USFS Postdoctoral Fellowship as Geospatial Information Manager for the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application package 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.  Selected candidate must provide proof of completion of the degree before the appointment can start.  Click Here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. At least one recommendation must be submitted in order for the mentor to view your application.

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline
1/9/2023 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A fellowship opportunity is available to engage with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) Caribbean Climate Hub located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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 ProjectThe selected participant will contribute to developing, inventorying, and maintaining geospatial products supporting the mission, research, and activities of the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub. The USDA Caribbean Climate Hub supports USDA agencies and partners to address climate change risks in tropical forestry and agriculture. The participant will support the documentation, modification, and sharing of existing geospatial information. Example geospatial information developed and managed by the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub include information on the social, biological, and geophysical aspects of the region such as vegetation and landcover, plant and animal species distributions, soils, topography, current and future climate, land use, governance, distribution of farms and crops, distribution of agricultural practices, and others. The participant will support the integration of existing information in three tools developed or in development by the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub. These include the Farm Planning Tool, the Agricultural Statistics Tool, and a data portal sharing geospatial layers developed by the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub. The participant will support creating and analyzing new geospatial layers for research publications and integration in the geospatial tools of the Hub. Finally, the participant will assist in the administrative record-keeping, onboarding, inventories, and computing and software acquisitions supporting the geospatial work of the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub team. The participant will support ensuring the team has the software and computing access they need for their work, and that geospatial and other new information developed by the team is documented and archived appropriately.

The selected applicant will collaborate with the Climate Hub Director and staff to plan research activities and manage the geospatial resources of the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub. New analyses will support the mission of the Hub by using geospatial information to document and assess the risks of climate change and the vulnerabilities of various resources and sectors involved in forestry and agriculture. These include but are not limited to risks associated with drought, flooding, hurricanes, sea level rise, extreme heat, and changing seasonality. Also included are mapping vulnerabilities related to governance, access to information, demographics, locality, availability of resources, and other environmental justice issues.

The goal of the geospatial work of the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub is to effectively provide well-documented scientific information for use in tools, research publications, and communication products of a technical and non technical nature.  Base information as well as interim and final products may be in both English and Spanish. The key questions addressed are 1) what to expect in the upcoming decades in terms of temperatures, water availability, and extreme climate events, 2) how changing climate is affecting forestry and agriculture in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, 3) what programs and practices are available to help with climate adaptation, and 4) what programs and practices are available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The participant will collaborate with a team at the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub located at the Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry. The Climate Hub leadership will provide direction and review of geospatial products developed by the participant.

Learning ObjectivesThe selected applicant will gain experience supporting a team and developing and managing geospatial information related to climate change and tropical forestry and agriculture. The applicant will gain familiarity with climate change and adaptation practices in tropical forestry and agriculture. In addition to collaborating with the Forest Service and the Climate Hub, the selected applicant will participate with collaborators that include USDA agencies, local agencies, NGOs, private industry, and University partners working in the Caribbean. Geospatial products will be developed as a team at the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub and the participant will take suggestions, provide drafts for review, and ultimately contribute to a broad range of products communicating complex technical information about climate change.

MentorThe mentor for this opportunity is William Gould ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: January 11, 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be extended upon recommendation of USFS 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 InformationThis 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 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 and will reach completion by the start date of the appointment.

Preferred Skills:

  • Proficient in use of Geospatial Information Systems and have demonstrated experience with Geospatial Analysis.
  • Experience in data management, organization, inventory.
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish.
  • Experience working with a team, taking direction, and working independently to develop published geospatial research products.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (3 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 )