USDA-FS Conservation Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Missoula, Montana

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.
Deadline Sep 30, 2024

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis, and this opportunity will remain open until filled.

USDA Forest Service Office/Lab and Location: A fellowship opportunity is available with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (FS) within the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) located in Missoula, Montana.

At the heart of the USDA Forest Service's mission is their purpose. Everything they do is intended to help sustain forests and grasslands for present and future generations. Why? Because their stewardship work supports nature in sustaining life. This is the purpose that drives the agency’s mission and motivates their work across the agency. It’s been there from the agency’s very beginning, and it still drives them. To advance the mission and serve their purpose, the USDA Forest Service balances the short and long-term needs of people and nature by: working in collaboration with communities and our partners; providing access to resources and experiences that promote economic, ecological, and social vitality; connecting people to the land and one another; and delivering world-class science, technology and land management.

Research Project: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will contribute to projects in collaboration with Alaska Department of Fish and Game using genomics tools to model the consequences of inbreeding and management actions to recover genetic diversity for wolves and other mammals.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Conducting whole genome resequencing on tissues from across the state and time to model changes in diversity and effective population size
  • Incorporating demographic and genomic data into models simulating different management actions
  • Discussing and coordinating research objectives with relevant resource managers
  • Collaboratively analyze data and write peer-reviewed publications
  • Presenting research to managers, stakeholders and scientific audiences

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Alexandra Fraik (alexandra.fraik@usda.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

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

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for two years but may be extended upon recommendation of USDA Forest Service and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

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 USDA Forest Service. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USDA Forest Service, 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 visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email ORISE.USFS.RMRS@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields or be currently pursuing the degree. 

Preferred Skills:

  • Training in evolutionary biology, conservation biology, genetics, genomics, ecology bioinformatics and/or statistical genetics 
  • Familiarity with molecular tools such as whole genome resequencing and population genetics would be useful
  • Experience with diverse, non-academic partners including natural resource professionals in state and Federal government, non-governmental organizations, and tribal governments
  • Desire to conduct scientifically-rigorous research with conservation and management applications

The application must be completed through Zintellect. https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/USDA-FS-RMRS-2024-0220 

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

Category Ecology, Fisheries