EPA Monitoring Ocean Dumping and Marine Debris Research Opportunity

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
12/22/2020 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 LocationA research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 2 office located in New York, New York. This research opportunity is with the Water Division's Dredging, Sediments and Oceans Section.

In the past, communities around the world used the ocean for waste disposal, including the disposal of chemical and industrial wastes, radioactive wastes, trash, munitions, sewage sludge, and contaminated dredged material. Little attention was given to the negative impacts of waste disposal on the marine environment. Even less attention was focused on opportunities to recycle or reuse such materials. Wastes were frequently dumped in coastal and ocean waters based on the assumption that marine waters had an unlimited capacity to mix and disperse wastes.

For nearly 50 years, EPA’s Ocean Dumping Management Program has stopped many harmful materials from being dumped in the ocean and worked to limit ocean dumping generally. These efforts help prevent adverse impacts to human health, the marine environment, and other legitimate uses of the ocean (e.g., navigation, fishing) from pollution caused by ocean dumping. EPA Region 2's Dredging, Sediments and Oceans Section administers the Ocean Dumping Management Program to regulate activities in waters off New York, New Jersey and the U.S. Caribbean.

EPA marine pollution control programs are responsible for the development of polices, guidance's, and regulations, and for the implementation of programs to protect ocean and coastal resources. Through implementation of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, sometimes referred to as the U.S. Ocean Dumping Act, EPA works to safeguard the ocean by preventing or limiting the dumping of any material that would adversely impact human health and the marine environment.

EPA Region 2's Coral Reef program seeks to protect the coral reef ecosystems of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in collaboration with territorial agency partners, other federal agencies and academic institutions.

Research Project: Exciting opportunity to conduct research focused on monitoring and assessment of ocean disposal sites and evaluating wastes and other materials considered for ocean dumping. The project will focus on report and tools development to support Region 2’s regulatory program and may also entail data analysis, GIS support projects and literature reviews. The selected participant may also conduct targeted research on coral reef ecosystems, climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems, marine debris and other coastal issues.

Learning Objectives: Selected participant will gain an understanding of EPA’s marine pollution prevention programs and have an opportunity to develop research projects to support EPA’s role in engaging with federal agencies and state and local governments on ocean and coastal management. Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will learn first-hand about the interaction between the various levels of government and the private sector on these issues. This project will provide excellent exposure to a broad range of scientific, technical, and policy issues pertaining to sources of marine pollution and the protection of the marine environment.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: January 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. 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 master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 

Preferred skills:
  • Data management and statistical analysis (particularly spatial and temporal analysis)
  • Modeling and visualization (GIS, Qlik)
  • Proficiency in R or other code 
  • Field sampling and measurement experience
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 1/31/2021 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (20 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (15 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (8 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (1 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).