USFS Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Climate-Adaptive Forest Management Strategies

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

Connect with ORISE...on the GO! Download the new ORISE GO mobile app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to help you stay engaged, connected, and informed during your ORISE experience and beyond!

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
5/26/2023 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 with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) within the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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 USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) are interested in developing climate-adaptive forest management strategies for forest types in the central Rocky Mountains while providing a learning experience and workforce training for an ORISE participant. The ORISE participant will assist in multiple research projects in Colorado and Wyoming with an RMRS mentor that will develop knowledge in assisted migration and reforestation.  Specifically, we aim to develop a seedling planting strategy to test assisted migration of tree species in areas that are being reforested due to wildfire, harvest, or insects as well as across two Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change study sites in Colorado (Colorado State Forest and Taylor Park ( In addition, the participant will contribute to the analysis of long-term datasets related to forest management and provenance trials. The participant will have the opportunity to interact with Forest Service R&D, Forest Service National Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University, Western Colorado University, and several NGO partners.

Learning ObjectivesThe ORISE participant will gain workforce training in the scientific process for the fields of forestry, silviculture, and climate change adaptation strategies. The participant will gain experience in project development, interaction with land managers, conducting research with long-term datasets, data interpretation and analysis, and oral/written communication. In addition, the ability to contribute to a scientific publication will aid in the career development of the ORISE participant.

MentorThe mentor for this opportunity is Michael Battaglia ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 1, 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. The current yearly stipend for this opportunity is $60,000 - $65,000. 

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

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 related fields of silviculture, forest ecology, forestry, or ecosystem science.  An interest in research addressing applied management questions and a publication record in the field is desired.

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience in research related to reforestation, assisted migration, and forest management.
  • Experience with data analysis of climate data, tree rings, and plant growth-climate relationships.
  • Strong analytical skills and demonstrated experience in using geospatial data to help inform forest management.
  • Strong writing skills and demonstrated experience in collaboration with authors.
  • Ability to communicate in an effective manner with land managers about science findings.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (5 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (4 )