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EPA Analysis of Ecosystem Services at Cleanup Sites Internship

*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER), Technical Support Coordination Division (TSCD) located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Research Project: The purpose of this research is to provide contaminated site project managers a basic understanding of ecosystem services (ES) and provide guidelines for consideration of ES at cleanup sites, including to improve ES for potential site reuse. An important component of this research involves a retrospective analysis of two selected cleanup sites where remediation/restoration actions have occurred. Here the effort will focus on: 1) developing and presenting a retrospective analysis of Ecosystem Services (ES) and the remedial Best Management Practices (BMPs) employed; 2) drawing conclusions about the changes in ES (as a result of remediation), and the potential for improving ES for site reuse; and 3) describing the lessons learned from this exercise as it applies to providing generalizable guidelines for consideration of ES at contaminated sites.
The research participant will collaborate with the mentor and other scientists, including regional scientists knowledgeable about the cleanup sites, to assemble necessary data and analyze it in terms of ES produced. Secondary data will need to be retrieved from a variety of sources for the periods prior to and after remediation to document the changes in ES as a result of remediation. The research participant will utilize the EPA Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) tool to classify the appropriate ES, and a number of established tools to analyze them. Through literature research and conversations with experts, the use of BMPs for improving ES for site reuse will also be explored.
Learning Objectives:
  • Greater familiarity with the field of ecosystem services, which will figure prominently in future government and corporate decision making
  • An appreciation of the interaction between EPA's different offices (Office of Research and Development, Regions/Great Lakes, Superfund) to develop a product providing benefits to the public
  • Co-authorship on one or more conference or peer-reviewed papers relating to the research performed
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Michael Kravitz ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer/Fall 2020. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.
EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.
ORISE Information: This 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 EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, 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 see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.