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Internship - Hydrological Modeling Research - College Park, MD

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) performs research on ocean, estuarine, riverine, and watershed systems in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of Defense (DOD) Task Force in support of the Ocean Commission. A multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and support personnel work in CHL's internationally known, unique facilities. This team has developed state-of-the-art experimental and computational models for solving water resource problems worldwide. Physical facilities of approximately 1.7 million square feet and high-performance computing facilities at the DOD Supercomputing Research Center ( are the basic infrastructure for producing cutting-edge products for successful coastal, inland water resources, and navigation management. CHL work, although primarily in support of the DOD and the Corp's districts, also interfaces with other federal, state and local agencies, academia, conservation groups, and the general public, as appropriate. The Research Participation Program for USACE-ERDC-CHL provides opportunities to participate in new and on-going applied research and development projects. Research projects range from design guidance to three-dimensional computational models. Focus is placed on inland and coastal navigation, military logistics over the shore, dredging, flood control, storm and erosion protection, waterway restoration, fish passage, hydro-environmental modeling, water/land management, and other water and sediment-related issues facing the nation. For more information about USACE-ERDC-CHL, please visit

Two projects located in College Park, Maryland

Project 1:  Reservoir Incorporation into Hydrologic Modeling

This project will involve research into improvements to streamflow modeling and database construction with tasks relevant to Reservoir Incorporation into Hydrologic Modeling. Additionally, the participant will test the database of reservoirs in the U. S. and globe and prepare the archive of reservoir information such as reservoir storage and geographical locations. 

Project 2: Estimation of Sediment Yield for Entire Mississippi River Basin

This project will establish sediment yields for all catchments of the Mississippi River Basin with more than 1.2 million river reaches. The project team performed Phase 1 of this analysis for the Ohio River Basin in Fiscal Year 2018 with promising results for many locations. Phase 1 used empirical regressions with available GIS, discharge, and sediment data to calculate sediment yields and quantify uncertainties. In Phase 2, the methods will be extended to cover the entire Mississippi River Basin (MRB). The project will provide a valuable data set of approximate sediment yields which can fill spatial, or resource-limited, gaps. The accuracy of the resulting data set will be evaluated and presented using USGS observed sediment load data. 

Through engaging in these research projects at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), the two academic researchers will gain advanced knowledge in advanced modeling techniques and the projects will allow the academic researchers (e.g. recent graduates or students) to continue their research while advancing the capabilities of the USACE, ERDC and the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory.

Appointment Length
This ORISE appointment is for a 4 month period. Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Participant Benefits
Participants will receive a stipend to be determined by ERDC-CHL. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:
  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training and Travel Allowance

Nature of Appointment
The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

Candidates are expected to have experience working with big data in the NetCDF format. The project requires to retrieve hydrologic and sediment data from online servers and post process them. The primary program language is Python in the project. Further, applicants with hydrologic or related fields are encouraged to apply for this research opportunity.

Minimum GPA requirement is 3.0.

Currently pursuing or received Bachelor, Master, or Doctoral Degree required.

Desired start date: June, 2019.