The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station anticipates advertising a Research Hydrologist, GS-1315, grade 12 or higher. Grade level will depend on qualifications. This is a full-time permanent position under the federal Research Grade Evaluation Guide (RGEG) system of panel evaluation and promotion. The duty station will be the PNW Research Station’s Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory in La Grande, Oregon.
Applicants must be US Citizens and meet minimum educational and/or experiential qualifications for the Research Hydrologist 1315 series with the Professional and Scientific Group Standard at the GS-12 level. Interested applicants, or those desiring further information, should contact Dr. Michael Wisdom, Research Wildlife Biologist, (541-962-6532, email@example.com) or Dr. Steven Wondzell, Research Ecologist, (541-758-8753, firstname.lastname@example.org) before March 17, 2023. Responding to the outreach ensures potential applicants will be notified when the position is advertised and helps the hiring team assess the potential candidate pool as well as identify any special hiring authorities that can be applied.
Briefly…. As a member of the Starkey Ecology Team, the scientist’s primary role is to identify and characterize the impacts of land-use activities, stream and valley-floor restoration, and changes in vegetation composition resulting from fire and other disturbances on streamflow, sedimentation, and associated hillslope processes in forest and rangeland habitats. This is accomplished through designing and implementing new research studies and by analyzing and interpreting available long-term datasets. In addition, the scientist is involved in various interdisciplinary research projects or other joint projects with a variety of research collaborators and stakeholders. The primary geographic focus is the inter-mountain west, particularly Oregon and Washington east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains.
The scientist serves as a technical expert in stream, riparian, and watershed hydrology to examine the ecohydrological responses to novel management and restoration activities being conducted in riparian, forest, and rangeland ecosystems of the interior Pacific Northwest. Studies of major, landscape-scale valley-floor and upland restoration projects currently underway at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range (SEFR) and throughout the intermountain west are a major focus. Focal areas for the scientist could include research on the hydrological consequences of stream and valley-floor restoration, especially the effects on stream temperature and both peak flows and summer low flows; the effects of alternative riparian management practices for livestock and native ungulates on stream and riparian processes; and the effects of fuels reductions (prescribed burning and mechanical treatments) as well as forest harvest on watershed hydrology, especially treatments occurring in riparian areas and their effects on stream and riparian processes. Work may involve determining the controls on stream water sources, flowpaths, and water quality; measuring, understanding, and modeling basic hydrologic processes such as groundwater flow and stream temperature; developing hydrologic models to scale stream, riparian, hillslope and watershed hydrologic and biogeochemical processes at varying spatial and temporal scales; assessing the impact of climate change and increasing hydroclimatic variability; and collaborating with scientists of other disciplines to integrate results in multi-disciplinary decision tools for management.
All research is conducted in a diverse, broad framework of partnerships among myriad entities having a vital interest in hydrology and associated land uses across the western U.S., including diverse collaborators within the Forest Service and a variety of federal and state agencies, tribal nations, universities, and NGO and other private partners. The ability to collaborate and coordinate effectively with diverse entities, including diverse public stakeholder groups through all phases of the research cycle, as a technical expert and technical coordinator, is paramount to the position’s success.