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Ecological Postdoctoral Researcher

The opportunity is with the Integrated Ecological Modeling Team (IEMT) of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory (EL). The IEMT specializes in computational modeling of engineered and ecological systems. The EL is one of the seven laboratories of the ERDC, which is the Army Corps of Engineers integrated research and development organization. EL provides solutions to environmental challenges for the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, and the Nation through environmental science and engineering research and development. For more information about the US Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory (EL), please visit
Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will be involved with integrating physical and ecological models, specifically for applications in dune fields as they relate to coastal resilience. The participant will first contribute to the development of an operational framework that conceptualizes the major physical and ecological drivers for dune resilience. The participant will be involved with identifying major knowledge gaps and design field experiments to address missing data and areas of uncertainty. The participant will concurrently contribute to the development of a quantitative framework for integrating physical and ecological models for dune formation and evolution. To follow, the participant will be involved with analyzing results and writing papers. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to dune ecology, ecological modeling, model evaluation, ecological study design, among others. The participant may also be involved in the following:
  • Preparing data collection products for model comparisons
  • Designing and implementing field studies for model parameterization
  • Development of model specific data input/output code
  • Routine monitoring of status of modeling runs 
The participant will collaborate closely with IEMT members and may be required to travel off-site to support ongoing research.

Appointment Length
This ORISE appointment period is 12 months in length. 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-EL. 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.
While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with DOD or any other agency, this opportunity may require a suitability investigation/background investigation. Any offer made is considered tentative pending favorable outcome of the investigation.

Candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a doctoral degree in biology, coastal ecology, or closely related field.
Preferred skills:
  • demonstrated field data collection in coastal systems
  • demonstrated data analysis skills
  • strong history of published works
  • strong background in quantitative ecological statistics and capability to learn new approaches
  • ecological innovation
  • integrating multidisciplinary datasets
  • experience working in dune systems

Eligibility Requirements

  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing.
  • Discipline(s): Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
  • Computer Sciences (17 )
  • Earth and Geosciences (23 )
  • Engineering (27 )
  • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
  • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
  • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
  • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
  • Physics (16 )
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (32 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age