Opportunity

US Environmental Protection Agency Dredging, Sediment and Oceans Support Fellowship

EPA Office/Lab and Location: A postgraduate research opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 2 office in New York, New York. This research opportunity is with the Water Division's Dredging, Sediments and Oceans Section.

In the past, communities around the world used the ocean for waste disposal, including the disposal of chemical and industrial wastes, radioactive wastes, trash, munitions, sewage sludge, and contaminated dredged material with little attention given to the negative impacts on the marine environment. Even less attention was focused on opportunities to recycle or reuse such materials. Wastes were frequently dumped in coastal and ocean waters based on the assumption that marine waters had an unlimited capacity to mix and disperse wastes.

For nearly 50 years, EPA’s Ocean Dumping Management Program has stopped many harmful materials from being dumped in the ocean and worked to limit ocean dumping generally. These efforts help prevent adverse impacts to human health, the marine environment, and other legitimate uses of the ocean (e.g., navigation, fishing) from pollution caused by ocean dumping. EPA Region 2's Dredging, Sediments and Oceans Section administers the Ocean Dumping Management Program to regulate activities in waters off New York, New Jersey and the U.S. Caribbean.

EPA marine pollution control programs are responsible for the development of polices, guidance, and regulations, and for the implementation of programs to protect ocean and coastal resources. Through implementation of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, sometimes referred to as the U.S. Ocean Dumping Act, EPA works to safeguard the ocean by preventing or limiting the dumping of any material that would adversely impact human health and the marine environment.

EPA Region 2's Coral Reef program seeks to protect the coral reef ecosystems of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in collaboration with territorial agency partners, other federal agencies and academic institutions.

Research Project: Exciting opportunity to conduct research focused on monitoring and assessment of ocean disposal sites and evaluating wastes and other materials considered for ocean disposal. The project will focus on database management and reporting tools development to support Region 2’s regulatory program and may also entail data analysis, GIS support projects and literature reviews. The selected participant may also conduct targeted research on coral reef ecosystems, climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems, marine debris and other coastal issues.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will gain an understanding of EPA’s marine pollution prevention programs and have an opportunity to develop research projects to support EPA’s role in working with federal agencies and state and local governments on ocean and coastal management. The participant will learn first-hand about the interaction between the various levels of government and the private sector on these issues. This project will provide excellent exposure to a broad range of scientific, technical, and policy issues pertaining to sources of marine pollution and the protection of the marine environment.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: March 2022. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors.

Application Deadline: December 28, 2021

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed three to four additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

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 EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, 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.

ORISE offers all ORISE EPA graduate students and Postdocs a free 5-year membership to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA).

Qualifications

The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills/experience:

  • Statistical analysis (particularly spatial and temporal analysis), modeling, and dashboarding/visualization (GIS, Qlik, R Shiny)
  • Ability to communicate findings and train others (technical staff and decision makers) on the interpretation of data visualizations
  • Proficiency in defining research questions, metrics, and/or processes
  • Knowledge in R and experience evaluating data quality
  • Field sampling and measurement experience

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include the reference code (EPA-REG2-2022-01) for this opportunity.

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