Satellite Remote Sensing of Inland and Estuarine Water Quality
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Exposure Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
A postdoctoral research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL). This appointment will be served in the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) develops methods for characterizing chemical and physical stressors with special emphasis on ecological exposure. This program builds landscape and regional assessment capabilities through the use of remote sensing and advanced spatial analysis techniques. Research involves the application of advanced monitoring technology to issues involving surface waters at a variety of scales.
This research project is part of a larger collaborative effort between the U.S. EPA, NASA, NOAA and USGS to provide an approach for mainstreaming satellite ocean color capabilities into U.S. fresh and brackish water quality management decisions. The overarching project goal is to support the environmental management and public use of U.S. lakes, reservoirs and estuaries by providing the capability to detect and quantify cyanobacteria blooms using satellite data records. Satellite remote sensing tools may enable policy makers and environmental managers to assess the sustainability of watershed ecosystems, and the services they provide, under current and future land use practices. Satellite technology allows for the development of cyanobacteria early-warning indicators at the local scale with continuous, synoptic national coverage. The research project is structured within a sustainability framework for a more holistic approach including environmental, human health and economic considerations.
The multi-agency collaborative effort has six main components: (1) develop a uniform and systematic approach for identifying cyanobacteria blooms across the contiguous U.S.; (2) evaluate and refine algorithms across satellite platforms; (3) link impacts of landscape changes and bloom events; (4) demonstrate that satellites can link exposure and human health effects in drinking and recreational waters; (5) evaluate the economic value of the satellite early warning system; and (6) disseminate data and training for stakeholders.
The research participant will have a unique opportunity to work within a large multi-disciplinary team to apply satellite ocean color instruments to address management and other issues related to monitoring harmful and nuisance algal blooms nationally. The project will disseminate information derived from ocean color instruments onboard Aqua, Sentinel-3, Sentinel-2 and Landsat through an Android mobile application and the EnviroAtlas. A strategy for evaluation, validation and refinement of algorithms for use with other satellite instruments, such as PACE, will also be developed. The project is on the cutting edge of water quality monitoring and applied satellite operations.
This research training opportunity will involve the research participant in innovative, relevant and impactful research that will integrate the application of satellite remote sensing of water quality with human health, environmental and economic data, and will allow him/her to advance expertise in the use of satellite remote sensing of water quality to improve novel decision support tools such as mobile applications. The research participant will be involved in the collaboration of a large, multi-federal agency team with local and regional water quality managers and will broaden professional networks through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at meetings and conferences.
Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in aquatic ecology, algal ecology, marine ecology, ocean optics, landscape or spatial ecology, and/or a related field within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. Experience in computer coding language, (e.g. MATLAB, Python, R, or IDL) and satellite ocean color remote sensing is desired.
The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).
The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. Funding may be made available to reimburse a participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant’s health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.
How to Apply:
An application can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NERL-ESD-2015-01 when calling or writing for information.
For further details, see: