USGS Climate Impacts Postdoctoral Fellowship on Southeastern Rare Plants

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
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.  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
12/30/2022 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USGS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) within the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Remote participation will be considered for this opportunity.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) mission is to monitor, analyze, and predict current and evolving dynamics of complex human and natural Earth-system interactions and to deliver actionable intelligence at scales and timeframes relevant to decision makers. As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, USGS collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides science about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems.

Research Project: This project will provide technical assistance and science communication regarding the impacts of climate change on rare-plant habitat in the southeastern U.S., including:

  • evaluation and interpretation of future climate projections for select geographic areas that provide habitat for rare plant species,
  • assessment of potential ecosystem- and species-level impacts from changes in climate variables, and
  • written communication of climate projections and impacts in a format that is clear, concise, and accessible to non-experts.

As time allows, the project may also involve:

  • Use and modification of software code in the R statistical language to generate and interpret custom climate variables that are relevant to plant physiology.

Results of this research will provide needed information on climate vulnerability of rare plant species for natural-resource managers from state and federal agencies, as well as non-profit conservation organizations. The project will involve close interaction with ecological scientists from non-profit conservation organizations and engagement with natural-resource management officials at state and federal agencies.

Learning ObjectivesThis appointment will also involve several learning objectives, including:

  • Increased ability to use and interpret model projections of future climate,
  • Improved understanding of climate impacts to rare plants, and
  • Enhanced skills in synthesis and communication of climate science to other audiences.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: January 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 for up to four more years upon recommendation of USGS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend based on education and experience.

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

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 USGS. Participants do not become employees of USGS, 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: If you have 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 listed in the eligibility requirements section (e.g. Environmental Science, Botany, Plant Science, Conservation Biology, Science Communication), or be currently pursuing the degree with completion by December 30, 2022.

Preferred Skills / Experience:

  • Excellent written science communication, including the ability to translate complex scientific concepts and findings into clear, concise, and easily understandable text
  • Experience interpreting climate-change projections across different greenhouse-gas scenarios, GCMs, and time periods, including model uncertainties and spread across GCMs
  • Experience with assessing climate-change impacts on species and/or ecosystems (preferably including the southeastern U.S.), including for example: changes in fire regimes, drought impacts, hydrologic changes, or phenological changes
  • Experience conducting literature reviews to synthesize information across relevant scientific studies
  • Basic understanding of plant physiology, including habitat and environmental requirements for major categories of plant species in the southeastern U.S.
  • Proficiency in the R statistical language (not necessary, but would enable more in-depth assessment of climate projections)
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (6 )