USFS Postgraduate Fellowship in Science Communication: Colorado

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Fort Collins, COLORADO
Deadline: 31 Mar 2023

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Fort Collins, Colorado
Job Category
Last Date to Apply
*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis. USFS Office/Lab and Location: A science communication fellowship opportunity is available within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS), with the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) Science Application and Communication staff located in Fort Collins, Colorado. This fellow will collaborate with RMRS communication, science delivery, and research staff to share relevant science with practitioners and other target audiences in the western US. 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 U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station serves the science needs of land managers in twelve states in the Intermountain West and research applications extend nationally and globally. Basic and applied research conducted by RMRS supports science-based planning on forests and grasslands throughout the U.S. Research Project: With the goal of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Forest Service and beyond, the primary focus of this science communication fellowship is to reach traditionally or often excluded groups. The fellow will identify existing communication methods and audiences reached with current RMRS communication efforts and identify new communication methods, platforms, and tools to reach groups currently not being reached. Groups who may be interested in RMRS science but not currently reached may include non-English speakers, tribal nation members, rural and urban groups, and young generations. The fellow will also engage on a wide variety of science communication topics including climate change, forestry, wildlife, agriculture, and rangelands. The fellow will help connect science with managers, decisionmakers, and the public by developing communication materials such as briefing papers, web content, presentations, and webinars. The fellow may also support, plan, and implement in-person workshops. Learning Objectives: The fellow will participate alongside the RMRS Science Delivery Lead and be mentored by a vibrant and dedicated team. This fellowship offers a unique opportunity to build skills in STEM, science delivery and translation, public relations, communications, stakeholder engagement and outreach. With guidance from an experienced mentor, the participant will gain experience in collaborating with a wide variety of federal, state and local agency, university and private stakeholders and science users. Specifically, the participant will gain experience by: - Drafting communication materials including website content, social media, fact sheets, infographics, podcasts, and newsletters, with guidance from mentor. - Evaluating outreach effectiveness by analyzing web metrics to enhance communication strategies. - Assessing existing communication materials and refining communications plans. - Synthesizing existing research and developing region-specific and audience-specific content and products to help connect with managers, currently excluded groups, and other stakeholders. - Identifying barriers to the creation, use, and deployment of RMRS science to traditionally or currently excluded groups. - Supporting new initiatives including science management workshops aimed at better leveraging existing information and tools and co-producing knowledge to address knowledge gaps. - Assisting with planning, logistics and implementation of field and virtual workshops. - Developing multimedia products (photo, video, storymaps, etc.) to complement the efforts listed above. Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Ilana Abrahamson ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor. Anticipated Appointment Start Date: 2023. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The 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 Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend of approximately $4,500 and a health insurance supplement will be provided. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation. ORISE Information: This 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.
The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Strongly Preferred Skills include: Demonstrated excellence in science communication across multiple disciplines for diverse audiences Excellent writing skills Ability to edit written products to improve readability, comprehension, and clarity for non-scientific / non-technical audiences. Proven experience writing for a diversity of audiences including public, policy makers, and natural resource managers. Expertise in design and development of outreach materials (e.g., briefing papers, presentations, factsheets). Innovative and creative; able to generate new ideas and methods to help accomplish program goals; willing to learn new things; detail-oriented. Social media experience using a variety of platforms. Preferred qualifications include: - Experience in rangelands, forestry, or natural resources management. - Collaboration with ranchers, natural resource managers, Native Alaskans, Tribal Nations, Indigenous peoples, farmers, forest landowners, state agencies, or other relevant groups. - Multimedia skills, including graphic design, photography, or audio/video production. - Familiarity with content entry on web platforms. - Advanced computer skills, especially in Microsoft Office applications.
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