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Research Fellowships

Assessing Soil Responses in Recently Restored Coastal Salt Marshes

EPA Office of Research and Development

EPA National Science Foundation Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) & Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Opportunities

Opportunity Title:

Assessing Soil Responses in Recently Restored Coastal Salt Marshes

Research Area:

Sustainable and Healthy Communities

EPA Lab/Center/Office:

Office of Research & Development, Atlantic Coastal Environmental Sciences Division, Ecosystem Management & Restoration Branch


Narragansett, RI


6 - 12 months

Brief Summary:

Ongoing restoration projects in Rhode Island are testing different methods to build coastal marsh resistance and resilience. In this project, the student will examine the soil responses to hydrological restoration (i.e., runnel creation) and thin layer placement of dredged materials to coastal marshes. Restored marshes are hypothesized to have increased resistance to erosion and improved resilience to flooding events and storm surges. Soil parameters of pH, bulk density, moisture, salinity, oxidation-reduction status, and shear strength between reference marshes and restored sites will help predict trajectories of change in the coastal areas. The restoration monitoring will be carried out through partnerships and engagement with community, state, and federal groups.

Opportunity Description:

Graduate student will participate in a multi-partner restoration effort to develop scientifically sound approaches to build coastal resistance and resiliency in coastal salt marshes.

Opportunities for Professional Development:

Candidate will have opportunities to interact with multiple partners including US EPA scientists, NOAA resource managers, state partners (RI Coastal Resource Management Council), and NGO’s (Save the Bay). Candidate will have an opportunity to experience first-hand the Office of Research and Development scientific planning and implementation with state partners.

Point of Contact or Mentor:

Cathleen Wigand, PhD (