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Job Opportunities

Title: New Postdoctoral fellowship on the Analysis of Atmospheric Carbon Removal Strategies
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)
Principal Investigator: David G. Victor, UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, School of Global Policy and Strategy, and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering

The Carbon Removal Initiative (CRI) is a new research enterprise within the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography unit (CASPO) housed at SIO that will analyze the potentials for slowing and stopping climate change through massive deployment of atmospheric carbon removal strategies. It will fund and perform research at the frontier of climate sciences relevant to carbon removal and focus its efforts on systems analysis—the modes and speed at which carbon removal systems can scale and their overall impact on the climate system.

To advance this program, CRI will hire at least one post-doctoral scholar for a term of likely two years (extendable) to work physically at SIO in two domains. First, the successful scholar will have the freedom to pursue their own research agenda broadly in this theme, drawing on established analytical techniques from one or more disciplines such as resource economics, political economy, and organizational sociology and the physical sciences. Our interest is less in the particular discipline and more in the ability to synthesize insights across disciplines. Preference will be given to candidates with quantitative backgrounds, including modeling, but our highest priority is analytical insight. Second, the scholar will work with CRI leadership along with key members of the SIO and UC San Diego faculty to help stand up a larger research program around carbon removal systems analyses—efforts that include conducting new research (set to begin this year) on topics such as soil carbon sequestration, direct air capture and mangrove preservation and restoration as well as cross-campus collaborations, partnerships with technology developers, joint funding applications, seminars, and conferences. The CRI is already substantially funded, allowing the program to take off immediately.

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers a unique environment for this research, for it is not only a leading research institution in the study of Earth and ocean systems and the physical dimensions of climate change, but also because CRI is centered on interdisciplinary research, with deep ties to the engineering and public policy schools at UC San Diego. Under the umbrella of the Deep Decarbonization Initiative, also co-led by PI David Victor, the three schools have a track record of publishing interdisciplinary analysis of climate change mitigation strategies that emphasize whether and how such strategies can work in the real world by considering interactions of social, political, economic, engineering, and physical systems. CRI will build on this foundation.

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. and a proven track record as a scholar, with the ability to self-initiate and organize studies while also working in teams. Demonstrated experience with systems modeling and related modeling techniques is essential (examples). Knowledge of atmospheric, biologic, and/or geologic carbon science is required. An understanding of the drivers of technological change as well as the current carbon removal landscape, including policy, technical, and economic trends and issues, is a big plus. We are looking for a highly analytical thinker adept at identifying and modeling systems and trends across a variety of traditional disciplines. 

Interested applicants should send their CV, cover letter and a research statement to Steve Carlson.

UC San Diego is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence and diversity.