Employer: Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)

Contact: Human Resources @ MAPC

Contact Information: [email protected]

Position Title: GIS and Planning Intern

Position Type: Full Time, Internship


The Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Data Services Department seeks a *Research and Planning Intern to conduct technical, cutting-edge research to support a variety of planning topics including housing, zoning, and land use modeling.

*Hyperlink job posting, if possible.

The Research and Planning Intern will assist the Data Services Research Group with research activities related to recent housing legislation and the modeling of land use, transit ridership, vehicle miles traveled, and related greenhouse gas emissions. Specific activities may include collecting and organizing data from a variety of traditional and nontraditional sources; review of digital zoning data submitted by member municipalities; interpreting zoning attribute data; outreach to municipal staff; performing spatial and statistical analysis; and drafting technical reports and research briefs.

The Data Services Department is an innovative and collaborative team of 14 full-time planners, analysts, researchers, programmers, 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: www.mapc.org/learn/research-analysis.

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 a more sustainable and equitable future, which was adopted in 2008. We are currently working on a successor regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together, which will be released in Summer, 2021. MAPC’s staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.

We encourage all our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC’s planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times. We strongly support the professional development of each and every staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative environment with professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone who lives and works in Greater Boston. For more information about MAPC, MetroFuture, and MetroCommon, please visit www.mapc.org.

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:

  • Collaborate with Research staff to review and update data inputs of MAPC’s land use model.
  • Analyze and validate inputs and outputs of MAPC’s transportation scenario planning model
  • Review municipal zoning codes and district boundaries and integrate information into MAPC’s standardized Zoning Atlas.
  • Review municipal parcel and assessor data and work with MAPC’s GIS Administrator to update MAPC’s Massachusetts Land Parcel Database as necessary.
  • Coordinate with municipal staff to collect missing data or clarify content.
  • Digitize paper/HU maps or convert image files to spatial data.
  • Edit, geocode, or verify other spatial data as needed.

MAPC is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

We believe that a staff with a range of perspectives, experiences, and skillsets strengthens our work. We are committed to building a more equitable workplace that allows staff with diverse backgrounds and identities to thrive, grow, and lead. For more information on MAPC’s culture of equity, see our Equity at MAPC page. 


The following are required qualifications for the position:

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program
  • Familiarity with municipal zoning concepts and structures
  • Demonstrated experience with ESRI software, including ArcGIS and ArcCatalog
  • High proficiency with managing and analyzing large datasets using Excel, R, or other programs
  • Experience working with diverse data sets from federal, state, and local agencies
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, including the ability to coordinate multiple, complex data collection activities
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in written form, with external partners including municipal staff, real estate developers, and the general public

The following are preferred qualifications for the position:

  • Experience with creation and management of geodatabases
  • Experience and familiarity with statistical and data management software (e.g., R)
  • Familiarity with Metro Boston municipalities and principles related to smart growth, regional planning, sustainable development, and social equity.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Salary Level: $17.00 – $21.00 per hour

Resume Receipt: *Other

*Select “Other” and enter your preferred destination for applications in the “How to Apply” section below.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and data project example. Those who are interviewed will be asked to submit three (3) references.

Apply online at www.mapc.org/jobs.

Please attach a cover letter, resume, and portfolio that includes a writing sample and GIS project example. 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 participates in E-Verify, which is a federal program that helps us to determine work eligibility in the United States.

Additional Documents/Documents Required:

  • Cover Letter
  • Other Documents

Desired Major(s): Master in Urban Planning

Desired Work Authorization: Authorized to work in the U.S.

Desired Class Level:

  • First Year Student
  • Returning Student

Desired Degree Level: Master’s Degree