U.S. nationals: Water Quality, Watershed Protection and Restoration Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Seattle, WA, US


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A postgraduate research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), Region 10, Water Division. The appointment will be served in Seattle, Washington.

The mission of the Water Division is to restore, maintain, and enhance the overall quality of the Region 10’s water resources to protect the health and diversity of the environment for present and future generations. The Water Division ensures drinking water is safe; and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support recreational activities, and provide healthy habitat for fish, plants and wildlife through implementing the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, Ocean Dumping Ban Act, Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, Shore Protection Act, Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act, and several other statutes.

This opportunity will provide the participant with exposure to a broad range of technical and policy issues surrounding watershed protection and restoration programs. The participant will be trained in the various components of EPA’s water quality and drinking water programs, observe how the programs fit together to support EPA’s water quality goals and reporting requirements, learn how EPA informs and engages with its broad range of stakeholders, and gain experience in program development and implementation.

The participant may learn about watershed/wetland restoration and protection, the nonpoint source pollution control program, impaired waterbodies, water quality standards, safe drinking water and groundwater protection, dredging and ocean disposal, wastewater and stormwater permitting and tribal relations.

Under EPA mentorship, the participant may:

  • Review and make recommendations on various documents or plans for consistency with regulations, EPA policy and/or accepted technical practices
  • Participate in technical support for agency decisions or actions
  • Review data using appropriate data analytics to make recommendations on agency actions or decisions
  • Conduct research or investigations on technical topics to support agency actions or decisions
  • Contribute to the preparation of technical and scientific documents related to litigation

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 2020

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 and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program.  The appointment is full-time at EPA in the Seattle, Washington, area.  Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


The qualified candidate should have received a master’s degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree and will reach completion by June 1, 2020. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience or familiarity with databases, R, Microsoft applications such as Excel, GIS and/or modeling
  • Knowledge of Clean Water Act and Drinking Water Act Programs
  • Interest, knowledge and/or experience with environmental policy, law and regulations
  • Strong oral and written communication, critical thinking, teaming/collaboration skills
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master’s Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 6/1/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (7 )
    • Engineering (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (5 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 )





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development