USFS Undergraduate Research Fellowship

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Walla Walla, Washington

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

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A fellowship opportunity is available with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) within the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNWRS) located in Walla Walla, Washington.

At the heart of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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: Blue Mountain forests include warm, dry sites where ponderosa pine was once the major component. Much of these forests are at risk for high-severity wildfires due to increased abundance of multi-storied stands with high stocking levels. As part of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), Region 6 (R6) is implementing silviculture and prescribed-fire treatments to restore forests to historical structure and composition in the northern Blue Mountains. This project monitors wildlife biodiversity responses to management actions and uses this information to develop predictive models to evaluate trade-offs in wildlife biodiversity, management actions, and wildfire risk. This project is coproduced with R6 managers and develops, implements, and evaluates passive sampling designs (audio recording units [ARUs] and trail cameras) to monitor wildlife biodiversity by conducting field research across two national forests to meet management monitoring objectives and to understand heterogeneity and turnover in species occurrence and habitat use.

Learning Objectives: This participant will gain hands-on research experience while studying wildlife ecology aimed at informing natural resource management. Specific appointment objectives include:

  • Identifying avian vocalizations in acoustic recordings and wildlife in photos collected in the field;
  • Conduct literature reviews of wildlife-habitat relationships;
  • Develop and maintain wildlife databases that interface with program R;
  • Analyze data to quantify wildlife-habitat relationships;
  • Write a report on analyses conducted with the potential to convert this report to a peer-reviewed manuscript; and
  • Collaboration with a large and diverse team of scientists, managers, and biological technicians. 

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Adam Duarte (adam.duarte@usda.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

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

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for 9 months but may be extended upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is part 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 USFS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, USFS, 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.PNWRS@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received an associates or bachelor's degree in the one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within the past year, or currently pursuing.


The application must be completed through Zintellect. https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/USDA-USFS-PNWRS-2024-0138 

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

Category Ecology , Wildlife
Tags Ornithology