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Postgraduate Research Opportunity in Geospatial and Remote Sensing Analysis

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.
A postgraduate research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNWRS) located in Corvallis, Oregon.
The project is focused on characterizing landscape patterns of fire effects during the early 20th century in westside forests of the Pacific Northwest by creating canopy height models with historical aerial photographs. The project will also incorporate multiple historical maps from early forest inventories to create a multiproxy based characterization of spatial patterns of historical wildfire. Other projects may include using Landsat time series data to create burn severity maps and characterize canopy decline and tree mortality.
Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in the following activities:
  • obtaining and scanning aerial photos
  • creating canopy height models with aerial photos
  • developing scripts for geospatial analysis of burn severity patterns
  • developing scripts for geospatial analysis of remotely sensed forest decline
Learning objectives of this appointment include:
  • general knowledge about current and historical fire activity in westside forests of the Pacific Northwest
  • development of canopy height models using space-from-motion technologies
  • advance programming skills in geospatial analysis
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer/Fall 2020
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. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of USFS contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. The appointment is full-time at USFS in the Corvallis, Oregon, area. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USFS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.
This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) only.
For more information about the USFS Research Participation Program, please visit the Program Website.
If you have questions, send an email to