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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Graduate Internship-(Year Round) Geospatial Data in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Graduate Internship-(Year Round) Geospatial Data



CO - Golden


Position Type

Intern (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The Geospatial Data Science (GDS) Group in NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center is seeking a year-round intern to support modeling and analysis. The GDS Group conducts research at the intersection of renewable energy deployment, big data science, and geospatial modeling and visualization. Our team of researchers develops and applies geospatial algorithms and methods to evaluate the resource, economic, and market potential for renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and bioenergy. Our visualization scientists put modeling results and actionable insights in the hands of industry partners, decision-makers and the broader public through state-of-the-art geospatial web applications. Geospatial modeling at NREL enables detailed techno-economic assessment, capacity expansion and power systems modeling of renewable energy resources under a variety of regulatory, sociopolitical, and environmental factors from local to continental scales.

The successful intern candidate will support a large and diverse modeling portfolio with activities involving traditional GIS analyses, literature reviews, cartography, and tasks focused around data preparation, processing, and validation. The successful candidate will also have opportunities to work in on database and programming tasks. This position will assist geospatial scientists in developing novel analytical solutions to complex challenges in renewable energy siting, deployment, and adoption. Candidates should be interested in working in an interdisciplinary field, together with geospatial data scientists, software developers, and policy analysts, which will require excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Duties will include:

  • Manipulating multiple data sources, models, and software tools with scientific and engineering workflows for decision support and data analysis.

  • Preparing and processing geospatial data using open source desktop software and programmatic approaches.

  • Conducting background research on data sets, current modeling approaches and existing tools. Developing literature reviews under the guidance of research scientists.

  • Working in a Postgres/PostGIS database to access and query data and conduct analysis.

  • Programming and scripting in Python and potentially JavaScript to conduct analysis and visualize data.

  • Working in distributed computing environments including internal servers, NREL’s high-performance computing (HPC) system and the cloud (AWS or Google).

  • Basic cartography and information design, under the guidance of senior cartographers.

  • Supporting the geospatial application development team through basic web development, data processing, and error checking.

For more information on the Geospatial Data Science Group, visit

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Pursuing or recently completed a Master’s degree in Geography, Environmental Science, Computer Science, Engineering or a relevant technical field

  • Critical thinking skills; analytic and research skills; written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to work within a dynamically evolving digital environment as a member of collaborative and often-dispersed team

  • Proficiency and experience with geospatial analysis and modeling techniques using open-source tools, such as QGIS, is preferred; ESRI-based analysis skills are not required nor preferred

  • Strong programming skills in Python is preferred

  • Experience with JavaScript is desired


Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree granting program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Please Note: You will need to upload unofficial transcripts and a letter of recommendation as part of the application process.


Additional Required Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications Include:

Programming experience in Python.

Knowledge of Postgres/PostGIS.


Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

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