Consultant - Forest Atlas ArcGIS Server Specialist

Data Analysis & Technical Research Worldwide, United States

Position Location: The consultant can be based and work from anywhere, though the position will include work in Asunción, Paraguay and Washington, DC.

Contract: Part-time for approximately six months

Program Overview

GFW is an interactive online forest monitoring and alert system designed to empower people everywhere with the information they need to better manage and conserve forest landscapes. Since GFW’s launch in 2014, the platform has been growing rapidly to meet user needs. The Forest Atlas Platform allows users to create their own version of GFW featuring a specific location or type of data. The forest atlases are built using suite of tools which includes a Content Management System (CMS) developed by WRI, and Map Builder, a configurable mapping application which lets users combine their own data with GFW datasets. The atlases also typically include an open data site built using ArcGIS Hubs. For data hosting, WRI leverages ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Portal and governments may choose to host data on WRI cloud servers or set up and manage their own dedicated servers installed on premise or in the cloud. WRI also works with government partners to set up and manage data pipelines. To date, forest atlases have been built in 9 countries by national governments and GFW partner organizations with expected growth over the coming years.

Consultant Summary

The WRI Forest Program is seeking a highly motivated, self-driven and detailed oriented Forest Atlas ArcGIS Server Specialist to work with the Global Forest Watch (GFW) team on a consultative basis.

The Forest Atlas ArcGIS Server Specialist will assist key partners and WRI staff in the installation and implementation of new Forest Atlas applications – primarily focused on the development of the Paraguay Forest Atlas. The Forest Atlas ArcGIS Server Specialist will provide technical support to manage and deploy ArcGIS servers, forest atlases websites, and open data portals, and engage with the Global Forest Watch team, local partners, and government representatives on an ongoing basis.


The main areas of responsibility for this position will include the following:

Provide support for installation of servers and IT equipment. Manage web platforms and data portals to access country specific data:

Lead the installation of and deployment of ArcGIS servers, database servers, and other IT technology in Paraguay to support the development of the Paraguay Forest Atlas.

  • Assist technical staff to build an atlas based on country needs through the use of WRI’s CMS and Map Builder tools.
  • Guide in-country teams managing data platforms and web-portals and publishing country specific data, prioritizing the Paraguay Forest Atlas, with potential involvement in projects in other geographies; and collaborate with technical stuff to increase local capacity in the maintenance and management of server infrastructure and data management.
  • Collect and catalogize user feedback and contribute ideas for new features for the system;
  • Outreach and Communication: Field and respond to technical inquiries from users for guidance, information and data, and troubleshoot challenges as needed.

Data Development and Management

  • Advise and assist the preparation and ongoing management of national forest and other data for use in the Forest Atlas. This may include the cleaning and processing of spatial and tabular data for adding to GFW website and forest atlases
  • Implement workflows for improving efficiencies in data acquisition and processing and structure
  • Set up and help manage data pipelines and GIS webservices
  • Create map tiles in Google Earth Engine, Mapnik, and ArcGIS
  • Maintain data layers for the Paraguay Forest Atlas and Open Data Portal by creating and updating map services, supporting data downloads, and managing scripts to generate and sync XML metadata.


  • Bachelor's Degree in GIS, Computer Science, Geography, Forestry or another related field 
  • Two+ years of relevant full-time work experience
  • Experience with server administration in both Linux and Windows environment and experience managing GIS, enterprise geodatabases, and web servers including ArcGIS Server, PostgreSQL and IIS
  • Experience with managing, cleaning, and structuring geospatial datasets
  • Experience working with ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS online
  • Ability to write small programs and scripts using Python, Bash and/or other tools for automating workflows
  • Experience managing and working with Amazon Web Services such as EC2, S3, IAM and Cloud Front
  • Professional and technical fluency in English and Spanish (essential), with other language skills (French, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia) beneficial
  • Detail-oriented and organized thinker who can juggle multiple, competing priorities. Creative problem-solver who likes to be challenged
  • A demonstrated willingness to take initiative and get things done with little guidance
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with teams of individuals and colleagues from different cultures and in different time zones
  • Ability to travel internationally in Paraguay, the United States, and potentially other locations. Technical engagement may involve multiple multi-day development and installation sprints to assist local staff.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $120 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 1000 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in BrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico, Ethiopia and the United States

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must apply online at to be considered. Finalists will complete a writing test and technical exercise.

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.