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This research position is offered through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) which is a U.S. Department of Energy asset dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system. 


EPA Office/Lab and Location: A postgraduate research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 9 Water Division located in San Francisco, California.


Research Project:

California salmon populations in decline with multiple runs endangered or threatened, and warming instream temperatures are broadly considered a primary cause or contributor. Scientifically sound temperature thresholds protective for northwest salmon are available. State and federal water and fish agencies historically have relied on them in assessing impacts on California salmon under various federal and state regulations. As with threshold recommendations for other parameters, EPA generally considers that site or regional specific thresholds may be appropriate to address variations in physical conditions of a given location. An ongoing point of discussion in evaluating thermal stress on salmon and identifying scientifically sound temperature thresholds is the types of tests and information that are needed to determine scientifically sound temperature thresholds, including site-specific thresholds.

The selected participant will research the temperature requirements of west coast salmon (in particular, California salmon) to inform protective temperature regimes and thresholds. In particular, the findings of this research will be used to identify the broad suite of indicators, as well as approaches for assimilating those indicators, in determining temperature regimes and thresholds that are scientifically defensible at the level required for EPA recommendations and actions under the Clean Water Act and federal regulation.

Pay: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and

experience. At this time the annual stipend for master’s degree ~$68,000/year and doctoral degree ~$82,000/year. A travel allowance will be provided for pertinent conferences, meetings, and/or trainings, with approval of the project coordinator or mentor.