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USFS Forestry Research Fellowship

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW) located in Olympia, Washington.

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.

Research ProjectThe USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station is seeking a Forestry Research Fellow with experience in forest ecology and silviculture to collaborate with a team conducting research on invasive species management and climate adaptation in PNW forests. The fellow will assist with the initiation and maintenance of several projects being implemented in Oregon and Washington.  The research of the fellow is broadly organized around three tasks which are to 1) conduct field and lab measurements for ongoing experiments related to invasive species control (e.g., Scotch broom) silviculture, and assisted migration 2) conduct literature reviews of key topics related to these experiments, and 3) utilize new and existing datasets to develop information that can be used by managers to address issues surrounding invasive species management and climate adaptation. The fellow will also have an opportunity to develop or participate in new avenues of research or other interests related to natural resource management.

Learning ObjectivesThis appointment provides an opportunity to:

  • Understand and facilitate interactions at the intersection between science and land management. The Fellow will have a tremendous opportunity to engage and interact with scientists at the research station, as well as a large and diverse group of stakeholders including the USDA National Forest System, state natural resource agencies, tribal entities, and forest industry.
  • Learn about silvicultural and natural resource management issues in the Western United States while helping to implement and maintain several long-term, high-impact experiments
  • Enhance collaborative skills as a member of a scientific team through development of questions, data collection planning and implementation, and analysis leading to publishable research relevant to natural resources management
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of Forest Service Research & Development science and National Forest System management.

The Fellow will have the opportunity to interact with scientists in Forest Service research stations, and managers in the National Forest System and other land management agencies and entities. The Fellow may explore options for future job or educational opportunities and take advantage of additional training opportunities.

MentorThe mentor for this opportunity is Robert Slesak ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 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 upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Funding is currently available for two years. 

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The current stipend for this opportunity is $54,000 per year (equal to $4,500 monthly).

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

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 master's degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Forest Ecology, Forestry, Forest Mensuration, Natural Resources), or have received a bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields combined with demonstrated experience working in a research work environment. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred Skills:

  • Strong quantitative skills with demonstrated experience in statistical analysis and proficiency in GIS
  • Understanding of silvicultural methods and treatments
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to balance multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Capacity to work independently and prioritize activities to meet project schedules
  • Capacity to publish scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Ability to effectively communicate and work with diverse stakeholders