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September 1, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey is seeking new Mendenhall Research Fellows! The USGS Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for postdoctoral fellows to conduct concentrated research in association with USGS scientists, often as a final element to enhance their formal career preparation. The opportunities are open through Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

About twenty years ago, the USGS started a new postdoctoral research program in honor of Walter C. Mendenhall (1871-1957), the fifth Director of the USGS. The Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program (now the Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program) provides postdoctoral Fellows, in a variety of fields, the opportunity to conduct research that enhances their experiences, scientific stature and credentials. 

This year is the third year in the history of the program that all five of the USGS Mission Areas are participating. We have 44 new research opportunities in various locations throughout the U.S., and across several disciplines.  

Dr. Heather Tollerud with graphic for USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
Dr. Heather Tollerud with graphic for USGS EROS podcast "Eyes on Earth."
The Mendenhall Program offers a range of two-year post-doctoral research fellowships within the U.S. Geological Survey. Heather Tollerud took advantage of the program in 2015 to study drought and land cover at the USGS EROS Center, and has since become a key player in the Center’s innovative Land Change Monitoring, Assessment and Projection (LCMAP) initiative. In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear how Dr. Tollerud went from studying the harsh playas of northwestern Nevada to leading research and development for a national-scale project at the USGS. 
 

Heather Tollerud took advantage of the program in 2015 to study drought and land cover at the USGS EROS Center, and has since become a key player in the EROS Center’s innovative Land Change Monitoring, Assessment and Projection (LCMAP) initiative. In this episode of the EROS Center podcast “Eyes on Earth,” Tollerud shares how she went from studying the harsh playas of northwestern Nevada to leading research and development for a national-scale project at the USGS.

Prospective Mendenhall Research Fellowship applicants are encouraged to contact the Research Advisor(s) for the Research Opportunity of interest to coordinate the development of a research proposal. More information on Research Opportunities and specific application requirements can be found here

Image shows two women in PFDs kneeling and collecting a sample in sediments by a water body
Noa Randall and Rachel Allen are installing an optical turbidity sensor on the mudflats in Wellfleet harbor, to pair with the altimeter run by the Center for Coastal Studies.  The Herring River, which drains into Wellfleet Harbor, is slated to have its 100-yo dam removed in the next 6 months, with the potential to dramatically increase the sediment load and suspended sediment concentrations in Wellfleet Harbor.  The shallow parts of Wellfleet Harbor (where this sensor is located) have commercial oyster beds; an increase in sediment in the Harbor could negatively impact the farms and the oyster industry in Wellfleet.  The hope with this work is to observe the change in sediment dynamics in the tidal flats sea-ward of the Herring River in response to the modification of the dam. 

The postdoctoral fellows are appointed to the USGS for two years and receive full salary and benefits at the GS-12 level, step 1. Mendenhall Fellow appointments are full-time and time limited, not to exceed two years. Under certain circumstances, the appointment may be extended up to an additional two years.  

For more information, contact Cara Campbell, manager of the Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program, at ccampbell@usgs.gov or email the general Mendenhall Research Fellowship Mailbox at mendenhall@usgs.gov