Postdoctoral Opportunity in Non-Perennial Headwater Streamflow Modeling
US EPA’s Office of Research and Development in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Apply before: 9 December 2022

We have an exciting postdoctoral research opportunity opening with EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) in association with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). The research will aim to characterize the spatial and temporal variability of non-perennial headwater streamflow across several physiographic settings in the U.S. The postdoc will be located with the Center for Environmental Measurements and Modeling in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Extensive headwater stream and interacting riparian networks play an integral part in maintaining clean and plentiful water for aquatic ecosystems and human beneficial uses. Yet modeling non-perennial streamflow throughout the network is difficult, as variable factors including precipitation, physiography and contributing area change in time and space. Concurrently, stream gauge data to calibrate and verify model response for non-perennial headwater streams is often limited. Recent advancements in remote sensors, data processing capacities, and statistical approaches are bridging past technological barriers to improve simulations of surface water flows. The improved model outputs advance the underlying scientific understanding of hydrology for baseline conditions and allows for scenario development to characterize the magnitude, duration, frequency, and timing of stream drying under shifting climate conditions.

The focus of this research will be to apply watershed hydrological modeling approaches, in coordination with remotely sensed data (e.g., satellite, airborne), to improve surface flow estimates across non-perennial headwater stream networks.* A primary goal of the research is improved lateral and longitudinal characterization of stream drying in low-order stream systems. A secondary goal is to potentially apply climate scenarios to the low order stream system and document the watershed responses. This research will initially concentrate on selected watersheds within the conterminous United States where remotely sensed validation data are available.

The postdoc will collaborate with a productive and driven research team of watershed hydrologists and systems ecologists for a one-year postdoctoral research appointment (with potential extensions) on or around January 3, 2023. The postdoc will also co-lead multiple publications of the study findings in scientific journals and present at professional conferences. Our goal is for the postdoc to gain valuable experience in the applied fields of hydrologic modeling and remote sensing techniques within aquatic systems, be engaged with a collaborative working group, and produce scientific publications that will further our scientific knowledge in the area of aquatic resources.

Additional information, as well as application instructions, can be found here:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Feel free to reach out to any of the mentors with questions: Drs. Jay Christensen (, Heather Golden (, Charles Lane (, and Laurie Alexander (

  • If you do not currently consider yourself "a modeler", not to worry. If you're excited to learn about hydrologic modeling and have some scripting or coding experience, we anticipate skill development as part of the research.

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group