GIS Intern




Intern-generated map for Christiansburg
Bus Survey final report, 4/7/09
During Spring 2014, BT’s Planning division offered two internships. One was paid (supported by MPO funds) and one unpaid (for academic credit), based on the success of BT’s award-winning Transportation Planning Internship Program, started in 2009. The reason for offering two internships was to accomplish more in support of both BT and the MPO. This suggestion was made so that the program can capitalize upon the fact that the MPO is providing funding for the Planning-GIS Intern, and to have an additional person to support the regional GIS project. 
·    The PAID internship was for a “Planning & GIS Intern,” paid between $11 to $14 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications. This internship was open to both students and non-students, for up to 240 hours. The position started January 21 until May 19, 2014. The main goal for this intern is to support the BT Transportation Planner with a regional GIS project that includes identifying appropriate GIS software, digitizing transit routes/stops, and providing software training to project stakeholders in the MPO region. As required, a requisition form and job posting were prepared for submission to the Town of Blacksburg Human Resources Office, and a PDF flier was available for distribution starting Friday, December 6. Advertising started Sunday, December 8 with application deadline of Friday, December 20, 2013. A total of 15 applications received with one interview occurred 1/15 & three on 1/16/14. Graham Owen accepted the position, starting Tues, 1/21/14 and generally worked T/Th: 9a-1:30p, F: 1:30-5p. As of April 29, it is estimated that he will have worked 160 hours, leaving approximately 80 hours worth of wage budget for a summer intern. A 1-hour overview meeting was planned on May 15 at 9 am with stakeholders, and a short overview presentation was planned at the MPO TAC on May 15, 10 am. A technical GIS meeting was planned for May 19 at 9:30-10:30 am as well with regional GIS specialists. A summer intern was offered to Catherine Howey, to overlap slightly with Graham starting May 14, to allow for hand-off of materials, info, and lessons. The plan for summer was for about 80 hours of work, with the potential for more, depending on if software is needed for purchase for a stakeholder (e.g., for ESRI/Arc software, or for some sort of interface/portal jointly supported by the PDC and MPO to access/maintain the GIS files), and depending on Catherine's availability. As it turned out, additional MPO funding was acquired and her internship was extended into December 2014, once funding was depleted.

·     The UNPAID (for-credit) internship is a “Transportation Planning Intern” for a university student (undergraduate or graduate student) who receives three academic credits (no pay) through either Virginia Tech or Radford University, and been offered for the previous BT transportation planning interns since 2009. This internship will is 180 hours, typically 15 hrs/wk. The main goal for this intern is to support both the BT Transportation Planner and the Planning & GIS Intern with the regional GIS project and to provide some project management of several other projects. For Spring 2014, the position started as early as January 21, through until May 8. A job description was prepared for submission to VT and RU for distribution, as has been the practice in the past. A PDF flier was available for distribution Thursday, December 5. Application deadline was Thursday, December 19, 2013. 3 applications were received with 4 inquiries. Two interviews 1/13/14 w/offer made to and accepted by VT Senior Jack Bardo to work T: 9a-2p, Th: 9a-4p, starting 1/21/14, with occasionally Fridays as needed.
The coordinator is Dr. Erik Olsen, Regional Transportation Planner of BT.
Support for this project is provided by the NRVPDC (who suggested the original idea to the MPO), the NRVMPO, the GIS Coordinator for the Town of Blacksburg, as well as Managers and the Director from BT, and another NRVPDC staff member (through Ride Solutions), who recently worked with PAT and RT to get data up on Google Transit. 
Spring and Summer 2017
BT Transportation Planning Interns
Jessica and Matt

Update 6/26/14 for the paid GIS position: Final report and summary completed May 20, 2014; draft sent to Dan Brugh, 6/25/14. Catherine Howey started as summer intern May 14-Aug 22, 2014 to continue phase 2, including FTP and web portal. Presentation abstract submitted 6/24 for Sept mapping/land info conference, and poster abstract due Aug 1 (goal to submit by 7/18). Since 2014, BT is now offering both positions as UNPAID (for-credit) positions for both GIS and Transportation Planning. A draft grant proposal is being prepared for a Fall 2018 paid position, but unpaid positions are likely to be offered indefinably each semester and most summers. Check back at the BT Transportation Planning Internship Opportunities page for more information.

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