Planning Research Associate (125827)
Montgomery County Planning Department
Wheaton, MD United States
Founded in 1856, University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship institution. Our 1,250-acre College Park campus is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., and the nexus of the nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial centers of power. This unique proximity to business and technology leaders, federal departments and agencies, and a myriad of research entities, embassies, think tanks, cultural centers, and non-profit organizations is simply unparalleled. Synergistic opportunities for our faculty and students abound and are virtually limitless in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. The University is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff that will enhance our stature of preeminence in our three missions of teaching, scholarship, and full engagement in our community, the state of Maryland, and in the world.
Position Summary/Purpose of Position:
For over 90 years, M-NCPPC has enjoyed a national reputation for excellence in planning and, today, serves the culturally diverse populations of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties on the border of Washington, D.C. The Montgomery County Planning Department provides county-wide planning functions including long range planning as well as reviews of development applications in a diverse built environment of downtown urban districts, suburban communities and agricultural areas. The Department has pioneered nationally-modeled programs in agricultural preservation, inclusionary housing, and transit-oriented design. Montgomery County is evolving quickly as a model of new suburbanism, shifting away from traditional suburban greenfield development to a greater emphasis on infill redevelopment and urbanizing areas around transit and key corridors.
The Montgomery County Planning Department Research and Strategic Projects (R&SP) Division serves as a “think tank” on a broad range of issues affecting land use and the built environment. Our mission is to foster stewardship of Montgomery County’s natural and built environment and its communities by understanding the past, examining current conditions and anticipating the future. We do this by providing insightful, understandable and data-driven analysis and policy-relevant research on land use, demographics, economic indicators, real estate and other markets, employment and housing to Planning Department leadership and staff, County officials, businesses and residents, to increase their understanding of our community and inform decisions. Our work helps promote evidence-based, informed and transparent decisions and policies that enhance all aspects of life in Montgomery County.
The R&SP Division is seeking a Planning Research Associate to help with research, data collection and analysis on demographic, housing, real estate, and employment issues to support a variety of master plans, special studies, and land-use forecasts.
The types of assignments will likely include:
• Obtaining and analyzing data from a range of sources (e.g., US Census, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate market databases, etc.) to prepare analyses of demographic and housing conditions, countywide and in sub-areas. These analyses require strong attention to detail and ability to analyze and distill complex technical information using GIS.
• Supporting the development of an equity opportunity index by collecting and cleaning data from a variety of sources for display and analysis in ArcGIS Online. Developing story maps to explain the data and findings from the analysis. Collaborating as part of a working group to develop analytical methodologies and refine approaches.
• As requested, completing one-off research assignments for demographic and housing information, such as a market data for a particular submarket.
• Supporting staff in data collection, cleaning and ongoing data maintenance and quality control efforts. Examples include verifying establishment addresses for employment data and verifying property characteristics to update the land use file.
• Creating accurate, easily comprehensible, thoroughly documented charts, maps, and graphics to enhance written products and presentations as appropriate.
• Drafting trend sheets, blog posts, master plan sections and research reports summarizing findings from research. Materials should clearly communicate key findings to a range of audiences.
• Developing familiarity with internal and external planning information resources and be able to make referrals to other staff members as appropriate. Develop a thorough understanding of the conditions being analyzed and nature, characteristics, and shortcomings (if any) of the information being applied.
• Master’s degree in urban planning or similar field,
• OR a Bachelor’s degree in sociology, economics, or a similar field combined with two years of full time employment in a professional research environment
• Proficiency with GIS, data analysis and visualization tools (Tableau, etc.). Previous experience creating story maps in ArcGIS Online or a similar program is a plus.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office 365 (Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Teams)
• Strong attention to detail
• Strong organizational skills, ability to work on multiple assignments independently and meet deadlines
• Strong oral and written communication skills
• Enthusiasm for quantitative research and data analysis
The University of Maryland National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) and the Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), are looking for a Planning Research Associate that will work at the Montgomery County Planning Department. Due to COVID-19, we expect the position to be telecommute-based until conditions change at which point it will be based in our Wheaton, MD office.
The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.