EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW), Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) located in Washington, DC. This research opportunity is with the Watershed Branch.
The Watershed Branch is responsible for leading EPA’s Impaired Waters Listing and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program nationally, and supporting related watershed protection and restoration activities.
Research Project: The Watershed Academy is an online training program that provides a basic and broad overview of watershed management. The ORISE participant will join the Watershed Academy team and provide research related to webcast development, watershed training modules, and youth educational materials.
The Healthy Watersheds Program (HWP) supports watershed protection and restoration to maintain healthy waters in our communities. The ORISE participant will join the HWP team and participate in a number of activities that support prioritization of watersheds for protection through the maintenance and expansion of assessment data and tools like the Watershed Index Online and EPA’s Recovery Potential Screening Tool, as well as through partnership and capacity building. The ORISE participant may be expected to conduct technical analyses of state watershed data, and help users understand how watershed condition can guide restoration or protection activities in water quality programs.
The research participant will collaborate with cross-program staff and regional offices to research and improve current practices related to water quality assessment and monitoring, conduct technical and programmatic analyses in support of watershed restoration and protection activities, and provide research for training materials on watershed management. This will involve research to support the Watershed Branch in the implementation of EPA’s Healthy Watersheds Program, Watershed Academy, and Water Quality Assessment Workgroup.
Learning Objectives: Based on their involvement in the activities above, the research participant will learn:
- The respective roles of EPA, states and tribes in achieving the goals of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to achieve and maintain water quality.
- How the relationships and interdependence of various Clean Water Act (CWA) programs are structured to help achieve water quality results.
- Programmatic approaches, and policy and technical tools to identify and develop restoration and protection strategies for impaired or high quality waters.
- How states and EPA can continue to improve the CWA 303(d) listing and TMDL program to better achieve environmental results in ways tailored to specific state priorities.
- How to leverage different communication strategies to convey water quality information to a variety of audiences.
Appointment Length: The appointment initially may be for one year and may be renewed 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.
The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).
The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy), or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before 10/31/2022. Degree must have been received within the past five years.
- A background in watershed science, water quality issues, water quality planning, watershed assessment, and communication
- Strong skills in multimedia use platforms, communications, research, engagement, data analysis, outreach and writing on environmental issues
- Familiarity and/or experience with the Clean Water Act