EPA Climate Change in the Water Sector Research

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application consists of:
  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted. All transcripts must be in English or include an official English translation. Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. Click here for detailed information about recommendations.
All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.
Application Deadline
4/20/2021 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*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's (EPA) Office of Water (OW), Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) Water Security Division (WSD) located in Washington, DC.

Research Project: The appointment will be served under EPA’s Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative. Through the development of practical and easy-to-use tools, CRWU promotes a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options by translating complex climate projections into accessible formats. This information helps drinking water and wastewater (water sector) utility owners and operators better prepare their systems for the impacts of climate change and assist in decision-making related to the adoption of adaptation option and their financing. The participant may:
  • Perform research by interviewing water sector partners and climate science subject matter experts to identify areas in which climate information can be used to develop tools and resources for utility-level decision making and planning.  This research will help advise how information is communicated and tailored to best meet the needs of EPA stakeholders
  • Evaluate and interpret results from climate change research and apply those results to climate policy analyses processes
  • Learn how to prepare and organize technical-policy analyses and assessments of key issues pertaining to climate change impacts and risk outcomes.  These projects will involve technical and policy evaluation and analysis and may require inter-office or inter-Agency collaboration.  The participant will collaborate with staff in order to identify, prioritize, and design approaches
  • Participate as a communicator of climate change science and impacts including regular interactions with the research, policy, and stakeholder communities.  This will include contributing to Branch and Division climate science communication goals and helping to address issues raised by government agencies, Congress, interested stakeholders and the public
  • Interact with staff and management throughout EPA and the government, industry and environmental groups, and other interested parties working on climate change science, mitigation, assessment and communication issues.  This includes collaborating closely with other EPA offices and agencies
  • Under the guidance of a mentor, learn how to liaison between EPA and drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utility personnel and federal, state, and local agencies and departments, as well as universities, water sector associations, and private industry. The liaison activities assist to enhance the climate readiness and resilience of the water sector
Learning Objectives: The objective of this project focuses on the development of new and improvement of existing CRWU tools, training courses, guidance documents, and other resources to help water sector utilities be better prepared to adapt to and mitigate the potential impacts of climate change on water sector utilities. 

Through this project the participant will learn how to: 1) conduct water sector climate change risk assessments and analyses; 2) develop summary reports; 3) collaborate with EPA staff, contractors, subject matter experts, and external water sector and climate change stakeholders; and 4) develop of a variety of materials related to EPA's National Water Programs’ response to climate change. 

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Curt Baranowski (Baranowski.curt@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 2021. 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 three to four 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. At this time, bachelor's degree stipends are ~$49,200 per year, master's degree stipends are ~$60,100 per year, and doctoral degree stipends are ~$72,800 per year. 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 EPArpp@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by May 31, 2021. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:
  • Comprehension of the most current climate science data, models, and projections, including, but not limited to, forecasting on seasonal and sub-seasonal timescales, real-time climate monitoring, creation of decadal-scale and climate change information, and tailoring of climate information to specific user needs
  • Understanding of General Circulation Model precipitation and temperature forecasts
  • Comprehension of global sea level scenarios for the United States from the National Climate Assessment
  • The ability to analyze historical climate information such as precipitation and temperature records, as well as sea level rise data
  • Knowledge of drinking water, wastewater, and storm water utilities
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 5/31/2021 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (18 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (4 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).