Postdoctoral Urban Forestry Fellowship, USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station and USDA California Climate Hub

Posted by: CAKE Team
Post Date: 2/12/2024
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station and USDA California Climate Hub
Position/Title/Fund: Postdoctoral Urban Forestry Fellowship
Type/Term: Paid internship
Location: Davis, Vallejo, or Riverside, California (hybrid/remote)
Salary: $80,000-90,000 annually
Deadline: March 1, 2024

A fellowship opportunity is available within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) with the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSWRS). The selected fellow may participate out of Davis, Vallejo, or Riverside, California. Options for remote or hybrid participation may be considered.

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.

The PSWRS leads research and development to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of forests and grasslands. The PSWRS, along with its many partners, advances science to support sustainability and biodiversity of ecosystems, hydrologic functioning of watersheds, and the livability and provisioning of services across the wildland to urban gradient in California, Hawai’i, and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands, as well as across the US and around the world. The Humans and Nature priority area focuses on connections among human communities and ecosystems, including understanding the effects of urban and community forests on air quality, heat island effects, energy use, human health and well-being, and other ecosystem services. The USDA Climate Hub in Davis is a cross-agency and multi-institutional effort to develop and deliver science-based, region-specific information and technologies to agricultural, forestry, and natural resource managers that enable climate-informed decision-making.

The co-mentors for this opportunity are Natalie van Doorn ( Lara Roman ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact either mentor(s).

Learning Objectives: 

  • The ORISE fellow will join an interdisciplinary team investigating climate adaptation and mitigation issues in urban forestry. 
  • The fellow will gain skills in science communication with managers and researchers, conducting science synthesis, data mining, and collaborating with partners.


The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station in collaboration with the USDA California Climate Hub is recruiting a talented individual to serve as an Urban Forestry Fellow and develop science-based tools and information products that will improve urban forest management in the context of a changing climate. The scope of the projects undertaken by the fellow can adjust to align with the fellow’s skills and interests but should be anchored in California and enhance collaboration between the USDA Forest Service and Climate Hubs. The fellow will join a cohort of interdisciplinary fellows in the network of 10 USDA Climate Hubs.

Under the guidance of a mentor, fellowship activities may include, depending on the skills and interests of the fellow: 

  • Conduct a literature review on urban forestry and climate change; 
  • Conduct research on one of the following topics: 
    • Collect plant trait data from available databases (e.g., TRY) and published literature to inform tree vulnerability analyses; 
    • Evaluate content in urban forest plans pertaining to climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches; 
    • Life cycle assessment of urban forestry operations 
  • Participate in state and regional conferences and events (including travel); 
  • Build relationships and facilitate networking with academic institutions, professional or advocacy groups, and practitioners to improve access to data and tools that will support USDA’s climate change adaptation efforts related to urban forestry; 
  • Create content about urban forest and climate change for USDA and USFS websites 


The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing a doctoral degree, with expected completion by August 31, 2024. The degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 


  • The fellowship is suitable to those with experience in an array of natural, physical, or social science fields, including but not limited to ecology, forestry, urban forestry, horticulture, landscape architecture, urban planning, climate science, geography, environmental science/studies, or earth science.
  • Demonstrated skills with quantitative data and science writing.
  • Familiarity with climate change related to urban landscapes, forestry, or urban forestry, and an interest in applied research/technical assistance and education.
  • R skills and GIS skills are beneficial for this fellowship
  • Successful candidates will be well-organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated, diligent with problem-solving, function well independently and in collaborative team settings, and have a high capacity for science communication.
How to Apply:

Apply online. A complete application package consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.  Selected candidate must provide proof of completion of the degree before the appointment can start.  Click Here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. At least one recommendation must be submitted in order for the mentor to view your application.
  • A copy of an abstract or reprint of an article

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.