USFS Postgraduate Summer Fellowship in Hydrological Monitoring: California

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Riverside, California
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Last Date to Apply
*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis. USFS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest Research Station; but will be part of a project team with partners at Kansas State University and Michigan State University. The appointment is located in Riverside, California, but there is an opportunity to participate remotely. The fellowship will be during Summer 2023 with a flexible weekly schedule. At the heart of the U.S. Forest Service's mission is their purpose. Everything they do is intended to help sustain forests and grasslands for present and future generations. Why? Because their stewardship work supports nature in sustaining life. This is the purpose that drives the agency’s mission and motivates their work across the agency. It’s been there from the agency’s very beginning, and it still drives them. To advance the mission and serve their purpose, the U.S. Forest Service balances the short and long-term needs of people and nature by: working in collaboration with communities and our partners; providing access to resources and experiences that promote economic, ecological, and social vitality; connecting people to the land and one another; and delivering world-class science, technology and land management. Research Project: We are seeking a qualified candidate to join the USDA Forest Service on a project around recreational displacement in Southern California. The ORISE fellow will focus on the influence of drought on recreational site visitation in the four national forests of Southern California. With mentor guidance, the candidate will use the drought indices (such as Palmer Drought Severity and Standardized Precipitation Index) to determine which periods of time between 2019-2022 were drought and non-drought periods. The candidate will also utilize water and vegetation availability to develop a dataset that will help understand on how changes in precipitation have affected vegetation health and water levels in the study area. As the final stage, the candidate will collaborate with mentor to explore how these changes correspond with recreational visitation as gathered through mobile phone data. Ultimately, the study results will be used by national forest managers to understand how water and snow-based recreational sites may be impacted by changes in water availability due to future climatic changes. Learning Objectives: - Learning how to synthesize datasets from different sources - Researching drought indices using different modeling techniques - Understanding social effects of drought - Exploring adaptation strategies for recreation management Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Alyssa Thomas ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor. Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 2023; start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for three months in the summer, but may be extended upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation. 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 USFS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USFS, 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. Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email 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 one of the degrees with completion before the appointment start date.
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