View job on Handshake

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A fellowship opportunity is available with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest (PSW) Research Station, located in Arcata, Davis, and Coarsegold, CA, and will likely be stationed in Arcata, CA. 

The PSW Research Station is a Forest Service research center that develops and delivers knowledge and innovative technology to improve the health and use of the Nation’s forests and rangelands. 

At the heart of the U.S. Forest Service’s mission is their purpose. Everything they do is intended to help sustain forests and grasslands for present and future generations. Why? Because their stewardship work supports nature in sustaining life. This is the purpose that drives the agency’s mission and motivates their work across the agency. It’s been there from the agency’s very beginning, and it still drives them. To advance the mission and serve their purpose, the U.S. Forest Service balances the short and long-term needs of people and nature by: working in collaboration with communities and our partners; providing access to resources and experiences that promote economic, ecological, and social vitality; connecting people to the land and one another; and delivering world-class science, technology and land management.

Research ProjectThe selected participant will be collaborating with researchers located at USFS PSW Research Station offices in Arcata, Davis, and Coarsegold, CA and will likely be stationed in Arcata, CA. The PSW Research Station represents the research and development branch of the USDA Forest Service in the states of California and Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. Our mission is to develop and communicate science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and their benefits to society. The Arcata office is called the Redwood Sciences Laboratory and is a recently renovated three-story building located adjacent to Cal Poly Humboldt and the Arcata Community Forest. It houses research hydrologists, geologists, wildlife and fisheries biologists, plant ecologists, and biometricians, research technicians, and support personnel who are conducting watershed, wildlife, and fisheries research.

The participant will not only collaborate with a diverse science team at the USDA Forest Service’s PSW Research Station, but also several of its federal, state, and non-governmental partners. The participant will conduct research with the Meadows Restoration Research team assessing the efficacy of using ecological approaches to restore degraded riparian mountain meadows. The team has established a controlled before-and-after meadow restoration experiment on the Plumas and Sierra National Forests to examine ecological and fluvial processes in restored and unrestored fire-impacted watersheds and meadows. The participant will participate in this ongoing multi-year study and other field projects as they arise. Activities may include field data collection and instrument troubleshooting, topographical surveying, using software to review and adjust electronic data based on other field records, developing algorithms to review data, analyzing and interpreting results, and communicating results via written and oral presentations. Other opportunities may be available with our partners. Periodic field work and other travel will be necessary.

Learning ObjectivesAs a result of this training the participant will improve their skills in plant identification and vegetation data analysis, collaborating with a large science team, hydrological data collection, meadow restoration principles and monitoring, and scientific communication.

MentorThe mentor for this opportunity is Karen Pope ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 9, 2022.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for fifteen months, but may be extended an additional year upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

COVID-19 Requirements: 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).

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE InformationThis 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 USFS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USFS, 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.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.