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Opportunity at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Impacts of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Inputs on Ecosystem Services


Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division

RO# Location
22.02.09.B7165 Corvallis, OR 97333


Name E-mail Phone
Compton, Jana E. 541.754.4620


Nitrogen (N) inputs to the biosphere have increased by nearly five-fold under human influence in the conterminous US. These N inputs have been used to feed, clothe, heat, and transport human communities, yet their environmental effects include a cascade of impacts to air, land, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems. This project will quantify the inputs, sources, transformations, and effects of nitrogen in order to improve management and policy decisions for air and water quality. Models, GIS analyses, and literature review will be used to estimate the N inputs, outputs, and removal within many ecosystem types within the US, including wetlands, riparian areas, and river networks (headwater streams, perennial streams, and large rivers). Our previous work has focused on conducting national inventory and mapping of nitrogen inputs to the US landscape at varying watershed scales, modeling comparisons to examine the agreement for N source attribution, and modeling of scenarios of N use at the national scale. The primary duty station is the Freshwater Ecology Branch of the Western Ecology Division (WED) located in Corvallis, Oregon. The Associate will work closely with WED and other EPA scientists as part of a national EPA program in the impacts of nitrogen within EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program.

We seek an Associate to conduct assessments of the social, environmental, and economic implications of interventions in the N cycle designed to achieve reductions in N inputs. Work would involve combining information with N source data to conduct life cycle assessments of nitrogen use and options for reducing N inputs at national or large regional scales. The Associate would also contribute to and maintain a recently developed database of ecosystem service response functions related to nitrogen loads. Analyses should focus on spatially explicit data sets (both existing and emerging) to enhance understanding of spatial and temporal dynamics of N impacts on ecosystem services and the economy. Life cycle assessments could be targeted to address agricultural N management, grey and green infrastructure, or options for reducing N emissions to air.


Ecosystem services; Ecology; Nitrogen; Modeling; Biogeochemistry; Water quality; Air quality; Natural resource economics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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