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Research Project Description

Develop and Use Geospatial Tools and Models to Analyze Impacts of Global Change Scenarios
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Assessment
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Arlington, VA


Project Description:

A postgraduate research training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). This appointment will be served with the Global Change Research Program (GCRP) in Arlington, Virginia.

The GCRP builds 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.

The purpose of this research project is to develop and use geospatial tools, models, and workflows that facilitate integrated analyses of large datasets (e.g., land use, climate, and hydrologic model outputs).

Joining an interdisciplinary staff of global change scientists, the selected participant may have the opportunity to: identify ways in which advanced geospatial analysis and modeling can be leveraged to achieve current and future project goals; develop tools and computer programs that automate geospatial and scientific workflows; analyze national datasets using spatial statistics; and develop figures, reports, presentations, and other materials that communicate research methods and results.  

The central focus of this research project is to develop geospatial tools, models, and datasets that improve our ability to analyze and understand the implications of plausible scenarios of global change. The research participant may be involved in one or more of the following research components:

  • Developing and refining a land-use change model (e.g., ICLUS) and analyze  outputs
  • Developing tools that automate processing, analyzing, and summarizing large spatial and tabular datasets describing climate, land use, or other environmental changes
  • Analyzing land use model output and identify implications for environmental endpoints (e.g., water quality)
  • Describing methods and results in reports and journal articles
  • Presenting research results at meetings and conferences

The research participant will become familiar with the latest approaches, frameworks and models for understanding and addressing changes in climate, land use, and hydrology. S/he will learn: how geospatial software and scientific programming can be used to summarize information and develop tools that satisfy needs of EPA as well as the broader research community; how to critically evaluate climate, land use, and hydrologic model output and to identify both opportunities and limitations when using those data in research; and, how both detailed modeling and high-level assessment activities are used to accomplish EPA’s mission.

This research training opportunity will provide an exceptional professional development opportunity in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary environment. The research participant will have access to a team of experts collaborating in and across disciplines (geography, ecology, hydrology) on emerging and high-profile research topics. S/he will also have opportunities to submit research results for publication in peer reviewed journals.


Applicants must have received a master’s degree in geography, computer science, climatology, landscape ecology, hydrology, or other environmental science, within five years of the desired starting date, or have completed all degree requirements prior to the start date. Familiarity with climate or land use change research is helpful.

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

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).

Technical Questions:

The contact person for this project is Philip Morefield. He can be contacted at

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NCEA-IO-2014-01 when calling or writing for information.