National Wetland Condition Assessment Plant Data Research & Support

Funding Agency:
Environmental Protection Agency

A postgraduate research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW). This appointment will be served with the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds located in Washington, DC.

The participant will be located in the Monitoring and Analysis Branch and support activities related to the National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS) program, with a focus on the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA; NWCA is a statistically based survey designed to characterize the ecological condition of wetlands across the conterminous United States every 5 years. It is a component of the NARS program and a key activity in EPA’s efforts to achieve national water-quality goals under the Clean Water Act.

Throughout their appointment, the selected participant will research and learn about EPA’s efforts to monitor and assess wetland and other aquatic resources via large-scale, statistically-based studies such as the NWCA. Most of their focus will be to support scientific research activities related to wetland plant data collected in NWCA and may include:

  • Research on wetland plant species characteristics and compiling information on species traits (e.g., nativity, coefficients of conservatism)
  • Learning techniques to compile and perform quality assurance of plant data collected in NWCA
  • Research into biological indices (e.g., floristic quality, vegetation) to describe wetland condition
  • Analyzing and presenting data collected during NWCA surveys
  • Collaborating with EPA scientists and partners on preparations for next NWCA survey in 2021

The participant will gain an understanding of EPA’s Clean Water Act programs and observe how EPA coordinates with States, Tribes, and other federal agencies to meet national water quality goals. The participant will have the opportunity to interact with resource managers and scientists from other agencies and across the country. Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will generate reports, analyze data, create outreach materials, and have opportunities to submit and present research and project results to interagency groups, professional societies and conferences, and scientific publications. 

Deadline: Oct. 1, 2019

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, with a significant focus on wetland plants and plant communities, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by October 1, 2019. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 

Amount Description

The annual stipend rate will be as follows based on educational level: $47,016 (Bachelors), $57,510 (Masters), $69,581 (PhD), $83,398 (PhD + 2 years of related postgraduate experience). 

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students


Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

October 1, 2019