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Research Project Description

US Forest Service Research Participation Program - Landscape Ecologist Opportunity

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Asheville, NC


A research participation project is available with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC) in Asheville, NC.


The EFETAC seeks a landscape ecologist to explore the use of moderate resolution satellite imagery to detect, track, and assess spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation disturbance and recovery across the conterminous US.  Disturbance agents of interest include wildland fire, insects and disease, land-use change, and climate induced changes in vegetation. This position will be tasked with developing and testing quantitative measures of change and recovery that can be used to assess and monitor ecosystem resiliency and resistance to multiple disturbances at different spatial scales, building on ongoing work at EFETAC. The successful candidate will work with an interdisciplinary research team from EFETAC, NASA, ORNL, and academia that is currently developing advanced landscape monitoring and assessment tools for practical application by land managers.

Ideal Candidates will:

Candidates should possess an advanced degree (MS minimum, PhD preferred) in ecology, geography, statistics, computer science or related field that provides sophisticated training in landscape ecology and quantitative methods necessary for manipulating and analyzing very large spatial data sets.

Specialized and advanced training and experience using geographical information systems, computer programming, and statistical analysis to understand landscape dynamics are essential.

Demonstrate their ability to work independently and in groups.

Additional Preferred Skills:

  • Experience or background with: GIS and image processing software such as ArcGIS, ERDAS, or GRASS
  • Familiarity with Windows and LINUX operating systems and multiple programming or statistical languages (e.g., SAS or R) is advantageous
  • Be able to show evidence of projects and publications that demonstrate experience with computationally extensive methods to analyze broad landscapes


  • US Citizenship Required
  • Stipend Amount: $5,800/month
  • Relocation Allowance: $1,000
  • Length of Appointment: 12 months
  • Desired Start Date: August 1st, 2014
  • Number of Positions: 1
  • Health Insurance Included
  • Deadline: Until position is filled

Additional Information:

This position requires access to sensitive US Government facilities and information systems. A background check and security clearance will be required as a condition for employment. This is a one-year appointment with a possible extension depending on funding.

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.

The U.S. Forest Service Postgraduate Research Participation Program is administered by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

How to Apply:

Additional information and application materials:

Please send the following materials to

  • Application Form
  • CV/Resume
  • Letter of interest
  • Three contact references with name and email
  • Letters of recommendation are accepted but not required