EPA Food Waste Prevention and Composting Fellowship: Washington, D.C.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Washington, D.C.
Job Category
Monthly Stipend TBD
Last Date to Apply
*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Office of Science Advisor, Policy and Engagement (OSAPE) located in Washington, DC. Research Project: Over one-third of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten, wasting the energy and water used to produce it and leading to methane emissions from landfills and water impacts from pesticide and fertilizer use. To address these issues, the U.S. has set an ambitious goal to halve food waste by 2030. Joining ORD’s Office of Science Advisor, Policy, and Engagement, the research participant will conduct research to help the U.S. meet our Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal and National Recycling Goal, and support commitments in the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan. Learning Objectives: The research participant will conduct research related to prevention or recycling of food waste. The research participant may be involved in one or more of the following areas: Building decision tool to help food waste generators and policymakers determine whether to manage food waste by composting, anaerobic digestion, or other methods; Developing environmental indicators of impact of food waste management pathways and integrating findings into EPA models; Determining the environmental and economic value of compost when used for green infrastructure (erosion and stormwater control), soil quality improvement, remediation of contaminated properties, climate adaptation (water retention and savings), and/or climate mitigation (carbon sequestration) for a variety of soil and land types, including rural, urban, and communities with environmental justice concerns; Building a user-friendly tool to calculate the environmental and economic value of applying compost (relative to alternatives), based upon the type of soil to which it is applied. The tool would be built collaboratively with external stakeholders who could increase use of compost, such as farms, developers and other businesses, and state and local governments (e.g., transportation departments); Understanding the role of compostable products in increased adoption of composting; and/or Evaluating impact of online grocery shopping on retail and household food waste and proposing solutions unique and appropriate to that shopping environment. The research participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in conducting analyses and identifying and conducting research, under the guidance of ORD’s Senior Advisor on Food Loss and Food Waste. The research participant will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers at EPA, as well as other federal agencies and non-profit and academic institutions. The research participant will collaborate with scientists in environmental and social sciences. This research opportunity is at EPA Headquarters and is not in a laboratory. Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Shannon Kenny (Kenny.shannon@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 15, 2023. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Selected applicant could start sooner than 5/15/2023 if available. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three or four additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Part-time will also be considered. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. ?No relocation expenses will be paid. EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA. ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. ORISE offers all ORISE EPA graduate students and Postdocs a free 5 year membership to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination). Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email ORISE.EPA.ORD@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing a doctoral degree. Degree must have been received within the past five years. Preferred skills: Knowledge of one of the following would be beneficial: natural science related to composting and/or compost use, or social science related to consumer behavior Strong analytical skills Strong oral and written communication skills
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