U.S. citizens: Coastal Wetlands Research and Management

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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A postgraduate research training opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), Office of Water in Washington, DC. This research opportunity will be with the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW).

The participant will be located in the Oceans and Coastal Management Branch. The work of this branch involves a range of activities related to maintaining the health, resilience and sustainability of the oceans and coasts. The topic areas covered by the branch include, but are not limited to: protecting coral reefs, regulating discharges from vessels, developing tools and information materials regarding pollution from marinas and ports, mitigating the effects of coastal acidification, assessing the vulnerabilities of estuaries to climate change, and protecting coastal wetlands.

Through this project, the participant will learn how EPA works to protect ocean, coastal, marine, estuarine and wetland resources via regulatory and non-regulatory approaches. Training and developmental opportunities for this participant will be focused on the Coastal Wetlands Initiative (https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/coastal-wetlands), and coastal wetland management and loss. Specific skills learned through participating in activities on this project include:

  • detailed knowledge of wetland stressors, management strategies, and loss trends;
  • how to collaborate with partners in accomplishing protection goals;
  • use of various data and spatial analysis tools; and
  • how to communicate results of scientific analysis to diverse audiences of wetland scientists, managers, and policy makers.

This research training opportunity will provide an exceptional professional development opportunity in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary environment. The participant will gain an understanding of EPA’s programs and observe how EPA coordinates with States, Tribes, and other federal agencies to meet national water quality and wetland protection goals. S/he will have the opportunity to interact with wetland managers and scientists from other agencies and across the country. S/he will be involved in writing reports, analyzing data, creating outreach materials, and have opportunities to submit/present research and project results to interagency groups, professional societies and conferences, and wetland publications.

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. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The annual stipend will be as follows depending on education level: $45,972 (Bachelors); $56,233 (Masters); $68,036 (PhD); $81,548 (PhD +2 years of related post graduate work). Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or participant’s health insurance. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at EPA in the Washington, DC area. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


The qualified candidate must have received a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in a natural science (e.g., biology, ecology, environmental science) or natural resource management. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 

An understanding of wetland ecology is desirable as well as a background in aquatic science, marine biology, soil science, hydrology, watershed management, and/or resource conservation/restoration/planning.

Preferred skills:

  • Ability to participate both as part of a team as well as independently
  • Strong skills in data and issue analysis
  • Ability to communicate ideas and complex information clearly in writing and verbally
  • Actively participate in group discussions by bringing his or her knowledge and experience to bear
  • Receptive to learning and development in a professional environment