US nationals: Postdoctorate or Postgraduate Researcher (Climate Adaptation in Communities)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Climate Adaptation in Communities
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
How To Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • An application

  • Transcripts – Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts

  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list

  • Two educational or professional references

    All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

    If you have questions, send an email to [email protected] . Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Academic Levels
  • Postdoctoral
  • Post-Master’s

A postdoctoral or postgraduate research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of the Administrator (AO). The appointment will be served with the Office of Policy (OP) in Washington, DC.

The impacts of a changing climate pose significant challenges to the EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission. The Agency must anticipate and plan for future changes in climate to ensure its programs, policies, rules and operations continue to be effective even as the climate changes.

EPA’s Office of Policy serves as the singular focus for leadership and coordination on climate change adaptation across the entire Agency. Its goal is to build and strengthen the capacity of the EPA’s media programs and regional offices – and the capacity of the Agency’s state, Tribal, and local community partners — to anticipate, plan for, and adapt to the changing climate. OP’s efforts support the President’s Climate Action Plan and related policy directives such as Executive Order 13653, “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change,”  and also responds to requests from the EPA Local Government Advisory Committee.

This project will focus on conducting research to support EPA’s efforts to build and strengthen the climate change adaptive capacity in the approximately 40,000 local communities throughout the U.S. and its territories. The research participant will learn about climate adaptation in the context of EPA’s programs, underlying statutes, and overall mission. The research participant will have the opportunity to interact with staff members across EPA’s offices and regions. The participant will learn about the EPA decision processes, which may help in design aspects of the research areas.

The participant will conduct research and analyze available information to: develop case studies illustrating climate change adaptation; identify and assess attributes of adaptive capacity at the community-level; and investigate and characterize community information gaps and needs related to climate adaptation. The participant’s research and associated reports will inform EPA strategies aimed at providing useful support to communities based on their local conditions (e.g., adaptive capacity, available resources).

Research activities may include:

  • Examining and characterizing influential ways (e.g., information sources, organizational behaviors, local traditions) in which communities acquire knowledge of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, adaptation strategies, or comparable information.
  • Analyzing community characteristics to describe “like communities” as a means to more effectively deploying existing and new climate change adaptation tools, training, and information.
  • Gathering results and documenting successful community-level adaptation approaches.
  • Researching and implementing web-based approaches to sharing results within EPA and the public at large.
  • Researching and documenting EPA funding mechanisms that are being used to support climate adaptation in communities.
  • Researching and documenting major funding mechanisms across Federal agencies and characterizing their potential for fostering adaptation approaches that promote climate resilience in states, tribes and localities.
  • Gathering data on results and outcomes from the 500-plus priority adaptation commitments included in EPA Program and Regional Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans.

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA.


Applicants must have received a master’s or doctoral degree in communications, computer sciences, environmental science, public health, sociology, political science or a closely related field within five years of the desired starting date. Experience in developing content for multimedia platforms (e.g., online training, websites, and social media), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), or Google Analytics will enhance this training opportunity.

The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences or further research priorities. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or participant’s health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

The mentor for this project is Ken Munis ([email protected]). The desired start date is November 15, 2016.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree or have received one of these degrees within 60 months.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design
    • Communications
    • Science Writing
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Cultural Studies
    • Decision Making
    • Economics
    • Industrial or Organizational Psychology
    • Public Policy
    • Risk Analysis
    • Science Policy/Science & Society
    • Social Sciences: Other
    • Sociology (except Social Work)
    • Urban and Regional Planning
    • Computer Sciences
    • Databases, Information Retrieval, and Web Search
    • Graphics and Visualization
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Natural Resources
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences
    • Public Health
  • Veteran Status: None