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EPA Fellowship on Optimizing Wetland Restoration Placement for Nutrient Interception and Removal

EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA), Pacific Ecological Systems Division (PESD) in Corvallis, Oregon.

Research Project: Wetland restoration is an important strategy to reduce the release of excess nutrients to the environment, including downstream rivers, streams, and lakes. While restoration can be an effective tool for reducing excess nutrient release, the placement of wetlands on the landscape relative to nutrient sources, other wetlands, and receiving waters is important for effective management. This research will refine the tools we use to optimize the placement of restorable wetlands within watersheds to maximize nutrient interception and potential reduction at the national scale.

This research opportunity with EPA will leverage recently developed geospatial methods and datasets (Leibowitz et al. 2023) to hydrologically link several million existing and potentially-restorable wetlands to upslope nutrient sources and downstream waters. Specifically, this research will bring together EPA and other federal geospatial datasets of existing wetlands, potentially-restorable wetlands (https://rb.gy/bd0), stream and/or lake network hydrology (StreamCat/LakeCat), and landscape nutrient inventories into a connected framework that will allow for optimization of wetland restoration scenarios within several million watersheds of the conterminous US. Additional effort could join these data with long-term nutrient monitoring data to improve our understanding of nutrient interception and reduction through process-based (e.g., SWAT) or statistical modeling at large spatial extents. Click here for more information.