U.S. nationals: Wetlands and Streams Reference Data Research Fellowship

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Atlanta, GA, 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 office located in Atlanta, Georgia. The participant will be in the Ocean, Wetlands and Streams Protection Branch (OWSPB) of the Water Protection Division.

Research Project: The OWSPB manages and conducts key wetlands, coastal, and ocean activities under the Clean Water Act Section 404, the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) Sections 102 and 103 and the Ocean Dumping Program, the Section 403 Ocean Discharge Program and the Section 312 Marine Sanitation Device Program. The OWSPB provides regional expertise in stream and wetland restoration and mitigation, manages and implements marine and wetlands regulatory and restoration related issues and grants associated with numerous interagency/stakeholder workgroups, committees, and task forces.

This project will provide the participant with training and experience in: analyses of wetlands and streams based on landscape position, ecosystem processes, physical and biological community structure and composition, wetland hydrology, soils, and response to disturbance; development of a reference database against which efforts to restore wetlands and/or streams may be assessed; and complete field work to obtain or ground truth data.

Under the guidance of mentors, the participant may be involved in a range of activities:
  • Using national and regional datasets and EPA databases, and reviewing or contributing to various scientific documents;
  • Conducting applied research that will inform better decision-making in regard to restoration, resource use, and public health;
  • Conducting scientific analyses/evaluations to support technical review and assessment of aquatic resource restoration projects;
  • Compiling and applying technical information relating landscape and watershed physical and ecological attributes and stressors to ecosystem condition and recovery;
  • Relating progress measures to the accomplishment of restoration and protection goals;
  • Hydrogeomorphic classification of wetlands in the Southeastern United States;
  • Conducting research outdoors in potentially hazardous locations or under inclement weather conditions.
Learning Objectives
  • About EPA’s wetlands protection programs
  • How science and data are applied to determine the function of wetlands and streams
  • How datasets are compiled and tools developed to provide material for scientists to carry out a range of analyses for specific sites concerning ecosystem restoration

This project will provide excellent exposure to the interface of applied environmental science and policy. It offers hands-on exposure to a broad range of environmental and policy issues surrounding aquatic resource protection and restoration.

Mentor(s): The mentors for this opportunity are Bill Ainslie ([email protected]) and Ashley Monroe ([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. The annual stipend will be up to $60,000. 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 August 2020. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:
  • Knowledge of stream and/or wetlands ecosystems, related restoration programs, and/or coastal science or engineering 
  • Experience in soil morphology/taxonomy, soil physics, hydric soils, GIS/mapping skills, hydrology, and landscape/landform classification
  • Capabilities with data management gathering and organizing large datasets, and developing a database from which statistical queries or analysis can be done
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 8/31/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (5 )
    • Engineering (1 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (8 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).





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