*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.
USFS Office/Lab and Location: A postdoctoral research opportunity is available with US Forest Service (USFS), Southern Research Station, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The participant will mainly be stationed at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, but will travel to Research Triangle Park periodically as needed. The initial research location may be remote depending on COVID restrictions.
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 Project: This study directly addresses research priorities of water resources (water yield, nitrogen loading and pollution), ecological ecosystem restoration (forest recovery and carbon sequestration), extreme climate change. The overarching goal of this proposed study is to provide a comprehensive assessment of hurricane impacts on southern forests in terms of their carbon, water and nitrogen dynamics during 1985-2020 and provide intelligence support for forest carbon and water management. The study will take advantage of remote sensing techniques, in situ measurements and terrestrial-aquatic modelling over multiple spatial and temporal scales. The observed or simulated results will also be used to generate maps of forest vulnerability to hurricanes. Forest management scenarios, such as stocking, rotation period, thinning, and salvage logging for mitigating effects of hurricane damages and forest restoration, will be tested. Outcomes such as maps and user-friendly tools produced from this research will be made available stakeholders for use in assessing historic and future hurricane impacts and developing post-hurricane measures to minimize forest ecosystem service losses.
Specifically, the study is to address:
- What are the key factors causing hurricane damage to southern forests?
- How do southern forests mitigate hurricane impacts on floods?
- How do forest carbon assimilation and soil carbon pool change after hurricanes?
- How is nitrogen loading from forests to rivers influenced during and after hurricanes?
- What are the best forest management options to mitigate hurricane impacts?
Learning Objectives: The postdoctoral fellow will learn advanced ecosystem sciences and technology by participating research activities:
- Compiling water quality and quantity, forests, watershed, and meteorology data
- Satellite observation and mapping impacts of hurricane on southern forests
- Modeling terrestrial-aquatic systems with advanced ecosystem models
- Developing a user-friendly software interface for offline simulation with DLEM (Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model)
Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Steve McNulty (email@example.com). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: July 15, 2021. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.
Appointment Length: The 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 Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.
Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.
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 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 USForestService@orise.orau.gov and include the reference code for this opportunity (USDA-USFS-2021-0169).