GIS Specialist via Idealist

Pennsylvania Environmental Council

State College, PA, US

About PEC: 

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy. At the heart of our success is our belief in the value of partnerships with the private sector, government, communities and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. PEC has three regional offices across Pennsylvania and actively engages in projects and policy initiatives that promote land and water-based recreational opportunities, protection and conservation of water resources, promotion of forward-thinking energy and climate approaches, and sustainable development of communities and landscapes.

Position Summary:

The GIS Specialist is a full time exempt position that supports PEC’s Trails and Recreation Initiative and primary role is to manage PEC’s GIS resources. The GIS Specialist reports to the Program Director for Trails and Recreation.

Position Activities:

1.    Manage PEC’s GIS resources, including the master file geodatabase and SDE feature classes used for PEC’s Gototrails, ensuring appropriate data use and standardizing data-entry requirements and data quality.

2.    Implement outreach strategies for new spatial data collection and interface with PEC trails staff and extensive trail manager network to add new trails to the database and update data for existing trails.

3.    Collaborate with the Trails Program Director to identify and fulfill the strategies and goals related to the Gototrails platform.

4.    Assist in producing interactive cartographic products for other PEC programs and assist with locating, editing, or digitizing data for research projects.

5.    Assist PEC staff with other organizational GIS needs, as appropriate.

6.    Other duties as assigned.

Specific Required Skills Are:

1.    Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Proficiency with ESRI’s ArcGIS platform and extensions, including ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Online and ArcSDE. Experience digitizing data and editing large datasets. Experience with image interpretation and data verification. Verifiable experience creating quality cartographic products. A solid understanding of relational databases and data queries. Experience locating project-specific datasets and working with Census data (including ACS) and other government datasets is desirable. Programming experience, particularly from a web or GIS perspective, is a plus, as is experience with spatial analysis.

2.    Custom Programming: The ideal candidate will have experience creating custom programs in .Net, Python or JavaScript to manipulate geospatial data. Experience with the MapWindow ActiveX component is a plus. Experience with the R statistical programming language is a plus.

3.    Communication: Much of the success of the position is dependent on the ability to interpret the desires of technological novices and transfer it into Gototrails. Contributions to various media platforms is expected, as is the ability to make presentations in large meetings and conferences, including collaborating with remote co-workers and advisors.

4.    Interpersonal Skills: Strong interpersonal skills and a proven track record of working with volunteer organizations are required as much of PEC’s work is focused on supporting trail groups throughout Pennsylvania. 


A bachelor degree or higher in geography, urban planning, forestry, recreation management or a related field, with very strong experience in GIS theory and practice, is preferred. The successful candidate should have at least 1-3 years of GIS experience, preferably with a conservation, recreation or public lands agency. A portfolio of Story Maps is strongly desired. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate a personal passion for protecting open spaces and developing trail connections.


The position can be based out of any of PEC’s offices or State College depending on the location of the ideal candidate. Travel to other locales in the region and state will be required.


This is a salaried position commensurate with experience and includes an attractive benefits package (medical benefits, vacation, holidays, 403(b), life insurance, et cetera).

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

[email protected]

To Apply:

Submit cover letter, resume, project samples, and any salary requirements to [email protected] by January 5, 2018.