USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station and USDA California Climate Hub Postdoctoral Urban Forestry Fellowship
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
12/1/2023 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A fellowship opportunity is available within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) with the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSWRS). The selected fellow may participate out of Davis, Vallejo, or Riverside, California. Options for remote or hybrid participation may be considered.

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.

The PSWRS leads research and development to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of forests and grasslands. The Pacific Southwest Research Station, along with its many partners, advances science to support sustainability and biodiversity of ecosystems, hydrologic functioning of watersheds, and the livability and provisioning of services across the wildland to urban gradient in California, Hawai’i, and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands, as well as across the US and around the world. Its Humans and Nature priority area, focuses on connections among human communities and ecosystems including understanding the effects of urban and community forests on air quality, heat island effects, energy use, human health and well-being, and other ecosystem services. The USDA Climate Hub in Davis is a cross-agency and multi-institutional effort to develop and deliver science-based, region-specific information and technologies to agricultural, forestry, and natural resource managers that enable climate-informed decision-making.

Research ProjectThe USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station in collaboration with the USDA California Climate Hub is recruiting a talented individual to serve as an Urban Forestry Fellow and develop science-based tools and information products that will improve urban forest management in the context of a changing climate. The scope of the projects undertaken by the fellow can adjust to align with the fellow’s skills and interests but should be anchored in California and enhance collaboration between the USDA Forest Service and Climate Hubs. The fellow will join a cohort of interdisciplinary fellows in the network of 10 USDA Climate Hubs.

Under the guidance of a mentor, fellowship activities may include:

  • Conduct a literature review on urban forestry and climate change;
  • Assess tree species vulnerability in select California cities including inventories, planting records, municipal species policies;
  • Evaluate potential adaptation strategies for urban forests, focusing on California, but also potentially comparing to urban ecosystems outside of the U.S.;
  • Participate in state and regional conferences and events (including travel) to enhance capacity relevant to preparing USDA for research engagement with different constituencies;
  • Build relationships and facilitate networking with academic institutions, professional or advocacy groups, and practitioners to improve access to data and tools that will support USDA’s climate change adaptation efforts related to urban forestry

Learning ObjectivesThe ORISE fellow will join an interdisciplinary team investigating climate adaptation and mitigation issues in urban forestry. The fellow will gain skills in science communication with managers and researchers, conducting science synthesis, data mining, and collaborating with partners.

MentorThe co-mentors for this opportunity are Natalie van Doorn ( and Lara Roman ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact either mentor(s).

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

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for two years 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 annual stipend for this opportunity is $76,000 - $86,000 and includes a health insurance supplement. 

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 a doctoral degree, with expected completion by December 31, 2023. The degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills/experience:

  • The fellowship is suitable to those with experience in an array of natural, physical, or social science fields, including but not limited to ecology, forestry, urban forestry, horticulture, landscape architecture, urban planning, climate science, geography, environmental science/studies, or earth science.
  • Demonstrated skills with quantitative data and science writing.
  • Familiarity with climate change related to urban landscapes, forestry, or urban forestry, and an interest in applied research/technical assistance and education.
  • R skills and GIS skills are beneficial for this fellowship
  • Successful candidates will be well-organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated, diligent with problem-solving, function well independently and in collaborative team settings, and have a high capacity for science communication.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 12/31/2023 12:00:00 AM.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students or Postdoctoral.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Business (1 )
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (21 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (40 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (3 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (30 )

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