The participant will have the opportunity to utilize existing and on-going national datasets on the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands from the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS;
https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys), as well as landscape/watershed data (e.g., from StreamCat;
https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/streamcat) to conduct research relative to improving assessments of ecological condition. The participant will cooperate with a group of ca. 20 principal investigators and post-docs in the NARS team.
Learning Opportunities: The participant will have the opportunity to learn about EPA’s research programs focused on the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), and research efforts aimed at improving the ecological assessments that NARS produces. The selected candidate will have opportunities to plan research, analyze data, and write peer-reviewed publications in cooperation with NARS PIs. The candidate will be mentored by EPA’s Pacific Ecological Systems Division (PESD).
Through this project, the research participant will have the opportunity to:
(1) model of expected water quality in the absence of major anthropogenic disturbance;
(2) set threshold values to separate aquatic systems in least disturbed condition from those in disturbed condition;
(3) use ancillary landscape and watershed data to diagnose probable cause of impaired aquatic condition;
(4) link chemical conditions to economic valuation;
(5) establish approach to identify remaining high-quality waters in each region of the conterminous U.S; and
(6) plan research, analyze data, and write peer-reviewed publications in cooperation with NARS PIs.