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Agricultural Soil Carbon Scientist

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
Santa Monica, California, US
Closing date
Feb 15, 2022

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and Farm Bill conservation programs, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.

Position Summary

NRDC is seeking an Agricultural Soil Carbon Scientist to work with the Regenerative Agriculture team in any of our U.S. offices. Remote working arrangement will be considered for the right applicant. The science is increasingly clear that we cannot stay below the most dangerous climate thresholds without removing significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Regenerating U.S. agricultural soils can help us meet our climate goals, while providing a host of additional benefits, such as increased resiliency, enhanced biodiversity, improved water quality, and strengthened rural economies.

The Agricultural Soil Carbon Scientist will help shape and inform NRDC's policy positions and advocacy engagement on agricultural soil carbon issues. They will ensure that our policy interventions are designed with the latest science to support them, taking into account relevant differences in geographies, soil types, and cropping systems, for example. The Scientist will work closely with NRDC's Regenerative Agriculture team, as well as with other NRDC scientists and experts on food and agriculture policy, communications, and government affairs.

Since March 2020, NRDC's offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until circumstances allow us to fully re-open, we will continue to support staff with remote working arrangements. Upon formal re-opening, fully-remote arrangements are not guaranteed and will be (i) limited and (ii) based on institutional objectives.


Serve as in-house expert on soil carbon science, staying informed of the latest literature and advising our team on how to advocate credibly and with integrity on the role that soils can play in mitigating climate change;

Review and develop technical comments in response to agency proposals;

Review, develop and provide technical advice on legislative language;

Engage with decisionmakers including relevant agency staff and legislators;

Model and track the impact of our policy solutions and progress toward meeting our climate goals;

Garner support from soil scientists to guide federal research policy around regenerative agriculture, to ensure agriculture is part of the climate solution.


The following qualifications are required:

PhD in Soil Science, Agronomy, Biogeochemistry, Ecology, or other related field, or Master of Science in the same with 5+ years of experience in a laboratory or research position;

Understanding of the issues surrounding agricultural soil carbon sequestration and soil health principles;

Experience with translating science to communicate with the general public;

Demonstrated commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, particularly in the agricultural sector;

The desire to be a part of a close-knit team, while independently carrying out fundamental job responsibilities; and

Excellent inter-personal, organizational, and time management skills.

The following qualifications are desired:

Willingness to learn new topic areas and rethink assumptions;

Familiarity with U.S. agricultural policy;

Experience with developing models to track outcomes;

Creativity, curiosity, and willingness to listen to others' perspectives;

Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including comfort with public speaking.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Salary minimum is $85,000; salary midpoint is $95,000. Salary may be higher as appropriate for the selected candidate, with internal equity considerations taken into account.

To apply, please visit (url removed)/careers and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications NRDC receives, we will only contact candidates we would like to progress through the search process. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes, or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing (phone number removed).

For further information about NRDC, please visit .
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