USFS Fire Ecology Internship

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
7/21/2023 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) located in Missoula, Montana.

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 internship is an opportunity to learn about fire ecology and how to collect data related to fire ecology studies investigating how fire and fuel treatments affect forest vegetation and tree growth. The participant will participate with a team of fire ecologists and field technicians conducting research to understand how fuel treatments influence forest resilience to fire and other disturbances. The participant will also learn about white bark pine ecology and assist with projects quantifying treatment effects on tree growth and survival.

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will learn about fire ecology and fuels and management needs related to wildland fire science, as well as gain hands-on experience about techniques used to quantify wildland fire fuels and vegetation responses to fire. The participant will also travel overnight for up to 8 days at a time to field sites to collect data and learn about different ecosystems.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 5, 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for four months 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 and will be in the range of $2,800-$3,200 per month.

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 an associate's or bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. forestry-related field or ecology field with an emphasis in forest ecology), or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before June 15, 2026. Degree must have been received within the past three years.

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • The applicant should be curious and want to learn about fire ecology research, able to camp, spend time outside hiking in uneven terrain, and want to work in a team environment. 
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree received within the last 36 months or anticipated to be received by 6/15/2026 12:00:00 AM.
  • Overall GPA: 3.00
  • Discipline(s):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (5 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (48 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

The ORISE GO mobile app helps you stay engaged, connected and informed during your ORISE experience – from application, to offer, through your appointment and even as an ORISE alum!