Data Science Intern

  • Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Sep 02, 2020
Internship- Paid Climate Change/ Resiliency Energy Efficiency Environmental Planning - NEPA GIS - Remote Sensing Green Building - Sustainable Development Sustainability

Job Description


The Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Data Services Department seeks a Data Science Intern to support the creation of new datasets about Metro Boston and the maintenance of MAPC’s extensive data catalogue. The intern will gain first-hand experience in the development and analysis of data resources and their application to local planning efforts and regional policy advocacy.

The Data Science Intern will help the GIS Administrator to create, update, and maintain datasets covering a wide range of topics such as housing, transportation, arts and culture, clean energy, climate change, and more. The Intern will help collect, standardize, document, and analyze data from traditional providers and unconventional sources, and will assist with management of our data storage infrastructure. Examples of recent and ongoing data activities include updating the Massachusetts Vehicle Census, maintaining the Massachusetts Land Parcel Database, creation of a new regionwide zoning database, mapping heat island effects and climate vulnerability, building a compendium of online rental apartment listings scraped off the internet, and ensuring easy access to Census and ACS data for our MAPC colleagues and external users.

The Data Services Department is an innovative and collaborative team of 14 full-time planners, GIS analysts, researchers, software developers, and IT professionals. As a department, we provide mapping, digital, and analytical services in support of MAPC's local and regional planning activities by developing new datasets, conducting original research, preparing demographic and land use forecasts, and serving as a valuable resource for municipalities, state agencies, and community organizations. To learn more about the Research Team, please visit:

About MAPC
MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in Metropolitan Boston.  Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. We are guided by MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region, our regional policy plan for the region, which was adopted in 2008.  We are currently working on a successor regional plan, MetroCommon X 2050. MAPC's staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.

During the COVID emergency, almost all staff are working from home.  MAPC is deeply committed to on-boarding new staff in ways that integrate them fully into our team of professionals, and maintaining close contact among existing staff, new staff, and external stakeholders. 

Examples of Duties

The following are required qualifications for the position:

  • Advanced undergraduate or graduate student in urban planning, geography, information science, computer science, or a related field;
  • High proficiency with managing and analyzing data using R, Python, or other programming languages;
  • Demonstrated experience with SQL programming and database management (PostgreSQL preferred);
  • Experience creating meta data and method documentation.
  • Demonstrate innovative, strategic and analytical capabilites, self-motivation and goal-orientated approach

Typical Qualifications

The following are preferred qualifications for the position:

  • Experience and familiarity working with spatial data and GIS software, particularly ArcGIS;
  • Experience with creation and management of spatial databases (e.g. PostGIS);
  • Familiarity with version control software, particularly Git and GitHub;
  • Experience working with diverse data sets from federal, state, and local agencies;

Only candidates currently enrolled in an academic program will be considered for this position.

Supplemental Information

Compensation will be $17.00 - $22.00 per hour, commensurate with experience. This is a paid, part-time (10 – 20 hours per week) internship with flexibility. The internship period will be of at least 12 weeks between September and December 2020. To qualify as an intern, individuals must be enrolled in a course of study, provide written verification of their status, and agree to a scheduled end date upon hire. Students with work-study support are welcomed and encouraged to apply. 

How to Apply
The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, résumé, and three references.
Apply online at A review of applications will begin immediately. The position is open until filled. Only candidates currently enrolled in an academic program will be considered for this position. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA.
MAPC is an EOE/AA employer. MAPC takes pride in the diversity of its workforce and encourages all qualified persons to apply. 

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Job Level



Government- Local/Regional


$17.00 - $22.00 Hourly