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Soil Carbon Field Scientist Yard Stick PBC +1 more

  • Date Posted August 05, 2022
  • Location Anywhere
  • Category Agriculture
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description
Yard Stick is a remote-first, seed-stage company, with founders based in Boston and Oakland. We are on a mission to reverse climate change with agriculture. Scientists and farmers alike know that climate-friendly agricultural practices have the potential to remove atmospheric CO2 at gigaton/year scale. When these practices are adopted, more carbon is stored in soils, improving soil health and fighting climate change. But significant measurement challenges have held soil carbon efforts back - until now.
By reducing the cost of soil carbon measurement by 90%+, Yard Stick will dramatically expand the opportunities for evidence-based regenerative practices to simultaneously improve ecosystem health, increase farmer income, and combat climate change. 
Current soil carbon measurement technologies are slow, expensive, and cumbersome, relying on conventional soil cores and labs to quantify carbon stocks. In contrast, Yard Stick is fast and cheap - without sacrificing accuracy. As a testament to our technology’s potential, alongside our scientific collaborators, we were awarded a $3.6M grant from the DOE ARPA-E Smartfarm  as well as other highly competitive grant programs which reward technical merit like NSF SBIR. For more background, check out some coverage in TechCrunch or Treehugger.
We've also raised money from top climate VCs, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Bill Gates' climate fund), Lowercarbon Capital (Chris and Crystal Sacca's climate fund), MCJ Collective, and others. Details of the financing aren’t announced in a press release or article, because that can feel a bit cart before the horse, but we're happy to share more detail about our funding when we chat.
We offer competitive salary and equity, health/dental/vision insurance, a 401k, and home-office reimbursements. In terms of flexible schedules, we have founders and other team members with young families and have a strong track record of creative, flexible approaches to hours and communication expectations which let folks feel great about their commitments both to Yard Stick and their family.
Job description
This Soil Carbon Field Scientist role is critical to the success and rollout of Yard Stick’s offerings and will be our primary on-the-ground presence in California (though country-wide travel is expected). Yard Stick’s cofounders and product people are spread across the country. We need someone to be our hands, feet, eyes, and ears across our various projects as we come to market in California. We’re growing quickly, and this position will be the third full-time employee on our Field Team - an essential role with significant responsibility. 
Yard Stick was recently awarded a highly competitive grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). This grant will support Yard Stick’s R&D work on specialty produce in California - a type of agricultural land use which in the past has received less attention in soil carbon science circles. You will be primarily responsible for testing our hardware and software in specialty crop fields in California, as well as across the US to help us evaluate and improve our technology’s accuracy, durability, and usability. You will be leading projects geared towards calibrating our technology, as well as collecting measurements to quantify stocks on client lands. 
You’ll provide feedback on hardware and software tools alike, as Yard Stick has innovative offerings in both domains. Obviously, when stuff breaks, you’ll document why and help us brainstorm ways to improve. 
In the future, as our technology evolves, you’ll use conventional soil sampling techniques less and less as Yard Stick’s optical probe improves in accuracy. 
It is also expected that you will travel to participate in and contribute to curriculum development and training programs at learning events for producers and other stakeholders, attend farm demo days, and undertake and support direct outreach to growers and other industry stakeholders, including academics at top-tier universities in California and elsewhere. You’ll also be responsible for some key grant admin activities, including some basic budgeting, reporting on progress against milestones, and liaising with CDFA and other grant partners.
Yard Stick’s offerings combine a large number of disparate disciplines, including highly technical hardware, web apps which interpret our field-level measurement data, and ML pipelines which connect the two.  This person ultimately will work cross-disciplinarily along with our hardware, software, soil science, and business teams to maximize the pace of Yard Stick’s R&D and therefore climate impact, so the ability to communicate clearly to a wide range of people is a must.
We need someone who can manage field projects efficiently and with exceptional precision. The ideal candidate for this role is comfortable managing a team of 2-6 people through often rigorous field work – which can include rapid schedule changes, long days, and inclement weather.
Paramount to the success of this role is the ability to communicate clearly with our in-field partners (clients, farmers, land managers, researchers, etc) and understanding how our needs and theirs intersect. This could look like staying in touch with a farmer to understand their planting schedule or the layout of their land, or reaching out to a land manager when you see something unexpected on site (an inaccessible area of the farm, for instance), or proactively discussing a researcher’s perspective on how a next phase of the project is expected to shake out.   
Currently, Yard Stick is focused on proof of concept of our in situ spectral probe. Generating high-quality, publishable data requires excellent field operations. In parallel, we’re also creating our commercial offerings. This role will be crucial in carrying out both workstreams with a focus on California and produce.
Additionally, the Produce Soil Carbon Manager will play a large role in understanding the local context of California specialty crop markets, especially as regards carbon/climate claims, and similar. Lastly, this role will work to ensure that the industry will benefit from our offerings, both by managing external relationships and providing feedback supporting Yard Stick’s technical and operational activities.
Compensation this position is : salaried, 75k-100k Location job can be done remotely Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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