U.S. nationals: Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Aquatic Ecology

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Gulf Breeze, FL, US


*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.

EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, Gulf of Mexico Division located in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Research Project: The selected participant will collaborate with a team of interdisciplinary scientists and engineers to research the ecological effects of environmental stressors on the condition of benthic communities in coastal environments, with a focus on the Pensacola and Perdido estuaries. This research will apply new and existing data sets of biophysical measures to evaluate potential impact of the sediment condition on ecological endpoints and inform stakeholders and decision-makers how environmental management actions may affect environmental condition and the health and well-being of coastal communities.

The participant will contribute within one or more areas of knowledge on moderately complex aspects of a project, solving a range of straightforward problems, completing a range of atypical activities and proposing possible solutions using standard procedures. The participant will also participate in the collection, analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data on the biological, chemical and physical character of sediments, including (but not limited to) macrobenthic organism community and Sediment Profile Imagery (SPI). Research from this project will support the development of a guidance document to achieve greater comparability and reduce variation in environmental assessments using sediment profile cameras, with a focus on image analysis and interpretation.

Learning Objectives: The learning objectives of this appointment are intended to increase the participant’s understanding of the ways in which scientific research efforts influence and support scientific policy and EPA scientific activities. The participant will be part of an interdisciplinary research team and be engaged in project planning, communication and coordination, research implementation, and analysis in a Federal government laboratory. The research participant may interact with internationally recognized, leaders, both within and outside EPA. The research participant will evaluate data quality, trouble shoot research results, and apply statistical methods for data analysis and interpretation.

The participant will contribute to data interpretation within a context of ecosystem variability to give insight into possible correlative agents of change and relevant ecological interactions with implications for ecosystem resiliency, stability and recovery.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Amy Newbold ([email protected]). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer 2020.  All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.

EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

ORISE Information: 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. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email [email protected] and include the reference code for this opportunity.


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

Preferred skills:
  • Good foundation in science training
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Ability to create formal reports and give presentations for both internal and external purposes
  • Ability to conduct statistical analyses and interpret data within a context of ecosystem variability
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 9/1/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (5 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (2 )





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