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*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available with US Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station located in Corvallis, Oregon.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Research and Development is a world leader in forestry research and has been integral to the mission of the Forest Service since the agency’s inception in 1905. We study the most pressing natural resource management issues of our day, generating science findings and tools that help sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of our national forests and grasslands—and ultimately enhance the rigor and impact of the entire agency.

Forest Service Research and Development supports the sustainable management and restoration of Federal, State, and private forests and grasslands. The research informs strategies to improve the quality and quantity of water on National Forest System lands. National forests provide clean drinking water to more than 60 million people and are the largest source of municipal water in the United States.

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station is a leader in the scientific study of natural resources. We generate and communicate impartial knowledge to help people understand and make informed choices about natural resource management. The Station has 11 laboratories and research centers in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington as well as 12 active experimental forests.

Research Project: Stream temperature is a fundamental property of streams that drives both physical and ecological processes, and the factors that control stream temperature are well understood. However, we are unable to accurately predict stream temperatures across landscapes or their response to forest harvest or other disturbance over large geographic areas with a spatial grain small enough to be informative to land managers. This project capitalizes on high resolution stream temperature data to explore physical controls on stream temperatures and energy budgets with implications for ecological responses and societal impacts. The participant will combine first-principle energy budgets with analysis of temperature records that considers covariates describing geomorpholgic, climatic, and vegetative attributes of streams and watersheds over a wide geographic area in the Pacific Northwest. This analysis will be used to test first-order hypothesis on landscape factors controlling stream thermal regimes and their sensitivity to disturbances and climate change. This exploration will involve a combination of empirical data analysis and temperature modeling using state of the art process based models as well as correlative relationships.

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will learn to interpret landscape-level patterns in stream temperature regimes, and the value of a critical zone perspective when approaching problems of this nature. The participant will engage with a multidisciplinary team of hydrologists, ecologists, and geomorphologists, may present findings at professional meetings, and lead or participate in manuscript preparation. The participant will be a member of a team addressing complementary questions around forest-stream interactions and will collaborate with other federal and university scientists.

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

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be extended for 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.

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 (USDA-USFS-2022-0009).