*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Public Health Environmental Assessment (CPHEA), Health & Environmental Effects Assessment Division, Integrated Environmental Assessment Branch (IEAB) in collaboration with EPA Region 10 and ORD’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER). The appointment will be served in either Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, OH, Seattle, WA, or Anchorage, AK.
Research Project: CPHEA is responsible for environmental assessments that inform regulatory offices of the EPA, regions, states, and authorized tribes. CPHEA is collaborating with EPA Region 10 and ORD’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER) to assess health risks from soil, sediment, and water contamination related to disposal sites near Alaskan federally recognized Tribes. Solid waste practices employed by rural Alaskan tribal governments may be contributing to human and environmental health impacts, which may be exacerbated with the loss of permafrost and increased erosion. In some communities, human waste, household hazardous waste, and electronic waste are co-mingled with typical solid waste in Class III landfills (also commonly referred to as open dumps). The co-mingling of wastes may be causing the transport of contaminants into land and water resources.
Throughout the course of this project, the research participant will engage in scoping and problem formulation, stakeholder engagement processes, conceptual model development, literature reviews, evidence table development, and research gap analysis using a variety approaches (e.g., methods from human and ecological risk assessment, causal assessment, systematic review, human-centered design (HCD), translational science research, and social science) to assess important environmental and exposure pathways relevant to Alaskan Tribes. Projects will be conducted in collaboration with EPA Region 10, Alaskan Tribes and other stakeholders.
Under the guidance of a mentor, participant research training activities may include:
- Developing scoping and problem formulation documents
- Conducting stakeholder engagement processes
- Developing conceptual models
- Conducting literature, data, and other information searches and screening, including applying systematic review approaches and methods
- Developing evidence tables using weight of evidence approaches
- Applying HCD and other social science principles to design stakeholder engagements, gather feedback, and conduct prioritization exercises
- Preparing presentations, peer-reviewed manuscripts, and reports
The research participant will also assist with outreach and reviewing draft educational materials.
Learning Objectives: The research participant will benefit by learning and implementing risk or causal assessment methods, weight of evidence approaches, HCD and social science approaches to inform Alaskan Tribes on contaminant movement and potential human exposures to landfill contaminants. The research participant also will have the opportunity to be involved in qualitative or quantitative analyses of data and the visualization and presentation of highly relevant information. The participant will gain an understanding of how scientific evidence is used to inform decision-making processes. The research participant will also collaborate with scientific staff in CPHEA, CESER, Region 10, Alaskan Tribes, and other stakeholders.
Through this research project, the participant will gain experience co-leading virtual and in-person workshops, conducting literature reviews and screening, developing conceptual models, incorporating stakeholder feedback, and developing technical summaries of scientific priorities. The participant will further develop strong scientific writing skills evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as strong communication skills such as giving oral presentations at scientific conferences. The participant will develop knowledge of the EPA’s mission and awareness of the breadth of EPA’s programs.
Mentor(s): The mentors for this opportunity will be determined by location of appointment, and are Britta Bierwagen (email@example.com), Angel Ip (firstname.lastname@example.org), Page Jordan (Jordan.email@example.com), Craig Patterson (Patterson.firstname.lastname@example.org), Lon Kissinger (Kissinger.email@example.com), and Michelle Davis (davis.michelleV@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: ~June 2021. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three or four additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.
EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.
ORISE Information: This 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 EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, 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 see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email EPArpp@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.