During the winter of 2011-12, I worked as a GIS/Forestry Intern for Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM). My duties at the park varied wildly throughout the 6-month position, but one main task was to complete a 1:24,000 scale base map of the Smokemont region of GRSM. I researched cartographic standards to make this map similar in style to the classic USGS topo maps. I worked closely with the park’s GIS manager, and often led decisions on cartographic style and content. A series of base maps at this level of detail and quality is new territory for the park. I am proud to have been a leader in producing the first map in the series.
Disclaimer: The map below is the property of the National Park Service. The use of this map is prohibited without written consent from the National Park Service. Please direct all inquires to Tom Colson (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you.
Other notable duties at the Park Service included field work, training and experience with other divisions. I worked with fellow interns, NPS staff and North Carolina Dept. of Water Quality staff to find and survey headwater streams in the backcountry. I also assisted a search-and-rescue and received training to be a type II wildland firefighter. I spent time with staff from various NPS divisions, like vegetation, wildlife, fisheries, archeology, law enforcement, fire, interpretation, and inventory and monitoring. This internship introduced me to the wide range of positions available with the National Park Service, and expanded my expertise in data management and field work.