Archived Wisconsin Geospatial Jobs

Graduate Student Project Assistant

Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office, UW-Madison

This is an EXPIRED job listing. Do not apply for this position!

Location: Madison, WI
Type: Limited Term
Posted: 03/22/2023
Deadline to Apply: 04/07/2023
Payrate: Approximately $27.30/hr

The Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office at UW-Madison is hiring a graduate student Project Assistant (PA) for the summer of 2023. The PA will help produce a habitat map of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. This map will show land cover and dominant species and will be produced from high-resolution remote sensing imagery.

About the Lake Superior Reserve: The Lake Superior Reserve (, designated in 2010 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is one of a system of 30 Research Reserves nationwide committed to long‐term research, education, outreach, and stewardship to improve the understanding of coastal systems and the practice of coastal management. The Reserve has a conference room, exhibit hall, offices, and laboratory on the waterfront in Superior, Wisconsin, and is a fun and dynamic place to work.

About the State Cartographer’s Office: The State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) is a statewide outreach and research program in the Geography Department at UW-Madison ( The SCO collaborates with partners across the state to help them achieve their geospatial-related goals.

Student Role: The PA will collaborate with several undergraduate students, Reserve and SCO staff, project consultants, a Technical Advisory Committee, and NOAA Office for Coastal Management staff to support the development of a high-resolution habitat map of the 16,000-acre Reserve. The PA will serve as a liaison between field staff (students and consultants, who will be collecting training and accuracy assessment data) and NOAA staff (who will be performing image classification).

PA duties include:

  • GIS and remote sensing data handling;
  • Collaborate with field staff to manage and deliver field data for NOAA;
  • Collaborate with NOAA staff to identify additional fieldwork needs and locations;
  • Evaluate interim NOAA map products and provide feedback;
  • Support accuracy assessment procedures;
  • Participate in regular Technical Advisory Committee meetings.
  • Learn about Lake Superior Reserve ecological habitats

Although not primarily a field work position, the PA will also have the opportunity to experience using handheld GPS and geospatial technology in the field.

The PA will gain knowledge of the processes involved in coupling fieldwork and remote sensing image processing to create an accurate high-resolution habitat map.

Work will include up to four expenses-paid trips between Madison and Superior to spend up to 40 days on-site, including some fieldwork and training. A mid-project charrette will be held in Madison involving students and project staff.

The work of the PA will be an integral part of the creation of an accurate habitat map while also providing important learning and professional development opportunities in GIS and remote sensing technologies, and the ecology of Great Lakes estuaries.

Eligibility and Qualifications:

  • Graduate student in good standing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Authorized UW-Madison driver status. Personal vehicle not needed.
  • Willing to do overnight travel for extended periods. (Up to four 1- or 2-week trips to Superior, WI in Summer 2023).
  • Able to work collaboratively in an office environment and in the field.
  • Reliable work ethic. Capable of completing tasks independently. Comfortable working outdoors.
  • An ideal candidate would have knowledge of one or more of the following topics:
    • Hands-on experience including coursework in digital remote sensing and GIS.
    • Knowledge/experience with land cover classification methods in remote sensing.
    • Experience managing GIS datasets: data management tools, spatial analysis tools, data formats, spatial databases, and spatial reference systems.
    • Some knowledge of local plants or ecology, aquatic environments, and the Great Lakes region.
    • Experience/comfort in canoeing and walking on difficult terrain.

Rate: 13 weeks @ 50% time at $28,388/yr. Equivalent to approximately $27.30/hr for 260 hrs.  Tuition remission not provided. Travel expenses paid.

Dates: June-Aug. 2023 (average of 20 hrs/wk for 13 weeks)

Review of applications begins: April 7, 2023

To apply: Submit Resume/CV and one-page cover letter to Howard Veregin, Wisconsin State Cartographer.