USFS Geomorphological Research Fellowship in Meadow Restoration – U.S. Department of Agriculture

Fresno, California

A postgraduate research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) located in Fresno or Shaver Lake, California. Selected Fellow will have access to lab facilities and office space in Fresno and Shaver Lake (Dinkey Mill) and use of a vehicle for project participation.

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 Project:

The participant will collaborate with a diverse science team of the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) and several of its federal, state, and non-governmental partners. The participant will join the Meadows Restoration Research team to contribute to understanding hydrology and sediment delivery in fire-impacted watersheds and meadows in the Sierra Nevada. The multi-year study is assessing the efficacy of using beaver-based restoration approaches to restore degraded mountain meadow channels in burned versus unburned landscapes in the northern and southern Sierra Nevada. The participant will perform activities to review and synthesize data collected from ongoing experiments and participate in ongoing field projects scheduled to continue until fall 2025.

Learning Objectives:

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will hone their skills of teamwork and collegiality, hydrology, sediment production and delivery, statistics, and data visualization to review and analyze meteorological, hydrological, and geomorphological data from research conducted before and after meadow restoration on the Plumas and Sierra National Forests. The participant will learn to co-lead field data collection and instrument troubleshooting, topographical surveying, using software to review and adjust electronic data based on other field records, developing algorithms to review data, analyzing and interpreting results, and communicating results via written and oral presentations.


The mentor for this opportunity is Joe Wagenbrenner ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 5, 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year but may be extended upon recommendation of USFS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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