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GIS Technician

Posted by
American Farmland Trust | Washington, DC

American Farmland Trust

Published 11 days ago

$40,000 - $48,000Yearly Salary

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture's most pressing needs and opportunities.

AFT is hiring a geographic information systems (GIS) technician who will report to the GIS Manager and be part of the AFT national research initiative. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and other historically disadvantaged groups, whose experiences and perspectives we believe are critical to the work of developing a more sustainable, resilient, and just agricultural system.

Position Overview

The GIS technician will help compile, analyze, and present spatial data to support the long-term protection of the nation's agricultural resources. Primarily, this position will take on the lead role in managing and continuing development of the protected agricultural lands database (PALD), a comprehensive effort to consolidate spatial data on protected agricultural lands throughout the United States. This work will:

a. Inform land-use planning efforts and investments in permanent protection of agricultural lands,

b. Enable stakeholders to set realistic goals,

c. Help USDA track progress in specific geographic areas; and

d. Increase the reliability AFTs future scenarios analysis, which will assess the impact of development on agricultural lands, by removing permanently protected areas from consideration for development.

The successful candidate will also assist in developing tools and spatial products that help AFT staff and partners take action to protect agricultural lands. Additionally, there will be opportunities to use cartography, web mapping, and spatial analysis skills to support programming and development efforts across the organization. The GIS technician may also be assigned other responsibilities and projects as the need arises.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Play lead role in continued development of the protected agricultural lands database (PALD), managing data collection, maintenance, quality control, and relationships with key partners
  • Identify gaps in the PALD and create strategies for improving PALD coverage
  • Coordinate data exchange with national, state and local land protection and monitoring organizations
  • Respond to needs of AFT staff for maps that support targeting lands for agricultural protection
  • Present results of the PALD to AFT staff and partners
  • Manage relationships with key PALD partners
  • Assist AFT's GIS Manager, Research Director and other staff with spatial analyses, cartography, and other data visualization tasks
  • Provide support for staff training in the uses and limitations of GIS analyses
  • Other duties as needed

Desired Qualifications

Note: AFT supports staff professional development and recognizes that people learn on the job. Applicants should not be deterred if they possess most, but not all, of the desired qualifications.

  • Strong knowledge of and experience in the use of GIS, with an emphasis on geodatabase development and management required
  • Demonstrated experience in geodatabase design and QA/QC
  • Experience processing and analyzing large raster datasets
  • Bachelor's degree in related field and/or 2-3 years applied experience in GIS
  • GIS certificate and/or Masters in related field preferred
  • Ability to prioritize workload and meet deadlines independently, including in a remote working environment
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to train and work with non-GIS proficient staff to improve their understanding in the use and benefits of GIS-related tools and products
  • Poised, considerate, and respectful team player
  • Significant applied experience in the use of ArcGIS pro, ArcGIS Online and associated tools including story maps
  • Knowledge in automating GIS workflows and database quality assessment with Python or Model Builder
  • Passion and interest in AFT's mission
  • Knowledge of agriculture and farmland protection a plus
  • Have fun in your job


Our national office is based in Washington, D.C., and we also have a network of field offices across the United States. This position can be based remotely but candidates will also have the option to work from AFT offices in Northampton, MA, Washington, DC, Saratoga Springs, NY, or Sacramento, CA. Any relocation expenses will not be covered.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and background. We anticipate that the salary for this position will be in the range of $40,000-$48,000 per year. AFT offers a full benefits package including a retirement program, health insurance, family and medical leave, vacation leave, sick time, and holidays, and the opportunity to work with colleagues who are passionate about their work.

Application Deadline: Submit a resume and cover letter by July 27, 2020

American Farmland Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the organization has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

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American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional

How to Apply

GIS Technician
GIS Technician


Washington, DC

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