Research Project Description
Green Infrastructure Integration in Urban Combined-Sewer Communities
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Risk Management Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A postgraduate or postdoctoral research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL). This appointment will be served in the Sustainable Technology Division (STD), in Cincinnati, Ohio.
STD’s mission is to advance the scientific understanding, development, and application of technologies to address a variety of areas related to sustainability, including systems analysis, environmental management, clean processes, green chemistry, and green engineering.
Using a multidisciplinary approach that integrates the abilities and interests of hydrologists, ecologists, economists, social scientists, chemists, and lawyers, EPA-ORD scientists study the social, economic, and environmental aspects of how to better manage wastewater flows in urban core areas historically lacking in both environmental quality and ecosystem services.
This project will study the implementation of green infrastructure at multiple scales in various urban sewersheds in different locations throughout the US. The research participant could be involved in the following:
- Addressing residential- and street-level green-infrastructure (GI) in vacant lots to build fundamental understandings about how GI can improve on present social, economic, ecological, and hydrologic circumstances, and to characterize the types and quality of ecosystem services provided to urban neighborhoods. The project requires support for the characterization of arthropod abundance and diversity, and associated ecosystem services. Research is needed to determine the types of plants (i.e., pursuant to building above- and below-ground functional diversity) in GI that have the greatest positive effect on ecosystem services, and secondarily, arthropod biodiversity. The participant may
- Conduct research on the relationship between plant species composition in GI and arthropod abundance and diversity
- Characterize ecosystem functions and services generated from GI practices via arthropod abundance and diversity
- Collecting field samples for agronomic, hydrometric and other environmental data to be used for developing links between landscape ecological endpoints and hydrological processes.
The research participant will be exposed to and interact with a large team of researchers from a variety of backgrounds across EPA and other government and non-government institutions. The participant may also have the opportunity to present research findings at a select research conference and will collaborate on a project-related manuscript(s).
Applicants must have received a master’s degree in biology, ecology, environmental science, entomology, plant sciences, geography, environmental engineering, or a similar field within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. A background in horticulture or hydrology, with experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical (e.g., R, SAS) codes is desired.
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).
The appointment is full-time for one year, and may be renewed for up to two additional years upon recommendation of EPA, contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. This can be obtained through ORISE. The participant does not become an EPA employee.
Funding may be made available to reimburse a participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant's health insurance.
How to Apply:
The Research Participation Program for EPA ORD is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Please reference Project #EPA-ORD/NRMRL-STD-2013-01 when calling or writing for information. Applications are accepted and processed on a continuing basis until the selection is made. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.