Post-Doctoral Research Program

Satellite Water Quality Modeling and Forecasting

Project number:CEMM-11-01-2023-06
Brief description of research project:This is an opportunity in the Watershed and Ecosystem Characterization Division, Ecosystem Condition Branch. The Ecosystem Condition Branch supports the Clean Water Act by developing methods and indicators to monitor and assess aquatic environments. This position will focus on development, enhancement, and operational transition of national models for forecasting freshwater harmful cyanobacteria blooms and seagrass habitat change, combined with emerging remote sensing technologies. Examples include Bayesian spatio-temporal methods, machine learning or neural networks to forecast cyanobacterial blooms across 2,200 of the largest lakes using satellite data from the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (, and for seagrass classification from commercial satellites through the NASA Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program. These projects are on the cutting edge of water quality monitoring and applied satellite operations for water quality management. The candidate will have opportunities to interact with multiple federal agencies and academic universities related to satellite water quality research for inland waters and estuaries. The candidate will participate in a multidisciplinary team and have opportunities to publish, and present research findings at scientific conferences and various stakeholder engagement meetings.
Geographical location of position:Research Triangle Park, NC
High priority research areas:1) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources - Science of harmful cyanobacteria bloom forecasting. 2) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources - Coastal Community Resilience. 3) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources - Nutrient Impacts and Tools to Support Nutrient Criteria Development 4) Homeland Security - Behavior, Monitoring, Fate and Effects of Oil and Spill Treating Agents
Scientific project area:Satellite Water Quality Modeling and Forecasting
Educational requirements:PhD in Physical Science, Environmental, Mathematics, Statistics, or Computer Science
Specialized training and/or experience preferred:Computer language such as Python, R or other language.
Projected duration of appointment:3 years
Paid relocation to EPA work location:Yes
Application Period Open Date:Nov 14, 2023
Application Period Close Date:Dec 29, 2023
Scientific contact/Principal Investigator(s)*: Blake Schaeffer,, 919-541-5571

*This person/persons may be contacted for additional scientific information about this project. This person is not authorized to accept applications, make job offers, set salaries, establish start dates or discuss benefits. See general announcement for details on how to apply.