2017 Montoya Fellowship in Transportation Planning at Northern Arizona University


The Montoya Fellowship is granted annually to an exceptional student in the community planning or GIS programs at Northern Arizona University with a demonstrated interest in transportation, and in particular transit, pedestrian, and bicycle planning. The fellowship includes a paid, six to twelve-month internship with the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO) and the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA); the two agencies responsible for most of the regional, multimodal transportation planning for the Flagstaff area. Funding for the position comes from a combination of federal, state, and local sources.

Candidates for the fellowship must be nominated by NAU faculty within their program, and the recipient of the fellowship will be selected by a joint review committee comprised of NAIPTA and FMPO staff and NAU faculty. The successful candidate must demonstrate creative and strategic thinking, problem-solving ability and initiative.

The Montoya Fellow will receive valuable experience in transportation planning and implementation. Under the direction of agency professionals, the Fellow will carry out general duties and be responsible for contributing to the delivery of specific projects and studies. The pay and course credits received will help support their academic career while the work they perform will benefit our community by enhancing mobility and transportation.

Robert “Bob” Montoya

The Montoya Fellowship is named in honor and memory of Bob Montoya. Bob is an alumnus of NAU, having graduated with a business degree in 1972. A third generation native of Flagstaff, Bob was heavily invested in the community as a businessman and concerned citizen. Sun Mountain Real Estate and Development, one of Bob’s many ventures, is responsible for numerous commercial and residential development projects around the city.

Bob volunteered his time to many important endeavors in Flagstaff and northern Arizona, and was an advocate for transportation. On the Arizona State Transportation Board for six years, he served as chair in 2010. He also represented the state transportation board on the FMPO Executive Board, and was chair for two terms.

Bob was often an informal ambassador for the region, providing friendly advice and information for visitors he encountered on the Flagstaff Urban Trails System.

Bob passed away on March 12, 2013, surrounded by friends and family.

FMPO, NAIPTA, and NAU’s Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

The Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization is a multi-agency organization that is responsible for coordination of transportation planning in the Flagstaff region. The FMPO’s partner agencies include the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority is a regional authority that was formed to coordinate planning and operation of public transportation services in Flagstaff and Coconino County. NAIPTA operates Mountain Line (fixed route bus service throughout Flagstaff), Mountain Lift (paratransit service for persons who are disabled), and Mountain Link (high-frequency bus service through downtown Flagstaff and the NAU campus).

Northern Arizona University’s Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation is a unit within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The department offers undergraduate emphases and graduate degree programs that provide students with knowledge, skills, and experience in community design, city and regional planning, geodesign, and geographic information systems.

Nature of position

This fellowship will split time between the FMPO and NAIPTA, and will report to the Planning Manager at NAIPTA and the Multimodal Transportation Planner at the FMPO. The Fellow will work on distinct, separate projects for each agency; however, the FMPO and NAIPTA work together closely and there will be considerable overlap, interaction, and coordination between the two agencies and the Fellow’s work.

The Fellow will be given a high degree of responsibility in initiating, carrying-out, and completing transportation plans and projects for each agency for the duration of the fellowship. At the beginning of the fellowship, the successful applicant will work with their supervisors at each agency to develop a work plan and set goals for the remainder of fellowship. At regular intervals during the course of the fellowship, the work plan and goals will be reviewed and evaluated. At the conclusion of the fellowship, the Fellow’s accomplishments will be reviewed as part of a concluding evaluation.

The fellowship lasts between six and twelve months, beginning in June, and the recipient is expected to work 25-30 hours per week.

This is a paid position, with a wage of approximately $10 per hour. Course credit is also available, subject to prior arrangement and approval of the student’s NAU faculty.

Minimum qualifications

Fellowship candidates must be working toward one of the following degrees in NAU’s Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation:

  • Bachelor of Science in Geographic Science and Community Planning, with an emphasis in Community Planning and Development or Geospatial Science
  • Master of Science in Applied Geospatial Sciences
Graduate students and seniors are preferred, although juniors may also be considered.

Applicants for the fellowship must be nominated or recommended by their NAU faculty.

Applicants with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in their major are preferred.

The successful applicant must demonstrate a strong interest in and commitment to transportation planning, and in particular transit, walking, and bicycling.

If no suitable candidate is found in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation, the fellowship will consider students from other related undergraduate or advanced NAU programs, including Civil and Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Communities.

Typical duties

Supports the development of long-term transportation planning documents

Assists in the preparation of studies, reports, and other supporting documents; including collection, entry, tabulation, and analysis of technical data

Conducts field surveys and inventories

Conducts national/international research and literature reviews on various transportation policies, projects, and programs

Assists in the preparation of graphs, maps, displays, and other presentation materials

Attends, observes, and makes presentations at public meetings

Knowledge, skills, abilities

Knowledge of basic to advanced transportation and community planning concepts

Creative and strategic thinking, problem-solving ability and initiative

Excellent technical writing and presentation skills, and the ability to communicate effectively through verbal and written correspondence

Ability to read, interpret, and relate geographic data and statistical data

Ability to prepare, analyze and summarize technical data into clear and concise reports

Proficiency in Microsoft Office products, including Word, Excel, Access, and Power Point

Familiarity with ArcGIS, through specific GIS coursework or incorporation of GIS in class projects

Application process

Applications for the fellowship are due to the FMPO no later than 4:00 pm on March 3, 2017. Complete applications must include:

  • Application form
  • Résumé
  • Letter of recommendation/nomination from NAU faculty/advisor

Downloadable information and materials:

Complete applications can be delivered by mail or in person to:

Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization
211 West Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001

Electronic submittals are also acceptable and should be sent to this email.

For more information

Alicia Becker, Transit Planner
Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority
3773 North Kaspar Drive
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
928 679 8935

Martin Ince, Multimodal Transportation Planner
Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization
211 West Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
928 213 2685