Cartography & GIS Assistant
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to freelance or start your own small business? Do you love the ocean and want to spend a summer on the coast of Maine? Autonomy and work-life flexibility are indeed possible for those willing to take the risk. Ben Meader, a Middlebury Geography graduate, started Rhumb Line Maps in 2013 with a laptop, an internet connection, and just a few projects — he now runs it as a rurally located, full-time business. RLM provides cartography and GIS analysis for design groups, land trusts, planning firms, publishers, and other organizations. This internship is designed to provide a motivated individual with experience in print cartography and GIS analysis, as well as client interaction and project management. More importantly, this internship seeks to encourage young professionals to explore self-employment as an enriching and liberating career choice.
The majority of the intern’s work will be reflected by the projects that come in. Most likely, these will involve urban/rural planning in New England, solar power viability analysis, and ecological/environmental property assessments. The intern will learn open-source GIS skills, cartographic workflows, and how to manage a multiplicity of concurrent tasks. The intern will have an opportunity to implement these skills on an independent project by the end of the summer, the terms of which will be discussed. Other tasks may include: GPS fieldwork, drone assistance, recreational mapping, thematic cartography, and some local travel.
RLM's work is usually split evenly between GIS and cartography, though the intern should expect to start with production-oriented cartography. More complex GIS / cartography tasks will be assigned at a level commensurate with experience.
Maine’s mid-coast region is alive with activity in the summer: farm/sea-to-table dining, microbreweries, themed festivals, and plenty of recreational pursuits to be had on land and water. While this offers no shortage of entertainment, it can make housing difficult to find during Maine’s peak tourist season. The intern will have the option of renting an affordable apartment affiliated with RLM offices if necessary (not on site). The price would be negotiated after the selection process. Access to a vehicle is highly recommended, though lack of one might not be prohibitive if the intern can find a way to commute.
The intern will work at RLM's office in Walpole (South Bristol), Maine. Other housing opportunities might be found in nearby Damariscotta, Newcastle, Waldoboro, Wiscasset, and Bristol. Brunswick, Camden, and Rockland are 35, 40, and 45 minutes distant respectively. Portland is just over an hour away.
The ideal candidate should be excited to explore the wide spectrum of projects that a freelancer must commonly juggle. Aside from needing to be very self-motivated, the candidate should expect to be diligent, collegial, and willing to work as a part of a team when needed.
The following qualifications are also expected:
- GEOG 0120 (Spatial Thinking/Human Geography with GIS) and
- GEOG 0325 (Cartographic Design).
- High level of skill with Illustrator and QGIS.
- Ability to learn new workflows and tools (GPS systems, Apps, etc.) quickly.
- Skill with common analyses: overlay in vector and raster, terrain modeling, projections/coordinate systems, and data management.
- Network analysis and zonal analysis experience a plus. Basic experience with a programming language is preferred but not necessary.
Compensation & Duration
The internship is based on 32 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks, the daily/weekly schedule to be designed in person. Start and end dates are negotiable, but ideally go from June to August. This internship will be funded from a variety of sources, based on a $4,000 stipend.
Please contact Bill Hegman (email@example.com) for details.
In your cover letter, be sure to include: 1) your previous GIS and cartography experience, 2) why you're interested in this internship in particular, 3) your favorite thing besides work, and 4) an idea for an independent project that interests you. Applicants are also welcome to submit a visual example of their GIS work and/or cartography.