2022 - WNY PRISM GIS Technician - Buffalo - A Sponsored Program of The Research Foundation for The State University of New York

WNY PRISM GIS Technician


The Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (WNY PRISM) is one of eight regional partnerships within New York State created to address the threat of invasive species and prevent or minimize the harm they cause to the environment, economy, and human health. This is accomplished through use of a coordinated partnership network for which we provide leadership, technical assistance and collaboration opportunities. Our goal is to improve, restore, and protect local aquatic and terrestrial resources by improving the effectiveness of invasive species management efforts and increasing awareness of invasive species issues throughout the 8-county region. For more information about WNY PRISM and our programming, please visit www.wnyprism.org.

WNY PRISM is a sponsored program of the Research Foundation for SUNY Buffalo State and is hosted by the Great Lakes Center. Funding for WNY PRISM is provided by the Environmental Protection Fund through a contract with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


Position Description

The WNY PRISM GIS Technician will work closely with the WNY PRISM Terrestrial Program Manager to manage field data collected within the 8-county WNY PRISM region and create relevant project maps for partners and grant reporting. The GIS Technician will review previous habitat suitability models and use the same process to create relevant habitat suitability models for early detection or approaching region invasive species using ArcGIS software and MaxEnt. To do this, the GIS Technician will research species biology, determine and attain relevant environmental layers and collect occurrence data for the target invasive species to produce habitat suitability maps that drive survey efforts. The GIS Technician will review ArcGIS data collected throughout the season and create shapefiles, use a WNY PRISM template to create project maps and convert survey files from a GPS unit to a usable GIS shapefile. The individual will keep a detailed log of the tasks used to complete this process and produce a final summary of their work. Additionally, the GIS technician may assist with manual removal of invasive species and participate in invasive species education and outreach programs. WNY PRISM seeks highly motivated candidates with the education and experience necessary to succeed.

WNY PRISM is a supportive and collaborative environment that will provide the opportunity to gain valuable experience within all aspects of invasive species management including invasive species ecology, invasive species management practices, data collection, project assessment, and public outreach.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Identify invasive species for habitat suitability models and research their biology to determine relevant environmental variables.

  • Obtain environmental data layers and occurrence points for selected invasive species and input this information into ArcGIS and MaxEnt to create a usable habitat suitability models.

  • Use the habitat suitability models to prioritize invasive species survey sites.

  • Create easily understandable and interactive maps using ArcGIS Online for the WNY PRISM website.

  • Create project maps for grant proposals and reporting.

  • Assist other seasonal technicians by reviewing and converting field data into usable shapefiles in ArcGIS and create relevant maps of survey and management projects.

  • Assist with invasive species manual removal efforts in the field and participate in education and outreach events, as time permits.



  • Undergraduate Degree in related field and/or GIS Certification.

  • Experience with use of ArcGIS software.

  • Ability to import and work with occurrence data points and environmental layers in ArcGIS.

  • Experience obtaining environmental layers online and manipulating those layers for use in ArcGIS.

  • Proficiency creating useful, informative maps.

  • Familiarity with habitat suitability modelling in ArcGIS.

  • Ability to work on research projects independently.

  • Strong attention to detail.

  • Strong communication skills.

  • Experience working in a professional capacity.


Physical Requirements

  • Ability to sit at a desk for extended periods of time.

  • Ability to occasionally work in varying weather conditions outside during invasive species removal events.


Travel Requirements

Weekend and evening hours, as well as occasional overnight travel, may be required for education and outreach events. Employee will be reimbursed for work related travel, when using personal vehicle, at the current rate of $0.56 per mile.


Job Details

This is a part-time, temporary position (not to exceed 350 total hours @ $17.00 /hr.). The position start date is June 6, 2022, and hours must be completed by September 30, 2022. Work schedule is flexible and may be developed based on employee availability, however access to GIS labs on campus is restricted to normal business hours Monday-Friday.

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 4, 2022. Please follow all application directions, failure to do so may disqualify you from the position. Please provide cover letter, resume and 3 professional references as a single attachment. Questions can be directed to Brittany Hernon, Terrestrial Program Manager, hernonba@buffalostate.edu. No phone calls please.


This opportunity is grant-supported by the SUNY Buffalo State Sponsored Programs Office/Research Foundation. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Research Foundation (RF) is not an agency or instrumentality of the State of New York. Employees of the RF are not state employees, do not participate in any state retirement system and do not receive state fringe benefits. The RF operates under a contract with The State University of New York and receives no directly appropriated state funding. 



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