or advanced GIS class work
● Experience in land use planning and/or environmental conservation
● Excellent attention to detail and follow-through
● Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with people from varied backgrounds in a professional manner on the phone, via email, and in person
● Ability to plan and prioritize workflow and meet deadlines
● Ability to work independently, take initiative, be solution-oriented
● Ability to work collaboratively
● Strong written and oral communication skills
● Strong computer skills specifically in Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Outlook) and Adobe applications (Illustrator, InDesign)
This position will require an average of 14 - 40 hours of work per week for a minimum of 3 months as a volunteer.
Send a resume cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and “Volunteer GIS/Policy Intern” in the Subject line of the email. Applications will be evaluated as they arrive; the position is open until filled.
The position is unpaid. Travel reimbursement is available for volunteer interns working more than 30 hours a week who can demonstrate financial need.
This position is an excellent opportunity to have an impact on land use decisions throughout the Bay Area. The volunteer intern will meet professionals from around the region and will learn about environmental and urban planning issues while developing a network of contacts and references in the planning field. When applying for future jobs, volunteer interns will be able to point to tangible results from their work and describe discrete projects that they led.
About Greenbelt Alliance
Greenbelt Alliance is the champion of the places that make the Bay Area special. We defend natural and agricultural landscapes from development while helping create great cities and neighborhoods. We bring together residents and decision-makers, business leaders, labor unions and others to find innovative solutions to our region’s growth challenges.
With a committed staff of 21, Greenbelt Alliance has a strong team spirit and sense of fun. We are headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Walnut Creek.
Greenbelt Alliance values a diverse workplace and is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, LGBT persons, and other people from diverse backgrounds. People from these and other traditionally marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.