Note: Noah Hodgetts graduated spring 2014.
Noah Hodgetts, a second-year Master’s in Urban and Regional Policy (MURP) student, served as a GIS and data analysis intern at Somerville Community Corporation (SCC). Below, Noah tells us about how he found the internship and what he did in the position.
All MURP students are required to complete at least one internship before graduating from the program. This requirement was established so students can experience a hands-on, “real world” policy-related experience before applying for jobs in their chosen fields.
How did you find this internship?
Stephanie Pollack (Associate Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy) helped me get this position based on my interest in the Green Line Extension through Somerville and GIS based work. Because it was not an advertised internship I was able to tailor it to my interest in equitable transit oriented development while utilizing my GIS skills.
What does a GIS and data analysis Intern do?
I analyze data using GIS and make maps for their Real Estate Director and their Community Planner.
Specifically, I’ve assisted in the analysis of baseline data using GIS and online tools for “Link Somerville Equity Standards,” a set of community-generated metrics centered on good development in Somerville with relation to local jobs, open space, mobility, affordable housing and land use. I have also conducted a GIS analysis of vacant parcels throughout Somerville using assessor and zoning data for SCC affordable housing development.
What else is in store for you in this position?
In my remaining time with SCC I will be using GIS to combine my equity standard baseline data analysis with displacement data analyzed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in their Dimensions of Displacement report prepared for SCC. The goal is to take MAPC’s displacement data that shows the areas most vulnerable to displacement from the opening of the Green Line Extension and use the baseline equity standard data for these areas to help identify the equitable development policy tools that will be most effective for minimizing displacement.
I’ll also be developing a methodology using GIS for the identification of underutilized warehouses throughout Somerville with specific attention given to properties within the Green Line corridor that could be good sites for future SCC affordable housing development.
Which courses best prepared you for this internship?
The classes that specifically prepared me for this internship include Contemporary Community Development, GIS for Urban & Regional Policy, Working With Datasets, Quantitative Techniques, Real Estate Development and Land Use & Urban Growth Policy.