Job Opportunities


Position Available: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Project Manager

Dec 23, 2019 | Jobs, News and Announcements

Application deadline: January 31, 2020   |   Download PDF


The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) is seeking a qualified, highly motivated person to serve as a Project Manager for GIS to manage and oversee projects that support a variety of initiatives and programs to promote the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin.

The GIS Project Manager will bring a high level of technical proficiency to a team of professionals working on a variety of GIS, data and information management projects. He/she will provide technical guidance to the project teams and will lead and guide GIS-related tasks in support of project work.


The GLC is an interstate compact agency established in state law and authorized by the U.S. Congress to research, collect, organize and make accessible data and information about the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin economy and environment that is relevant to its member states and provinces, the governments of Canada and the United States, state, federal and tribal agencies, non-profit organizations, and others in the Great Lakes Basin. Decision makers rely on data curated and maintained by the Commission to support planning, investment, conservation, restoration, resource management and other policy actions.

Role of the GIS Project Manager

The GIS Project Manager will report to the deputy director and will work closely within the GLC senior leadership team, including the executive director, policy and program leads, external relations, and communications. Within that team structure, the GIS Project Manager will be responsible for developing, refining, communicating and implementing a strategic plan for GIS programs and delivery to serve the GLC and a broad range of stakeholders and decision makers in the Great Lakes Basin community.

The GIS Project Manager will serve as a direct supervisor to one GIS Technician and one GIS and Data Analyst. The GIS Project Manager will bring a high level of technical proficiency to the team and be able to provide guidance to the team and take ownership of complex operations. In addition to supporting the GIS team’s workload, the GIS Project Manager will work with project managers and directors to anticipate program needs and maintain GIS related infrastructure.

The GIS Project Manager will manage relationships with both internal and external clients. This will include working with federal, state, and local partners to support contingency planning and mapping within the region (see description below). Internally, the GIS Project Manager will facilitate GIS support for all GLC programs, including those within the Blue Accounting initiative (see below). This includes an element of high-level strategic planning in a team setting.

Many of the internal and external projects at GLC rely on GIS services and support. A working knowledge of common sources of GIS data within the Great Lakes basin is a plus. The GIS Project Manager should be comfortable making decisions related to data cleaning, harmonization, and QA/QC.

Specific initiatives requiring support and leadership from the GIS Project Manager include:

Blue Accounting

The GLC serves the region in part through data and information sharing on the Great Lakes Basin’s Blue Accounting Initiative. Blue Accounting helps Great Lakes entities and communities to collaboratively establish shared goals and then measure the level of achievement by transforming existing data into useful and readily available information that supports durable policy and efficient investment decisions for public and private community members ( The GIS Project Manager will provide GIS-related support to advance work in five pilot project areas in order to build on the successes of Blue Accounting.

The GIS Project Manager will spend up to 25% of his/her time in support of Blue Accounting

Area Contingency Planning for Preparedness and Response

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) requires that U.S. EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard prepare Area Contingency Plans to improve the efficiency of spill response nationwide. As part of its strategy to meet OPA requirements, U.S. EPA Region 5 contracts with the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) to accomplish tasks related to Area Contingency Plans. Since 1991, GLC has been working with EPA on these plans.

To supplement the required Contingency Plans, U.S. EPA Region 5 has prepared detailed georeferenced atlases that include each of the six states in the region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) is responsible for maintaining the atlases for Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. The GIS Project Manager will work to carry out data collection, mapping, and planning tasks that improve institutional ability to plan for and respond to spills in the Region 5 (upper Great Lakes) area.

The GIS Project Manager will spend up to 40% of his/her time in support of the Area Contingency Planning work.

Other Duties

The GIS Project Manager will spend up to 35% of his/her time in support of the GLC’s advocacy, external relations and communications priorities.


The GIS Project Manager will possess strong leadership and technical skills and demonstrate the ability to develop and implement a GIS program and strategy to support work across the agency.  The GIS Project Manager will:

  • Serve as the administrator for Esri software and services; (The Commission maintains an ArcGIS Online organizational account and an ArcGIS Enterprise stack).
  • Maintain licensing and configuration for Esri products and services;
  • Guide and actively contribute to the GIS team’s project work using ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro, serving as direct supervisor to team members;
  • Report project progress to directors, program managers and external partners as appropriate;
  • Attend internal and external meetings, assessing project needs and providing recommendations for technical solutions;
  • Maintain GIS infrastructure through software updates, configuration, and troubleshooting for:
      • ArcGIS Online hosted applications, maps, and services;
      • ArcGIS Enterprise (ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Web Adapter) services and custom applications; and,
      • ArcGIS Desktop applications.
  • Serve as administrator for Enterprise Geodatabases (PostgreSQL);
  • Train staff on data management protocols and strategies and oversee and enforce best practices;
  • Create custom workflows for processing and analyzing data;
  • Configure and maintain web mapping applications and visualizations; and
  • Develop and oversee design/delivery of web-based applications and decision support tools including data visualizations, web-based mapping tools, remote sensing and modeling tools, citizen data, and more.



  • Bachelors (advanced degree preferred) in GIS, Geography, Computer Science, Information Management or related field.

Skills and Experience

  • Five years of professional experience in GIS management or information management;
  • Demonstrated staff management experience;
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills;
  • Advanced knowledge of GIS concepts and practices;
  • Advanced knowledge of GIS-related software, products and services including:
      • ArcGIS Online
      • ArcGIS Enterprise
      • Python, (including arcpy)
      • FME Workbench;
  • Database manipulation and management, including SQL;
  • Geodatabase management;
  • Git/GitHub;
  • Knowledge of AWS, ArcGIS, Web AppBuilder for Developers, JavaScript, Windows Servers and Linux, among others; and
  • Contracting and managing vendors and external contractors.

The ideal candidate will also bring the following skills and experience:

  • Familiarity with the Great Lakes Basin;
  • Knowledge of water or natural resource management, planning, land use management, civil engineering, climate change, coastal resilience, and other related fields;
  • Strong understanding of information technologies and key trends, how organizations are effectively applying them and how they may be appropriately applied to the GLC;
  • Demonstrated success in marketing services, program development and implementation; and
  • Web development, application, support, and maintenance.

This is a regular full time, position located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and serving the binational Great Lakes Basin. The GLC offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits plan that includes medical, dental and vision insurance, as well as competitive retirement investment package.

Compensation and Benefits

The expected starting salary for this position will be between $76,000 and $80,000 per year depending on education, skills and experience. The GLC offers a competitive employment package including fringe benefits, such as accrual of sick and vacation time, flexible schedules, medical, dental and vision insurance, and a retirement match program.

Work Environment

The majority of work is performed in a professional office. The incumbent must be able to work independently and with professional team members, often in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment. The position requires the incumbent to demonstrate excellent communication and efficient time management skills to complete assignments and meet deadlines. This position requires some travel; ordinarily 2-3 days per month on average.

Application Process

To apply, please email a complete application package in a single PDF file, including a cover letter, resume, and at least two references, by e-mail to: [email protected]  

The deadline date for applications is January 31, 2020. Please note: Applications must include all required materials to be considered. No phone calls, please.

About the Great Lakes Commission

The Great Lakes Commission was established in 1955 in part to “promote the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin.” The Commission is established in state law and operates with U.S. congressional authority. Commission membership consists of the eight Great Lakes states and associate membership for the provinces of Ontario and Québec.

Each Member jurisdiction is represented by a delegation consisting of three to five members who are appointees of the respective governor or premier, legislators or senior agency officials. A board of directors, consisting of the chair of each delegation, serves as the Commission’s executive body. In carrying out its initiatives, the Commission works in close cooperation with many partner organizations, including U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, state agencies, local communities, binational institutions, tribal/First Nation governments and other regional interests. Representatives appointed by partner entities participate extensively in Commission activities through a formal Observer program. The Commission is supported by a professional staff in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at

Note: The Great Lakes Commission, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination. It is the policy of the Great Lakes Commission that no person shall be discriminated against, as an employee or applicant for employment, because of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, height, weight, sexual orientation, marital status, partisan considerations or a disability or genetic information that is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position.


For media inquiries, please contact Beth Wanamaker, [email protected].

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