Research Project Description
US Forest Service Postgraduate Research Participation Program
Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants (WFWARP)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
A postgraduate research participation program position is available (via the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education) at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) National Headquarters, in the Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants (WFWARP) Program located in Arlington, VA. The WFWARP program promotes ecological sustainability in the maintenance and restoration of terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and the provision of ecosystem services, on 193 million acres of National Forest System lands. The position will assist the Wildlife and Watershed programs on projects designed to improve the agency’s ability to assess and report changes in watershed conditions that support water quality, quantity, and aquatic life, as well as terrestrial conditions that support wildlife habitat and land productivity.
Specific research focus areas for the research participation program include:
- Analyzing scientific and policy issues related to classification approaches for assessing ecosystem status;
- Researching management options and strategies for integrating aquatic and terrestrial condition indicators, to develop a reporting system that is sensitive to changes, including changed conditions that result from managing for ecosystem restoration on National Forest System lands;
- Conducting or coordinating GIS pilots to test aquatic and terrestrial integration approaches.
The research participant will gain first-hand knowledge of the USFS’s systems for classifying and assessing lands and waters, and the use of this information in the accomplishment reporting structure. S/he will examine ways in which aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem information can be integrated and applied in work prioritization, project planning, and reporting. The Watershed Condition Classification and the Terrestrial Condition Assessment are two important efforts that serve as the foundation for evaluating ecological conditions. The research participant will develop and apply their skills in researching specific procedures for meaningfully combining spatial data on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and will gain experience in the application of ecological information and spatial data in natural resource policy development. The research participant will gain educational benefits from collaborating with the WFWARP Staff on scientific and policy aspects of a variety of resource issues. S/he will gain skills and experience related to management of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including direct interaction with USFS staff around the country as well as university personnel and other agency staff.
Applicants must have received a master’s degree in ecology, biology, environmental science, or a related conservation field within five years of the desired starting date, or, all degree requirements should be completed prior to the starting date. Good communication skills, as well as GIS and analytical skills are desirable.
This appointment is full-time for one year and may be extended for an additional three years upon the recommendation of USFS and availability of funding. The annual stipend will be up to $51,630 prorated based on the actual level of participation. Housing, transportation and relocation costs will not be paid.
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Additional information and application materials: