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Spatial Data Specialist

Smith College
Smith College

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

If you have any questions about the position or our application process, reach out to us at

LibrariesJob Description

Job Summary

The Spatial Data Specialist (SDS) promotes new forms of scholarship and advances knowledge and skills in spatial science to support spatial thinking and spatial literacy across campus. As a member of the Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL), the SDS leads development and provisioning of services to support the identification, creation, curation, visualization, analysis, and dissemination of spatial data used and generated by the Smith College community. They will work collaboratively as part of a team within CEEDS (Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability) to maintain connections to all academic divisions, affiliated centers, and college initiatives.

In support of course instruction and collaboration, develops learning objects, pathways, and other curricular materials for classes using geospatial data technologies. Collaborates with faculty, staff, and students to build a community of practice by promoting the use of spatial research methods in a diverse and expanding range of knowledge domains. Participates in service team, department and organizational planning and support efforts.

Essential Functions

Instructional Technology (40%)

Collaborate closely with departments and programs that use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and advise curricular and co-curricular development that reflects current and developing research needs. Design and create instructional materials, and online/blended learning objects for classes across disciplines. Instruct credit and non-credit GIS and Remote Sensing related classes and contribute to the development of curriculum designed to meet the growing demand for spatial literacy. Explore new methodologies in the spatial sciences that align with Spatial Analysis Lab and CEEDS goals. Provide in-person technical support to students and faculty working on independent research using spatial technologies in locations that support good pedagogical practice. Participate in Libraries, ITS and the college’s programming related to spatial analysis and digital literacy.

Application and Map Development (20%)

Lead in the conception and implementation of an evolving strategy designed to expand and highlight the College’s spatial data presence and to make extraordinary collections available and visible in digital form. Lead initiatives to build map-centric digital applications that promote discovery and access to the college’s spatial data holdings. Participate in grant-funded research and collaborate on digital scholarship projects within SAL and CEEDS.

Data & Equipment Management (20%)

Manage the Spatial Analysis Lab’s spatial data collection to support classroom and research activities. Generate metadata to meet standards and requirements for sustainable collection development and use. Develop and administer maps services hosted locally and in cloud ecosystems. Configure and maintain field data collection equipment and document collection techniques and workflows.

Communications & Outreach (15%)

Identify and generate opportunities to expand the application of spatial tools and methods that advance spatial literacy and scholarship at the college. Assist in outreach including blog posts, social media, presentations, and publications. Conduct outreach to orient new faculty, nontraditional GIS users, and student organizations to the SAL community of practice. Assist the Director of the Spatial Analysis Lab in proposal writing and reporting out to committees and the college community.

Other Functions

Additional Responsibilities (5%)

Engage in professional self-development to stay current with emerging spatial science, educational technology, and digital scholarship practices, methodologies, and technologies. Participate in the work of CEEDS through service on committees, teams, and working groups. Collaborate with SAL campus partners including other staff with teaching and learning responsibilities. Work may include occasional nights and weekends. Performs related duties as required.

All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, education, experience, certifications, licenses)

Bachelor’s degree in discipline such as Data Science, Geography, Geoscience, International Relations, Environmental Science with emphasis in quantitative spatial data analysis, or equivalent experience. Three to five years of research and project experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and/or Remote Sensing.

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s in discipline with emphasis in quantitative spatial data analysis or equivalent degree. Programming skills in Python, JavaScript, R, SQL, and Arcade.


  • Strong teaching and research experience; knowledge of current issues and trends in pedagogy.

  • A strong commitment to public service, excellent oral and written communication skills, and demonstrated ability to work flexibly, independently and collaboratively with colleagues and users in a rapidly changing environment.

  • Expertise with GIS and Remote Sensing software with a focus on ESRI ArcGIS, open-source geospatial technologies, data analysis and data visualization methods.

  • Knowledge and experience with programming skills in GIS and Remote software packages, research data management, curation, and data visualization.

  • Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA, or the ability to obtain one within the first 6 months of employment.

  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills including customer service orientation with ability to interact with diverse constituencies. Ability to apply critical thinking to a wide range of research problems across multiple knowledge domains.

  • Ability to supervise and mentor students in a work-study environment.

  • Ability to learn new skills independently and adapt to changing technology environments

Additional Information

For the care and safety of our community, Smith College requires that all employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment and as such, the incumbent will be required to be immunized against COVID-19 on or before their first day of employment. Proof of vaccination status will be required. Individuals may seek medical or religious exemption with HR, but must do so prior to their arrival.

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . Be sure you have provided all attachments before submitting your application. You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

January 6, 2023

Compensation Grade:

Grade H

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at

Diversity and a culture of inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religions, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Working at Smith College 

Founded in 1871, Smith College is the nation's largest liberal arts college for women. The reputation of the College as one of the finest in the country holds strong because of the dedicated work of our staff, faculty, and administration. We are a diverse group bringing to our community different talents, perspectives, and experiences. Our strength arises from this diversity and is sustained by a community value of providing an outstanding educational environment for our nearly 2,700 students. Smith College is located in Northampton, a lively town of 30,000 in the Connecticut River valley of western Massachusetts.

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