Careers at GTAC

Text: Chart your course to a GTAC career: Technology aimed at Caring for the Land and Serving People. Images of GTAC employees at work.

Interesting, Meaningful Work

At the Geospatial Technology and Applications Center, we aim to be an employer of choice -- a place where staff are engaged and happy to come to work, and where we're excited about how our work contributes to the Forest Service’s mission. GTAC employees have opportunities to think creatively, act promptly and decisively, leverage their strengths, and apply new technologies and approaches that improve methods and workflows.

Cover of TIWWA Booklet. Six FS employees smiling.

This Is Who We Are

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Grounded in world-class science and technology—and rooted in communities—the Forest Service connects people to nature and to each other. To learn more about what it means to work for the Forest Service work environment -- including the values and ethics employees collectively represent -- click the button below.

Working with GTAC

If you are passionate about exploring and developing emerging technologies, working with partners to apply technologies in land and resource management, providing solutions to inform decision making, and building capacity to support new ways of "Caring for the Land and Serving People," the Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC) may be a great career choice for you! Our team at GTAC advances the Forest Service mission through the application of new geospatial science, technology, and methods to meet business requirements.

GTAC's Technology Teams

In order to implement our unit's mission of "mapping the future together," our GTAC mapping staff is spread among several program areas. Check out the dropdown list below to learn more about our teams:

 

topographic map lines

DDC works across the Forest Service to update map products, develop standards for new national datasets, create national datasets from multiple sources and establish workflows to improve existing data. The data we collect, analyze, and develop supports agency planning, projects, and initiatives. DDC provides a suite of products and services to the Agency and the public in order to help communicate conditions, actions, and opportunities to our leadership, stakeholders, partners, and the public we serve.

Products & Services

  • Production of Primary Base Series maps
  • Production of Secondary Base Series maps including Forest Visitor Maps, special use maps such as Wilderness maps, and National Forest Atlases
  • Production of custom thematic maps including The Chief’s Map, Guide to your National Forests and Grasslands, and Aerial Fire Retardant Avoidance Mapping
  • Data development services for the Automated Land Program (ALP), National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), Special Uses Database (SUD), as well as supporting the Enterprise Data Center

Screenshot from the Burned Areas Emergency Response (BAER) Imagery Support application.DAS provides tactical and strategic support to Forest Service units and external partners in response to disturbance events. The program provides rapid (hours to months) assessment and data analysis following major disturbance events such as wildland fire, flood and other weather events. Services include remote sensing-based rapid event detection and mapping, post-event condition assessment, disturbance data analysis, information management and distribution, and support to incident management teams.

Products & Services

An example of hillshade imagery.In cooperation with the agency's Chief Information Office, our EDS team provides the Forest Service easy access to enterprise remote sensing software systems; large volumes of aerial photography, satellite imagery, and a wide array of derived geospatial data for resource analysis; and custom web map products.  The EDS program gives the Agency access to enterprise tools, software, and data used to support resource management decisions. 

Products & Services

  • Publication of geospatial datasets to map or image services as part of the Enterprise Data Warehouse or GTAC Image Services
  • Custom geospatial web applications using ArcGIS Online (AGOL)
  • AGOL administration
  • Access to enterprise geospatial software (i.e. ArcGIS desktop and Pro, ERDAS, Summit Evolution, eCognition, Photoscan, and Google Earth Engine)
  • Geospatial hardware testing
  • NAIP acquisition

Man wearing a hardhat operates a UAS in a grassy opening surrounded by conifers.The GTAC RATI team provides geospatial technology support services to improve the collection, quality, and accessibility of resource information requirements. The program focuses on the use of emerging GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry, and mobile GIS sciences. Program functions include advanced GIS analysis, remote sensing imagery and analysis, photogrammetry/lidar data applications, and mobile GIS and field data collection tools.

Products & Services

  • Geospatial Technology and Applications Steering Committee (GeoTASC)
  • Remote sensing guidance to the agency
  • Support for the remote sensing needs of Forest Health Protection and State & Private partners
  • Coordination with academia and partners to investigate UAS platforms for operational use within the Forest Service
  • Development and distribution of remote sensing, GIS, and photogrammetry technology transfer materials
  • Coordination with agency entities on mobile, GIS, RS, and photogrammetry technology integration

Woman looks at a map while facing a mountain slope.GTAC's RMIM team provides strategic and tactical remote sensing applications to support Forest Service (NFS, R&D and IP Deputy Areas) interests. RMIM works collaboratively to develop geospatial resource data and statistical analyses. The program specializes in product development, the application of data for estimating existing resource conditions, and monitoring changes through time on the land. This supports the assessment, inventory, monitoring, and management of natural resources and landscapes.

Products & Services

  • Support Forest Service partnerships through targeted project strategic investment support
  • Forest/Region/National landscape mapping guidance and product development for applying National standard mapping principles
  • Landscape change analysis for temporal monitoring and measuring both natural and anthropogenic changes
  • Targeted project support to local units 
  • Application of remote sensing for design based estimation of landscape resources
  • Partner with FS's Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA) to support applications of FIA data to FIA and National Forest System business needs
  • Strategic and tactical analysis in partnership with Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center
  • Support to Forest Service International Programs
  • Support to Washington Office strategic geospatial activities

Image of large group gathered for technology training at Mark Twain National Forest office.Our TUS team develops employee skills through training and help-desk support applied to geospatial tools and workflows vital to the management of our natural resources and administration of our lands. The National Geospatial Training and Awareness Program provides GIS, mobile GIS, and remote sensing courses applied to natural resource subject matter using enterprise software, tools, and data available to all employees. Training development is guided by agency business requirements, advances in technology, and feedback provided by employees throughout the Forest Service. Training is provided at no cost to employees and courses are designed to maximize employee productivity and minimize time commitments. The Geospatial Help Desk provides highly skilled geospatial support through the enterprise Customer Help Desk (CHD) to employees utilizing enterprise GIS, Remote Sensing, Mobile GIS, and GPS technologies.

Products & Services

  • Support the operation and proper use of corporate geospatial technologies
  • Facilitate software vendor technical support for advanced troubleshooting and bug fix submissions
  • Promote communication between Customer Help Desk (CHD) help desk queues to ensure geospatial operations are successful

Jobs with GTAC

There are several ways to learn more about working at GTAC. Open the dropdown to learn more: 

Outreach Database

Before job vacancies are officially listed on USAJobs, GTAC typically issues an “outreach notice” in the Forest Service Outreach Database. Outreach notices can be used to determine the potential applicant pool for a position -- and they give you a heads up that a vacancy may soon be listed on USAJobs. By completing the outreach form and returning it to the identified contact you are not applying for the job, but you are indicating you are interested in applying for the position when the vacancy opens. To search for GTAC vacancies, you may wish to narrow the search by entering the job title, organization (1152), location (Utah), or position information in the search function of the Outreach Database. Use the "Respond " button to respond to the outreach notice.

Vacancy Announcements

For an extensive list of USDA Forest Service job openings, including any available at GTAC, visit OPM's USAJobs website. For broad Forest Service information about employment opportunities on Forest Service units across the nation, please visit the national Forest Service Jobs page.

Contractors

At GTAC, we routinely work with contractors. For instance, currently our primary contractors include: RedCastle Resources, Xentity, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and Esri. We also do business with many other contractors for specific projects. For information about current contracting opportunities, please visit Sam.gov (formerly FedBizOps). 

Learn More

GTAC provides leadership in geospatial science implementation in the USDA Forest Service. To learn more:

  • Related Links - See the links in the right column.
  • Our Work -  Explore examples of our work by following the links on the GTAC home page and by visiting Explore GTAC.
  • Jobs - Intrigued by the idea of working with GTAC? Want to know more about contracting? You can learn more by contacting our Program Management Office: SM.FS.GTAC@usda.gov
  • Contact - For general inquiries, you can also call: 801-975-3800.

Faces of the Forest Service

You can read about some of GTAC's employees here:

Laura Oles

https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/gtac/GTAC-careers