Postgraduate Research Opportunity in Hydrology

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Arcata, CA, US


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A postgraduate research opportunity is available with the US Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest Research Station located in Arcata, California.

The participant will collaborate with science staff of the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and other partners. The participant will join the watershed sciences research team to study watershed hydrology in managed and fire-impacted forests in northern California. Specifically, the participant will review and synthesize data collected from past experiments.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will apply their knowledge of hydrology and statistics to review and develop methods to analyze meteorological, hydrological, and geomorphological data from the Caspar Creek experimental watersheds as well as from shorter-term post-fire projects. Activities will include using software to review and adjust electronic data based on other field records, developing new algorithms or functions to review data, and documenting results of review and any new software developed. Occasional field work or other travel may be necessary. Learning objectives include demonstrating understanding of quality assurance methods for field experiments, data processing, analysis, review, and archiving techniques, and technical and scientific communication.

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 the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The initial appointment is for three months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of USFS 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. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. The appointment is full-time at USFS in the Arcata, California, area. Participants do not become employees of USFS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

For more information about the USFS Research Participation Program, please visit the Program Website.


The qualified candidate should have received a master’s or doctoral degree in a watershed or water resources science related field.

Preferred skills:

  • Coursework in hydrology, calculus, physics, soils, and graduate level statistics
  • Graduate level training in hydrology, watershed science or water resources, or civil engineering with an emphasis on hydrology
  • Experience implementing and analyzing data from field-based forest hydrology experiments
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (4 )
    • Engineering (1 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (5 )





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