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High Meadows Post-Doc Fellow, Carbon Storage

Solving the climate crisis requires a suite of strategies, including efforts to increase carbon held within natural systems like forests, soil and oceans while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from these systems. The potential magnitude of these pools has led to a variety of bold proposals with varying levels of scientific-standard integration for evaluating the scale, efficacy or potential tradeoffs involved. The situation risks under-delivering on the climate benefits possible by drawing attention and investment to efforts with limited or even damaging impacts. 

EDF intends to develop a neutral, curated on-line platform where suites of global experts on specific nature-based solutions for carbon storage can share and build the natural and social evidence that defines realistic scales for each pool. The platform would be dynamic and subject to ongoing review and updating, potentially run like a curated wiki, ensuring that the community at large debates assumptions based on best available data. Such a process would make both positive and negative claims more transparent, as they would have to address the current best assumptions as captured on the platform and justify any reasons for disagreement. The intent of this project is to accelerate the effective evaluation of assumptions, constraints, and measurements of carbon dioxide removal and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in natural ecosystems as well as agricultural and forestry systems. The resulting syntheses and conclusions will then be the basis for sound policy development to enable global net zero emissions by 2050.

Environmental Defense Fund seeks a recent Ph.D. recipient to help design and coordinate content and curation of a neutral, transparent evidence platform on which data and knowledge from experts across diverse scientific communities can be integrated and synthesized. The fellow will identify and convene experts to develop specific questions for analysis, analyze datasets, and develop estimates of the realistic scale of nature-based solutions. The fellow will also be responsible for working with a web developer on design specifications for the platform.

  • Help design the nature-based solutions program and oversee its implementation;
  • Identify and coordinate scientists, economists, and social scientists in developing the design of a platform focused on transparent and dynamic discussion on the factors that determine the scale of realistic implementation of nature-based climate solutions;
  • Oversee the development of the web-based platform to meet identified criteria;
  • Foster input and help curate the data, synthesis, and discussion on the platform to resolve current disparities in estimates of carbon dioxide removal possible in various natural pools;
  • Use analytics to integrate and synthesize the input received, focused on catalyzing data-driven science and advocacy;
  • Write papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and reports/fact sheets/blog posts for general audiences on the realistic versus theoretical potential of nature-based climate solutions;
  • Maintain and build ties to the academic/research communities, through outreach, presentations at workshops and conferences, informal contacts, etc.;
  • Pursue projects and collaborations in her/his own areas of interest;
  • Participate in EDF’s professional development program for post-doctoral fellows.

  • A recent Ph.D. in carbon cycling or climate science with interest in working at the interface of science and policy
  • Strong analytical, statistical and synthetic skills
  • Demonstrated record of scientific work
  • Superior oral and written communication and networking skills
  • Familiarity with nature-based climate solutions
  • Interest in and demonstrated capacity for translating scientific theory into real-world applications and practice
  • Ability to work with and communicate effectively with researchers and non-scientists
  • Ability to work as a member of a highly collaborative team in a fast-paced environment

This Fellowship will preferably be based in EDF’s Washington, D.C. office, but is open to other locations and remote postings.

This position is a two-year post-doctoral fellowship.

Application Materials 
Please apply to this position using a CV, a letter of interest, and any publications relevant to the above project.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.
With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.
EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.