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GIP Participants

GSA Foundation Video

GSA - Educating a New Generation of Geologists from Steve Filmer on Vimeo.

Profiles of Former GIPs


Amy Atwater
Amy Atwater standing next to a giant hadrosaur track,, Denali National Park, Alaska

Amy Atwater

Amy Atwater and Montana Hodges worked on projects to enhance the study and public enjoyment of ichnofossils (trace fossils) at Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska. Montana Hodges' focus was on managing and protecting the constantly growing fossil information at Denali National Park & Preserve. Montana completed a management and monitoring plan for the paleontological resources at the park, allowing professional researchers and public interest groups to access the fossils safely. Amy Atwater spent her time at the park developing a technique to identify areas that are likely to contain fossils without having to send researchers into the field.


Justin Peinado

Justin Peinado looking into a hornito, El Malapais National Monument, New Mexico

Justin Peinado

Justin Peinado completed an extensive survey of the geologically significant features on the lava flows at El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico, such as the large lava tube caves. The survey required hiking on the lava flow, sometimes for five miles a day. When Justin finished his work at the end of the summer, 400 unique geological features were recorded in the park's database.


Kelly Gray measuring the width of the beginning of an unofficial trail at the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

Kelly Gray

Kelly Gray took on a variety of projects using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Kelly's main project was a survey and assessment of the impact of unofficial social trails at the Hialeah Picnic Area and Kittatinny Point Visitor Center. Kelly created a basemap of the official trails in the park to be used as a template for a new trail map for visitors.

GIP Positions

The Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) Program is multi-disciplinary. The level of expertise and education required for participation varies with each project. The primary focus of the program is on college students and recent graduates. Past GIPs have been college students, professors, or scientists that are currently working, on sabbatical, or retired.

Projects may require the following expertise:
  • geology (e.g. geomorphology, hydrogeology, paleontology, stratigraphy, geologic mapping, cave and karst science, soils, geohazards)
  • air resources
  • biological resources
  • climate change science
  • natural sounds
  • night skies
  • scenic resources
  • social science
  • water resources
Park projects may include:
  • natural resource research
  • mapping (geology, plants, animals)
  • assessing geologic hazards
  • summarizing scientific research for park staff
  • assisting in natural resource inventories and field surveys
  • measuring water quality, natural soundscape, or light emissions
  • preparing field guides and park resource overviews
  • leading interpretive talks or programs for park visitors
  • conducting viewshed analysis

Note: Detailed information about specific positions, including scope of work, requirements, stipend, housing, educational credit, and application processes are provided on our partners' websites.

Last Updated: December 11, 2014