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Research Project Description

Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Assessment
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Arlington, VA


Project Description:

A postgraduate research training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). This appointment will be served with the Global Change Research Program (GCRP) in Arlington, Virginia. The GCRP, located in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), works to build the capacity of programs, managers, and other decision-makers to assess and respond to global change (i.e., climate and land use) impacts on the environment and human health. Research and assessment activities are focused on a number of areas: ambient air quality, ambient water quality, the built environment (including water and wastewater infrastructure), aquatic ecosystems, and human health. For more information about the GCRP activities in NCEA, visit

This research training opportunity, in the analysis of water quality sensitivity to climate change, will support a linked, interdisciplinary set of projects with the overarching goal of improving our understanding of the implications of climate and land-use change for U.S. water quality, aquatic ecosystems, and urban areas. This research will ultimately help inform EPA about reducing environmental and societal vulnerabilities to climate change through appropriate adaptation strategies.

This project involves analyzing, synthesizing, and otherwise interpreting and describing a large hydrologic and water quality dataset (model output) to produce reports and journal articles describing the sensitivity of water quality in different U.S. regions to climate change and urban development. The participant will be encouraged to participate in other EPA GCRP projects assessing the vulnerability and adaptation of urban areas to global change, and to initiate new lines of inquiry and analysis supporting the general goals of EPA GCRP.


Applicants must have received a master’s degree in hydrology, environmental science, or a related field within four years of the desired starting date, or have completed all degree requirements prior to the start date. Experience with the use of watershed modeling, scenario-based, ensemble modeling studies for assessing the vulnerability of water and watershed systems to climate change, and/or urban development is desirable. Experience with quantitative analysis of large meteorological, hydrological, and water quality datasets (model output) and knowledge of climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation for urban areas is also desirable. 

The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed for up to two additional years upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a stipend up to $62,467 per year and must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).

How to Apply:

The Research Participation Program for EPA is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NCEA-IO-2011-03 when calling or writing for information. For additional information and application materials contact: Research Participation Program/EPA-ORD, Attn: Betty Bowling, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P.O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117, Phone: (865) 576-8503 FAX: (865) 241-5219 e-mail:

An application can be found at