EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research training opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling (CEMM), Atlantic Coastal Environmental Sciences Division (ACESD) located in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Research Project: The focus of this research training opportunity is remote sensing, specifically:
- development and application of mixture density networks (MDN), neural network approaches to predict/map chlorophyll concentrations; and
- development of predictive models for cyanobacterial blooms, both within estuaries and freshwater tidal rivers of the United States, using remote sensing images (e.g., Sentinel 2) as inputs.
The tools to be used include an extensive EPA database of paired chlorophyll/remote sensing reflectances with ancillary explanatory variables, USGS Earth Explorer, Google Earth Engine, toolboxes for atmospheric correction (e.g., ACCOLITE, POLYMER, SIAC), R and Python programming languages, an existing MDN Python toolbox for neural network analysis, and supercomputer access if needed.
The project integrates remote sensing, programming, and applied statistics.
The research participant may be involved in the following research activities:
- developing and applying approaches for bulk download of remote sensing images
- application of toolboxes for atmospheric corrections
- application of MDN methods for chlorophyll prediction, and
- development of logistic models to predict cyanobacteria metrics.
Learning Objectives: The research participant may learn about atmospheric corrections for Sentinel 2 data, managing and analyzing large imagery datasets within Google Earth Engine, machine learning approaches for predicting chlorophyll a, and development of predictive logistic models for cyanobacteria. The research participant may author or co-author on peer-reviewed publications, and may present at local and national meetings (possibly virtually). The participant will be a member of a multi-disciplinary research team.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to two additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
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.