USFS Postdoctoral Fellowship on Wildfire Risk Reduction, Forestry Infrastructure, and Community Impacts in the Pacific Northwest

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
3/1/2024 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A postdoctoral fellowship opportunity is available within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) with the Pacific Southwest Research Station located in Arcata, California. Location is flexible within the region, with office space available in Arcata, California.

The USDA Forest Service Research and Development (FS R&D) is the world's largest forestry research organization. FS R&D conducts ecological and social science research to understand ecosystems, how humans influence those systems, and how to manage for sustained and enhanced benefits. FS R&D operates five Research Stations, the Forest Products Laboratory, and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry. It employs more than 500 scientists, as well as several hundred technical and support personnel located at 67 sites throughout the United States.

The Pacific Southwest Research Station represents FS R&D in the states of California and Hawai'i and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. The region has the lowest, driest desert in the country, the highest elevations within the 48 contiguous states, and the wettest tropical forests. It is home to an abundant diversity of native plants and animals and nearly half of the Nation's threatened and endangered species. PSW scientists conduct a broad array of natural resources research to achieve our mission to "develop and communicate science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and their benefits to society."

For more information, see our website:

Research ProjectThe USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellow to investigate impacts of the Forest Service’s 2022 Wildfire Crisis Strategy (WCS) on communities in high priority landscapes for wildfire risk reduction in the Pacific Northwest, with particular focus on Northern California. This project will examine community capacity to support implementation of the WCS, as well as livelihood and equity issues surrounding its implementation. The successful candidate will participate under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Vance Martin and join a larger team of collaborators, with partners from the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, and Cal Poly Humboldt. This research aims to elucidate: A) how socio-economic transformations – including reductions in forestry infrastructure and changes in workforce capacity and geography – are affecting implementation of the WCS; B) whether and how rural communities are able to take advantage of new investments in wildfire risk reduction and forest restoration given shifting local economies and declines in forest management capacity over the past several decades; and C) identify community impacts of WCS roll-out, with an eye toward equity concerns and how recent wildfires have affected local capacity to engage in forest management work. Results will inform management and policy decision-making by federal, state, tribal, and community entities.

The postdoctoral researcher will conduct field research in the Northern California region, co-leading primary qualitative data collection via semi-structured interviews with organizational representatives across multiple sites in Northern California and southern Oregon, in and around the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, and Six Rivers National Forests. They will code interview transcripts and contribute to analysis and interpretation of findings, as well as triangulation and synthesis with other data gathered by research collaborators. The postdoc will participate in close coordination with the supervisor (Dr. Martin) and other research team members. They will have the opportunity to collaborate on related projects (around post-fire recovery, community resilience, and sense of place), and to contribute to production of research products (scientific journal articles, conference presentations, and other forms of public outreach). 

Learning ObjectiveParticipants will build research skills, empirical expertise, and gain experience as a research fellow with the U.S. Forest Service, furthering professional development in the human dimensions of natural resource management.

MentorThe mentor(s) for this opportunity is Dr. Jeff Vance Martin ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 1, 2024.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment is for one year but may be extended upon recommendation of USFS and contingent on the availability of funds

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time, or part-time, and is negotiable.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive an annual stipend of $75,000 and a supplement will be provide for health insurance.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

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 applicant should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g., Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Natural Resource Management, Socio-ecological Systems), or be currently pursuing the degree with completion before June 1, 2024. Degree must have been received within eighteen months of the appointment start date.

Members of historically underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply.

Preferred skills/experience:

  • Familiarity with the region (U.S. West / Pacific Northwest) and/or relevant themes (rural economies, land/resource management, wildfire issues)
  • Experience with interdisciplinary research design, qualitative methods, literature reviews, and independent research (including fieldwork)
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis package(s) (e.g., MAXQDA, ATLAS.ti, NVivo) preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and collaborative problem-solving ability
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree received within the last 18 months or anticipated to be received by 12/31/2023 12:00:00 AM.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students or Postdoctoral.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (5 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (7 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

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