Job Type: Student / postdoc
Salary Details: $60,955 – $69,955 per year
Deadline: Sep 01, 2023

A fellowship opportunity is available within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station with the Vegetation Monitoring and Remote Sensing (VMaRS) team located in Olympia, Washington, or Portland, Oregon, at the preference of the selected participant.

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.

Research Project: The Vegetation Monitoring and Remote Sensing (VMaRS) team within the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station has a fellowship opportunity focused on measurement, monitoring, and mapping natural resources, especially forests. The fellow will aid in investigations leveraging modern remote sensing, analytics, visualization, modeling, GNSS, simulations, data processing, and related topics to infer properties of the natural world. High priority projects including mapping structures associated with old forests, tree species modeling, change estimation, and in-woods GNSS accuracy. 

The research will focus on data processing, analysis, and scientific communications. The fellow will support existing research topics, and depending on fellow qualification, there is opportunity for the fellow to pursue independent research topics within the scope of this fellowship.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, this appointment provides an opportunity to:

  • Leverage analytical skills and experience to support natural resource monitoring applications
  • Learn new skills in the area of data analytics and natural resource monitoring
  • Enhance collaborative skills as a member of a scientific team through development of questions, data collection, planning and organization
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of Forest Service Research & Development science 

The Fellow will have the opportunity to interact with scientists and staff in Forest Service research stations. The Fellow may explore options for future job or educational opportunities and take advantage of additional training opportunities.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: July 2023.  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 extended upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a yearly stipend of $60,955 – $69,955, commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE InformationThis 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. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USFS, 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: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a master’s degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Forestry, Forest Biometrics, Forest Mensuration, Natural Resources, Statistics), or be currently pursuing the degree with completion before August 30, 2023. Degree must have been received within the past five years. 

Preferred Skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse stakeholders 
  • Strong quantitative skills with experience in statistical analysis and proficiency in GIS
  • Experience with databases
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to balance multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Capacity to work independently and prioritize activities to meet project schedules
  • Coding training and experience (e.g., R or Python)
  • Scientific writing skills

Eligibility Requirements

  • Degree: Master’s Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 8/30/2023 12:00:00 AM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences 
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences 
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences
    • Mathematics and Statistics 

A complete application package consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.  
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. At least one recommendation must be submitted in order for the mentor to view your application.

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.