Association of American Geographers
About AAG Membership Annual Meeting Projects & Programs Education Publications Calendar Of Events Jobs & Careers
Research Participation Program National Center for Environmental Assessment U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

When: March 14, 2012 - March 14, 2013

Where: Arlington, VA





A postgraduate research training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). This appointment will be served with the Global Change Research Program (GCRP) in Arlington, Virginia. The GCRP, located in the EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD), works to build the capacity of programs, managers, and other decision-makers to assess and respond to global change (i.e., climate and land use) impacts on the environment and human health. Research and assessment activities are focused on a number of areas: ambient air quality, ambient water quality, the built environment (including water and wastewater infrastructure), aquatic ecosystems, and human health.

This research training opportunity, in the development of GIS-based decision support tools, will support a linked, interdisciplinary set of projects with the overarching goal of improving our understanding of the implications of climate and land-use change for U.S. water quality, aquatic ecosystems, and urban areas. This research will ultimately help inform EPA about reducing environmental and societal vulnerabilities to climate change through appropriate adaptation strategies.

This project involves (1) analyses of land-use change projections for the conterminous U.S. to 2100 and (2) vulnerability analyses of regions and watersheds to global changes. The research participant will have an opportunity to engage with a team of scientists at EPA on a variety of climate change projects in the pursuit of creating Geographic Information System (GIS) products and effective GIS-based decision support tools for managers and decision makers.

The research participant could be involved in the following activities:
Development of custom geoprocessing tools for ESRI ArcGIS that perform or facilitate analyses of model output, including climate, land use, and hydrology, generally with nationwide extent and high spatial and temporal resolution;
Preparation of tabular and spatial data for analyses and assessments conducted by the GCRP;
Distribution of data products, including preparation of metadata, custom spatial analyses, and utilization of data distribution mechanisms;
Creation and use of custom GIS tools for the analysis of climate model output in data formats such as NetCDF;
Analyses of scenarios of nationwide land-use changes and climate-model output; 
Development of web-based tools on platforms such as ArcGIS Server;
Syntheses and description of results in reports and journal articles; and
Presentation of research results at relevant conferences and to audiences of varied backgrounds.
The participant will also engage in training activities that ensures that all environmental data generated or used are scientifically sound, legally defensible, and of known and acceptable quality for their intended uses.

Applicants must have received a master’s degree in geography, computer science, environmental science, natural resources, or a related field within four years of the desired starting date, or have completed all degree requirements prior to the start date. Experience with GIS (ESRI ArcGIS 9.x and 10), including proficiency in basic operations such as reprojecting data layers, clipping to specified units of analysis, compiling and combining data layers (e.g., mosaic multiple raster datasets), creating consistent, logical file structures for data management including file and personal geodatabases, and proficiency in more complex spatial modeling and visualizations is desirable.

The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed for up to two additional years upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a stipend up to $62,467 per year and must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.