Climate change is an existential threat to life on earth as we know it. Project Vesta is investigating Coastal Enhanced Weathering (CEW), a carbon dioxide removal method that enhances the weathering rate of a naturally occurring volcanic silicate with coastal wave energy to draw down CO2 from the atmosphere as it breaks down. We believe stopping (and ultimately reversing) global warming is THE most important and impactful use of our time, and we need your expertise to assess the safety and feasibility of this approach at all scales - from the laboratory to global deployment. If you want to work on one of the most promising approaches to global-scale climate change mitigation, please join us in our mission.
Project Vesta is bringing together a global team of scientists to work on our goal of removing a trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by using coastal energy to enhance the weathering rate of the mineral olivine. We have an immediate need for an exceptional oceanographer, ideally with an emphasis on geochemistry, and with proven modeling skills to help us assess and quantify olivine weathering.
The oceanographer will be involved in all aspects of our scientific program, including guiding the project team’s decisions, laboratory studies, pilot studies, modeling work, writing papers, and designing new research projects that help us answer essential questions about the safety and feasibility of this approach to carbon dioxide removal.
This position will round out our science team, which is currently stronger on the biology/ecology side of a comprehensive and well-funded research program that is investigating the deployment effects and rates of olivine weathering at multiple scales in space and time.
Part of our efforts include creating a field research station and scientific hub for the community of scientists working on coastal enhanced weathering, which includes a mobile geochemistry laboratory and accommodation facilities on a Caribbean island where our study sites are located. These facilities are currently under development and this position will also help with planning to optimize our facilities for our needs.
Our research program is distributed among different labs in North America and Europe, but will mostly occur at our research station. We will be conducting a multi-year analysis of a large number of variables that cover the biology, ecology, geology, chemistry and physical dynamics of CEW. In addition to assisting with planning and development of our research, the oceanographer will be responsible for the data analyses of geochemical and physical parameters, as well as modeling the dynamics of olivine deployment given the environmental context of the beaches. This is an incredible opportunity for a rigorous scientist who wants to work directly on impactful change mitigation research.
- Assessing, designing and executing experiments that advance our scientific objectives
- Analyzing geochemical and physical data and publishing results
- Leading and contributing to collaborative review and primary research papers for international journals
- Developing predictive models and simulations for weathering effects, rates, and deployment siting
- Providing thoughtful and evidence-based insight to the project team about how to advance our mission in an ethically and scientifically robust manner
- Helping us select and finalize the purchase of the optimal (and your preferred) equipment for our field station
- Project management of the scientific program
- Assist with the coordination of research activities and actively contribute to research outputs in order to meet project milestones.
- Lead and contribute to research and funding proposals
- Expanding the research agenda to meet growing needs for rigorous information as operations expand into larger scales
- Reporting progress and results to other researchers, the project team, and industry partners
- Participate in and present at conferences and workshops relevant to the project as required.
- Extensive experience doing experimental research in the lab, in situ, and in silico
- Expertise in quantitative oceanography and modeling
- Proficiency working with and organizing large datasets including model output
- Excellent programming ability, including proficiency in Matlab or Python or comparable languages
- Experience managing a complex research program
- Ability to analyze and critically assess oceanographic research, models and observational data.
- An existing collaborative network
- Strong scientific writing skills in English
- Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research with limited supervision.
- An accomplished publication record in alignment with career level
- PhD in a related discipline
- All nationalities welcome
- Competitive salary and benefits
- Opportunity to work remotely most of the time, some travel to field station required
Project Vesta is a Far Away Project (FEIN: 82-1917723) and our vision is to help reverse climate change by turning a trillion tons of CO2 into rock. We know that reducing carbon dioxide emissions alone will not be enough to solve the climate crisis: we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When rain falls on volcanic rocks and washes them into the ocean, this weathering causes a reaction which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and locks it up in limestone at the bottom of the ocean. Project Vesta is investigating the feasibility of Coastal Enhanced Weathering – an approach where weathering rates are accelerated using high energy coastal environments – for large scale carbon dioxide removal.
Project Vesta was born out of a climate change think-tank called Climitigation. This group investigated as many carbon capture solutions as possible, searching for one with massive potential but limited progress.
Climitigation found that coastal enhanced weathering was a process with enormous potential for cheap, permanent carbon capture at massive scale. Further, they found that the technology was stuck in the lab, despite real-life beach pilots being the clear next step. No one was bringing together the combination of multidisciplinary science, government support, funding, and sheer force of will that would help this technology ‘cross the chasm’ between theory and maturity. Project Vesta was founded to do exactly this.
Project Vesta Ethos
- We are an open-source project. The work we do will be available to all in service of maximum speed and efficacy of global deployment. We are doing this for the planet, not for ourselves or for any individuals.
- We are fundamentalists about our commitment to scientific rigor. We believe that the path to global scale is paved with robust science, transparency, and the credibility that comes from these.
- We consider the entire life-cycle of the impacts of our actions. We aim to capture 20x the CO2 we emit. We measure the ecological effects of our entire process from quarries to marine ecosystems, and wherever possible seek to have a regenerative effect on local ecosystems and communities.
- Scale is paramount. Our goal is to remove tens of gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. We believe that to be seriously impactful, CO2 removal solutions must be able to achieve gigaton+ scale by 2030.
Equal Opportunity Employer
We celebrate diversity and demand equal opportunity employment. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills- because reversing climate change is going to require a diverse and unprecedented workforce. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.