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US EPA Postdoctoral Fellowship for Developing Isotopic Indicators to Assess Wetlands as Nitrogen Processing Hotspots

US EPA Postdoctoral Fellowship for Developing Isotopic Indicators to Assess Wetlands as Nitrogen Processing Hotspots

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new Postdoctoral position available for US Citizens!


EPA Postdoctoral Fellowship for Developing Isotopic Indicators to Assess Wetlands as Nitrogen Processing Hotspots


Research Project: This interdisciplinary effort will explore developing isotopic indicators of nitrogen processing with the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). The NWCA is a survey coordinated by the EPA with states and tribes to collect physical, chemical, and biological data from wetlands across the conterminous United States every five years. Wetlands often exist in transitional landscapes – between uplands, and streams and rivers – and because of this placement, they are in an optimal position to intercept and process (i.e., remove) non-point source run-off, a critical ecosystem service. Soil stable isotopes have been integrated into the NWCA field and laboratory protocols for three survey cycles (2011, 2016, and 2021), and water stable isotopes has been analyzed for the 2011 and 2021 surveys.


This research will bring together this existing soil and water stable isotope data and other monitoring data from the NWCA (https://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/nwca), and the National Nutrient Inventory – a spatial database of N input inventories – to develop isotopic indicators of nitrogen processing in wetlands across regions and the conterminous US. The study will evaluate the impact of nitrogen loads on existing wetland condition and identify characteristics of wetlands with high nitrogen processing potentials, thus informing how restoration and conservation activities may best address nitrogen removal. This research will span local, regional, and national scales.


Research activities may include:

  1. Assembling a national NARS dataset on nitrogen isotopes within the conterminous United States,
  2. Assist in analyzing 2021 water isotope samples on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer at the EPA Integrated Stable Isotope Research Facility (ISIRF) located at PESD,
  3. Collaborating on the development of a stable isotope indicator of wetland condition, and
  4. Conducting scientific synthesis, data analysis, manuscript preparation and literature searches.

Learning Objectives: The research participant will be mentored by PESD scientists Amanda Nahlik, Renée Brooks, and Jana Compton as part of a national EPA program on assessing the condition of the nation’s waters and on the impacts of nitrogen within EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Research Program. The research participant will have the opportunity learn about EPA's programs related to the impacts of nitrogen on water pollution and about the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), which includes the NWCA. The research participant will gain experience analyzing large datasets that span large spatial scales. Additionally, the research participant will gain expertise using various methods for analyzing stable isotopes within ISIRF, a leading stable isotope laboratory, and how isotopic analyses are broadly applied to EPA research problems.


 To Apply please go to:

https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/EPA-ORD-CPHEA-PESD-2022-04


Questions may be emailed to Amanda Nahlik:

nahlik.amanda@epa.gov 

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time

Education Level : Doctoral

Experience Level : Not Applicable

Job Function : General

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