GIS Advocacy Manager

Website outdooralliance Outdoor Alliance

Conservation Powered by Outdoor Recreation

Job Title: GIS Advocacy Manager

Reports to: Policy Director

Location: Our headquarters are in Washington, D.C., but most of our staff are located across the country and work remotely. The position involves travel at least twice a year, typically to D.C. and the Intermountain West.

Position Description: The Outdoor Alliance Geographic Information System (GIS) Lab maintains a comprehensive recreation database that includes rock climbing sites; mountain biking, hiking, and skiing trails; and whitewater paddling runs. Knowing where recreation resources are located empowers Outdoor Alliance to prioritize landscapes and political relationships, better understand policy issues, and communicate more clearly and compellingly, both to decision-makers and our own community. We use the GIS Lab to briskly develop data and GIS-based analysis in support of policy opportunities and communications campaigns supporting those opportunities. From an advocacy and communication standpoint, spatial representation of our resources helps make abstract policy ideas and initiatives concrete, easier to communicate, and, most importantly, actionable.

Outdoor Alliance is a fast-paced, highly collaborative, and advocacy-oriented organization. We are a team with a diverse collection of skills and experiences, united by a passion for our mission work and our desire to help each other thrive. We support each other, we challenge each other, we are kind to each other, and we work as a team. The ideal candidate will have an orientation towards conceptualizing and delivering compelling visualizations and data to advance policy and will help the broader team think creatively about the types of arguments we can cultivate. The GIS Advocacy Manager will be a thought-partner in conceptualizing analysis, a storyteller who helps make our advocacy and engagement efforts pop, and a team player who likes working with others to take our work further than any of us could do alone. If the creative and collaborative process of figuring out how to apply data for good and empowering a mission-driven team with greater data savvy gives you joy, this job is for you. Specifically, the GIS

Advocacy Manager is responsible for:

  1. Gathering, managing, and analyzing geospatial data;
  2. Supporting Outdoor Alliance program areas (particularly policy and communications) with relevant recreation and advocacy data, maps, and visualizations; and
  3. Staying current on technological trends and opportunities.
  4. The GIS Advocacy Manager may supervise contractor relationships.

GIS Program Goals

  1. Manage and maintain GIS assets, including: data partnerships, GIS software and accounts, geospatial databases, ArcGIS Online web applications and data, and computer hardware.
  2. Support Outdoor Alliance program areas and regional groups to advance Outdoor Alliance’s policy priorities and advocacy efforts. The primary focus of the position is to support Outdoor Alliance’s policy and communications programs with relevant data and visualizations.
  3. Develop GIS projects that help answer important questions, support relevant policy priorities, and further Outdoor Alliance’s vision and mission.
  4. Monitor BLM oil and gas lease sales and energy development projects for potential overlap with recreation resources.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Spatial Analysis. Examines the locations, attributes, and relationships of features in spatial data through overlay and other analytical techniques in order to address a question or gain useful knowledge.
  • Cartographic Modeling. Manages the development of data collection, input, and modeling specifications for GIS data. Develops Python scripts to improve efficiency of repeated or complex geoprocessing tasks.
  • Geodatabase Management. Designs and manages spatial databases. Maintains and advances knowledge of GIS functionality, standards, and procedures.
  • Data Visualizations and Mapping. Develops innovative data visualizations. Creates basic and complex maps using GIS software.
  • Web Mapping. Designs, publishes, and manages online web-based GIS applications through ArcGIS Online platform.
  • Software. Manages, evaluates, and recommends new or additional GIS software.
  • Hardware. Maintains GIS hardware (e.g. computers, data storage), and ensures equipment is operating at optimal performance to execute geoprocessing tasks.
  • Data. Generates and manages data from various sources with supplementary data and metadata. Reviews GIS data for accuracy. Provides data upon request to member organizations, government agencies, and partners.
  • Data backup. To ensure that data is not lost, performs regular data backups and has a tested recovery plan in place.

Required Skills:

  • Minimum of 3 years of GIS experience. Experience with GIS and web-based mapping platforms conducting spatial analysis, creating data visualizations, developing web maps, and collecting and managing geospatial data.
  • Proficient with Esri software including ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Online.
  • Passionate about public lands, outdoor recreation, and ensuring that all people have access to outdoor experiences as a way to build the next generation of conservationists.
  • Experience coordinating concurrent projects with multiple partners/stakeholders, Advocacy mindset. Accuracy is an essential attribute of Outdoor Alliance’s work; however, as distinct from an academic setting, the primary responsibility of the GIS Advocacy Manager will be to develop data and visualizations to support advocacy goals, often in a fast-paced environment.
  • Enthusiasm for the craft of advocacy and a desire to learn about public lands policy.
  • Comfort with problem solving. While there is the potential for some outside support as needed, the GIS Advocacy Manager will be the primary expert on GIS and data issues at the organization. Additionally, many of the data sources we rely on require diplomatically building and/or maintaining relationships, with partners, administrative agencies, and lawmakers.
  • Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; promotes a harassment-free environment.
  • Able to read and interpret scientific information.
  • A strong self-starter with excellent time management, patience, and a positive attitude.
  • Professionalism. Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.
  • Teamwork. Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit.
  • Strategic Thinking. Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals, identifies external opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Innovation. Displays original thinking and creativity; meets challenges with resourcefulness; generates suggestions for improving work; develops innovative approaches and ideas; stays abreast of technological advancements and related potential opportunities.

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience working with federal or state land management agencies and/or legislators.
  • Strong writing ability.
  • Data analysis expertise outside the GIS context.

Compensation: Full time contract position with a monthly retainer ranging from $4,500 to $5,800 depending on experience, and potential to transition to an employment relationship.

About Outdoor Alliance: Outdoor Alliance works to engage the human-powered outdoor recreation community to drive policy outcomes that support conservation and sustainable and equitable recreation access. Outdoor Alliance is a coalition of human-powered outdoor recreation nonprofits, including Access Fund, American Canoe Association, American Whitewater, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, The Mountaineers, American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, the Mazamas, and Surfrider Foundation. We unite the voices of the outdoor community to conserve public lands and ensure those lands are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience. We work with the policy experts from our national member groups to track important issues, lead advocacy, and give the outdoor community meaningful opportunities to engage and make a difference. We believe that a unified outdoor recreation community makes a crucial contribution to protecting the outdoors. Visit to learn more.

Deadline to Apply: Position open until filled, but for strongest consideration, please submit your materials by June 15.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume demonstrating GIS and land use planning experience and a portfolio of GIS visualizations (e.g., spatial analyses, cartography, or online web maps), to Send materials as a single PDF attachment with your last name in the name of the document.

We believe in cultivating a culture of inclusion, curiosity, and connectedness. The collective sum of our individual differences, life experiences, self-expression, and innovation contributes to our achievements and how we collaborate, share our perspectives, and encourage others to do the same. As we work to build an inclusive outdoors, we strongly value candidates who bring a diversity of perspectives and outdoor experiences to the role. Outdoor Alliance is an equal-opportunity employer, and candidates from all backgrounds are considered, and as an organization that values equity and inclusion, we highly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and veterans to apply.

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Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse