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USGS Science Needs Assessment Fellowship

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Oak Ridge Participation Programs (OPP) Outreach Team
California (US)
Stipend rates may vary based on numerous factors.
Closing date
May 16, 2024

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Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

USGS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC). Regional CASCs deliver science to support climate adaptation by natural and cultural resource managers. The selected candidate can report remotely, but preference will be given to candidates located in or willing to relocate to California, Arizona, Nevada, or Utah.

The USGS mission is to monitor, analyze, and predict current and evolving dynamics of complex human and natural Earth-system interactions and to deliver actionable intelligence at scales and timeframes relevant to decision makers. As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, USGS collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides science about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems.  

Research Project: The SW CASC delivers useful and useable science to natural and cultural resource managers so that they can plan for climate adaptation. Determining what science can best support decision-making includes assessment of available science in the context of decision-maker needs. This project will focus on reviewing science produced by the SW CASC in the context of existing science, manager needs and regional science expertise and better understanding the network of researchers engaged in conducting actionable climate adaptation research. The research may contribute to recommendations for regional research, training, and science outreach.

Learning Objectives: With guidance, specific activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with a portfolio analysis of SW CASC-funded projects.
  • Engaging with regional technical experts to understand how to meet science needs identified by managers.
  • Contributing to science needs assessments.
  • Analyzing the SW CASC’s research network.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer 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 renewed upon recommendation of DOI and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: Stipend rates may vary based on numerous factors, including opportunity, location, education, and experience. If you are interviewed, you can inquire about the exact stipend rate at that time and if selected, your appointment offer will include the monthly stipend rate.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) only.

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 USGS. Participants do not become employees of USGS, 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: If you have questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience or education in climate/meteorology, hydrology, natural resources, ecology, geography or a related discipline.
  • Experience with data analysis using programming languages such as R or Python.
  • Experience with textual and/or network analysis is desirable.

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