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USDA-ARS Fellowship in Characterizing Ephemeral Gully Erosion

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Oxford, Mississippi

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), located in Oxford, Mississippi.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

Research Project: The research project will address the feasibility of assessing the impacts of conservation practices on ephemeral gully erosion reduction in agricultural fields. The participant's research will help contribute to developing an understanding of how much soil loss results from ephemeral gullies and the extent to which ephemeral gullies occur within USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) watersheds. This would provide a targeted management approach for the placement of conservation practices that addresses the erosion source and to quantify the amount of soil saved from the entire system. Under the guidance of a mentor and in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the participant will help develop modeling tools used to evaluate the conservation effects on fields within CEAP watersheds and support decision making for conservation management by NRCS.

APPOINTMENT ACTIVITIES:

  • The participant will collaborate with USDA-ARS research scientists in all phases of operation and evaluation of the ephemeral gully erosion study. 
  • The participant will seek out relevant data and review literature for existing knowledge related to ephemeral gullies and sheet and rill erosion.
  • The participant will collaborate with USDA-ARS research scientists to develop experimental techniques for erosion studies, including unmanned aerial systems.
  • The participant will collaborate with USDA-ARS scientists to implement a monitoring plan to evaluate ephemeral gully erosion on agricultural fields.  

Learning Objectives: Through this opportunity: 

  • The participant will gain valuable experience collaborating with a multi-agency interdisciplinary research group.
  • The participant will become proficient at integrating disparate data sources and modeling techniques.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Ron Bingner (ron.bingner@usda.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: 2024.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for two years but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

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 ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, 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.

QuestionsPlease visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email ORISE.ARS.Southeast@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.

Qualifications

The qualified candidate should have received an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g., Agricultural Engineering, Geological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering), or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before start of appointment. Degree must have been received within the past five years. Candidates who have received or are currently pursuing a high school diploma/GED will also be considered; proof of acceptance or enrollment in a STEM degree program will be required if diploma/GED already received. 

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience in soil and water conservation. 
  • Specific knowledge of soil erosion processes, surface hydrology, watershed modeling, remote sensing, and a broad knowledge of computer software, geographical information systems, environmental science, agriculture, and soil science.
  • Additional knowledge of or experience with current methods used in topographic analysis, or other remote sensing technologies is highly desirable.
HOW TO APPLY

The application must be completed through Zintellect. https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/USDA-ARS-SE-2024-0187 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Hydrology
Tags Soil Science