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USFS Forest Ecosystem Fellowship

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity in forest ecosystem monitoring and data collection are currently available with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), at the Sagehen Experimental Research Station and the Caples Creek watershed in the Eldorado National Forest.

The Sagehen Experimental Research Station is managed jointly by Tahoe National Forest, USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) and U.C Berkeley. This project extends the post-treatment monitoring on a grid of points that covers the entire basin and samples the 2,700 acres of treatment in the 9,000 acres Sagehen Creek basin and provides extensive pre-treatment data to compare post-treatment data with. Data were collected at the same sites prior to treatment so the responses to treatments could be evaluated across the full array of forest ecosystem elements. This project will repeat sampling for vegetation and small mammals at sites within treatments and outside of treatments to determine the degree to which forest ecosystem objectives have been accomplished. The fellow will assist with small mammal and vegetation sampling. 

Another project is in the Caples Creek watershed on the Eldorado National Forest. In Caples, we will be sampling large mammals using camera surveys. Caples was control burned in 2019, and these data will be added to bird and vegetation data that are being collected across this watershed. 
In both projects, the participant will collaborate with experienced field biologists and will learn animal handling and ID, as well as sampling design and orienteering skills. The experience will involve camping. 

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.

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 eight weeks, but may be renewed upon recommendation of USFS and is 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. The appointment is full-time. 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.

For more information about the USFS Research Participation Program, please visit the Program Website.

If you have questions, send an email to