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Forestry Assisted Migration Fellow

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Oak Ridge Participation Programs (OPP) Outreach Team
Olympia, Washington State
$60,000 per year
Closing date
May 2, 2024

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Global Environmental Change, Interdisciplinary/Other
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Job Details

A fellowship opportunity is available with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) within the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNWRS) Forest Service located in Olympia, Washington.

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: The USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station has a fellowship opportunity focused on stakeholder engagement and logistics to with an interdisciplinary team researching strategies to integrate assisted migration during reforestation activities. The team includes researchers in silviculture and genetics that are housed within the PNW Station and the Pacific Southwest Research Station. In collaboration with the team, the Fellow will assist in the development and initiation of the Experimental Network on Assisted Migration and Establishment Silviculture (ENAMES - which spans a large geographic range across the western US and encompass all land ownerships. Under the guidance of the mentor, the research of the Fellow is organized around three primary activities, which are:

  • coordinate and facilitate engagement with key stakeholders including the development of frameworks that will promote information sharing between managers and researchers,
  • coordinate logistics, project planning, and data management for the project, and
  • assist with field and lab measurements for ongoing experiments related to assisted migration and climate adaptation.

The Fellow will also have an opportunity to develop or participate in new avenues of research or other interests related to natural resource management.

Learning Objectives: This Fellowship provides an opportunity to:

  • Understand and facilitate interactions at the intersection between science and land management. The Fellow will have a tremendous opportunity to engage with a large and diverse group of stakeholders including the USDA National Forest System, the Bureau of Land Management, state natural resource agencies, tribal entities, and forest industry. 
  • Learn about assisted migration and natural resource management issues in the Western United States while helping to develop networks and tools that will facilitate implementation of strategies to increase reforestation success and future climate resilience.
  • Enhance collaborative skills as a member of a scientific team through development of questions, data collection planning and organization, and implementation of experimental treatments. 
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of Forest Service Research & Development science and National Forest System management.
  • Understand and facilitate interactions at the intersection between science and land management.

The Fellow will have the opportunity to interact with scientists in Forest Service research stations, and managers in the National Forest System and other land management agencies and entities. The Fellow may explore options for future job or educational opportunities and take advantage of additional training opportunities.

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Robert Slesak ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 2024.  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 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. The anticipated amount is approximately $5,000 monthly / $60,000 annually

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 and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a master's degree in one of the relevant fields (forest ecology, forestry, forest mensuration, natural resources). Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate and work with diverse stakeholders 
  • Strong quantitative skills with experience in statistical analysis and high proficiency in GIS 
  • Understanding of the principles and approaches to reforestation and forest management 
  • Ability to develop databases, data interfaces, and data integration tools (e.g, using R Shiny)
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to balance multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Capacity to work independently and prioritize activities to meet project schedules

Eligibility Requirements

  • Degree: Master's Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences 
    • Communications and Graphics Design 
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences 
    • Earth and Geosciences 
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences 
    • Mathematics and Statistics 


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