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USFS Fire Ecology Internship

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USFS Office/Lab and Location: Two research opportunities are available with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) located in Missoula, Montana.

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: This internship is an opportunity to learn about fire ecology research projects and gain skills in quantifying fuels, conducting heating experiments, and laboratory techniques. The participant will be part of a team of fire ecologists researching how live and dead fuels affect flammability and fire effects on trees. 

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will learn about fire ecology and fuels and management needs related to wildland fire science, as well as gain hands-on experience about techniques used to quantify wildland fire fuels, flammability, and tree responses to fire. The participant may also be able to travel to field sites to collect data, so overnight travel is a possibility.

MentorThe mentor for this opportunity is Sharon Hood ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall/Winter 2021.  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.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment can be part-time (20-30 hours per week) or full-time (40 hours per week), depending on the candidate's availability.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

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.