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 are preparing to deploy our first pilot project on a Caribbean island to quantify the effects of olivine on the ecosystem and we have an immediate need for an “everything” analyst and lab manager to help run and oversee the experiment. We are building out a state-of-the-art, standalone lab (which you can have significant input on) to carry out the research in the field. This is an incredible opportunity for someone who wants to be on the frontiers of climate change mitigation research. In this role you will have a high degree of responsibility and independence. You will be part of an international team of outstanding scientists, and you will get to help build out and run your own lab at a field station in a tropical paradise.
First and foremost, you must understand the unique conditions of working in the field! While the role appears idyllic, it is often challenging, and we expect you to be able to articulate some of these aspects in an interview. You should either have your own professional experience doing field work, or you will have done thoughtful research into what the experience will be like. Comparable experience in other areas of life will also be considered.
We are building a pair of shipping container labs that will act as a well-equipped geochemistry analysis facility located near our research sites in the Caribbean. We will be analyzing seawater, porewater, and sediments for a large suite of parameters including metals, organic and inorganic carbon, alkalinity, nutrients, pH, particle size, mineral composition, and more.
- Helping us select and finalize the purchase of the optimal (and your preferred) equipment for a field lab
- Creating and keeping a live inventory of all equipment and consumables, with triggers for making restocking purchases and routine maintenance
- Keeping meticulous records of all laboratory activities
- Creating, following, and teaching laboratory protocols to all users for each piece of equipment
- Operating and running analyses on all lab equipment including ion chromatography, XRD analysis, flow injection analyzers, TOC and elemental analyzers, coulometers, auto-titrators, spectrophotometers, HPLC, and general lab equipment and their peripherals.
- Troubleshooting issues that will inevitably arise with the equipment, including minor repairs, routine maintenance, and hiring repair technicians if necessary
- Having a complete knowledge of the analytical pitfalls, mistakes, and false results that can arise from each piece of equipment, as well as methods of identifying and coping with these
- Extensive experience running seawater, porewater, and/or marine sediment analysis in geochemical analysis lab
- Experience managing lab equipment and facilities
- Experience operating and fixing a variety of lab and other equipment
- Evidence of field work experience or working in challenging physical conditions
- A deep sense of dedication to working on combating the climate crisis
- Extraordinary organizational skills and systems
- A dexterous intelligence that can solve hard problems independently and creatively
- A commitment to harmonious and productive collaboration
- Meticulous attention to detail in planning and procedure
- Enthusiasm for the Project Vesta mission and ethos
- A good fit with Project Vesta culture. Our culture is playful and informal, but we take our work and the responsibilities of it incredibly seriously. We support and care for each other as people and collaborators, and all of our decisions are framed by multitemporal ethics and scientific rigor.
- Previously run a geochemical analytical facility in an academic setting
- Are an active researcher with a publication record
- Experience with off-the-grid power generation and distribution equipment
- Due to our international team, Spanish speaking is a plus
- Master’s or higher (PhD preferred) in a related discipline with evidence of analytical work
- Competitive salary
- Accommodations in paradise :)
- Opportunity to bring a partner, who can optionally take on an additional paid administrative role
- Starting employment term of 1 year with opportunity to extend if the employee is thriving in the field setting
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.
- 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.
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.