U.S. nationals: Large Infrastructure Project Aquatic Resources Impacts
A research opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6 in the Wetlands Section located in Dallas, Texas. One or two opportunities are available. Field work and some travel should be expected. Travel costs will be reimbursed. Start date is flexible, beginning anytime after 2/15/2019. Ending date is also flexible, ending 9/30/2019 or before (if desired by applicant).
*Although the application deadline is April 15, applications are being reviewed on a rolling-basis.
The Wetlands Section is responsible for administering EPA’s wetland protection program within the region. Program responsibilities are mainly related to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and related regulations by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, EPA is charged with oversight of the COE permitting program which regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.
Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in the following training activities: research, review, summary and compilation of aquatic resources impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation options for large infrastructure projects. Impact assessment review may focus on water conservation, large infrastructure project construction alternatives, reservoir operation strategies, and mitigation for reservoir project impacts to streams, riparian wetlands, and forested wetlands. Evaluation and review opportunities may also involve the effect of hydrology changes below reservoirs and design of projects to avoid aquatic resource impacts. A similar resource impact analysis approach may be used for linear and non-linear projects, and large coastal development projects. The information gathered may be used to support Clean Water Act Section 404 permit evaluations. The data is largely dependent on the initial scale and scope of predicted aquatic resource impacts. Models, tools, methods, or protocols for assessing direct, secondary, and cumulative aquatic resource and other environmental impacts associated with water supply/reservoir projects will be reviewed and evaluated. All potential aquatic resource impacts will be considered. The effort will include coordination with the appropriate resource agencies (e.g., Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to obtain information about impact assessments.
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 three to nine months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend, ranging from $3,032 up to $3,709, commensurate with educational level and experience. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant's health insurance. A trip to the Regional Office may be required prior to starting the position to submit information required to obtain EPA credentials. The cost of this trip can not be reimbursed. Participant will be required to have their own medical insurance. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at EPA in the Dallas, Texas, area. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.
Applicants should have a degree or be at the senior level in pursuing a degree in any science discipline that relates to aquatic resource assessment, measurement, management, protection, mitigation, or restoration. This could include, but is not limited to Ecology, Hydrology, Forestry, Biology, Geology, Soils, Botany, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Stream Ecology, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and the like. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.
- Skills related to impact assessment and evaluation and the methodologies used in that process (Rapid Assessment methods, habitat evaluation procedures, etc.)
- Knowledge of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, including stream and wetland mitigation strategies
- Experience in measurement of environmental variables, stream functions, and ecosystem components
- Knowledge in natural resource modeling and basic stream and wetland functions
- Experience in field measurements/data collection
- Willingness to work outdoors in the Texas summer heat