Postdoctoral research opportunity: Characterizing wetland connectivity using hydrologic models
US Environmental Protection Agency - Washington, DC

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Characterizing Wetland Connectivity Using Hydrological ModelsORISE Research Participation ProgramJob #: EPA-ORD/NCEA-DC-2014-02Project Description: A postdoctoral research training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), in Washington, D.C.NCEA coordinates high priority, science-based assessments for EPA. Examples include a draft review and synthesis on connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters, the EPA†s Mountaintop Mining Assessment, the First Triennial Biofuels Report to Congress, and the Bristol Bay Assessment.Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) can have important effects on the geomorphology, water chemistry and biological integrity of downstream waters protected by the Clean Water Act. The incidence, type and magnitude of downstream connections from GIWs to stream and lake networks are controlled by numerous factors including climate, soil type, groundwater storage, density of surrounding aquatic features, biotic community composition and human alterations. However, finding generalizable trends or broad-based indicators of these connections across scales has proven difficult and instead connectivity must often be assessed on a case-by-case basis.This project will focus on modeling hydrologic connectivity to: characterize and quantify the degree of connectivity from GIWs to other aquatic systems, including streams, rivers and lakes; and validate geographic information systems (GIS) and remotely-sensed spatial indicators of hydrologic connectivity in different wetland landscape settings across the conterminous U.S. This research project offers the research participant opportunities to conduct original research in collaboration with experts in government and academia, and engage in policy-relevant science in a multidisciplinary, supportive research environment. Specific opportunities and activities may include: - Developing and applying network-based modeling approaches and metrics (e.g., using graph theory) to quantify hydrological connectivity from wetlands to other aquatic systems - Developing hydrologic modeling efforts with the team (and larger scientific community) to simulate hydrologic connectivity in different wetland landscape settings. Modeling approaches include watershed, groundwater and/or coupled surface-groundwater models- Integrating spatial indicators and metrics of hydrological connectivity derived from climate, landscape, biological and social metrics into simulations of wetland hydrologic connectivity- Quantifying and classifying wetland connections with GIS and remotely sensed data at multiple spatial scales, including local, watershed and regional scales- Developing, conducting, reporting and presenting results to wetland and watershed connectivity through publishing in peer-reviewed literature, presenting at conferences and communicating with decision makersThrough this project, the participant will further his/her knowledge of spatial and mechanistic modeling techniques to assess watershed connectivity at various spatial scales. S/he will have access to and interactions with a team of experts across disciplines and collaborate with scientists on problems of crucial importance to EPA†s mission.Qualifications: Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in hydrology, environmental or civil engineering, geography, ecohydrology or a similar field, with an emphasis on water resources, within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the start date. Knowledge and/or experience in modeling or geospatial research on hydrological connectivity and characterization is desired.The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, costs of tuition and fees, or a participant†s health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.Technical Questions: The mentor for this project will be Laurie Alexander (703-347-8630).How to Apply: Details of the position can be found at: An application can be found at Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NCEA-DC-2014-02 when calling or writing for information.Review of applications will begin immediately. Applications should be received by 31 August 2014.