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Postdoctoral Researcher: Climate and Carbon Management

USC Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Primarily downtown Los Angeles, CA, with occasional work on Santa Catalina Island
Salary range starts at $80,000/yr., dependent on experience; this position is eligible for benefits
Closing date
Jun 16, 2024

The Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Southern California is seeking up to three post-doctoral researchers to work as part of its new Climate and Carbon Initiative. Scholars with a PhD and research interests in the natural and/or the social sciences as they relate to climate change and carbon management are encouraged to apply. The preferred start date is August 2024.

The research conducted under the auspices of the Climate and Carbon Initiative will focus on very long-duration, permanent, and/or engineered carbon removal. We are seeking scholars who will conduct empirical research as part of an interdisciplinary team of scholars. We are particularly interested in hearing from applicants who work on one or more of the following topics:

  • the efficacy of alternative marine and terrestrial carbon removal approaches.
  • other environmental and social side effects associated with deploying marine and terrestrial carbon removal approaches at scale.
  • addressing challenges associated with monitoring, verification, and reporting associated with deploying marine and terrestrial carbon removal approaches at scale.
  • social license and acceptance, perceptions of risk and benefit, moral hazard, and consumer and buyer preferences associated with alternative marine and terrestrial carbon removal approaches.
  • the economics of alternative marine and terrestrial carbon removal approaches, including quantifying the effects on the social cost of carbon.

Successful applicants will help lead research projects in one or more of the Wrigley Institute’s three research areas: Earth and Environmental Systems, Applied Environmental Solutions, and Social Transformation. This means writing or contributing to research proposals, designing research, collecting and analyzing new data, and writing articles for scientific journals and other public-facing outlets, among other scholarly tasks. If they are interested, successful applicants may teach a course in the Wrigley Institute’s Environmental Studies Program and/or help with mentoring graduate students and undergraduate research assistants.

A PhD degree in a relevant field within the natural or social sciences is required. Successful candidates will also be proficient in data analysis and will possess a sophisticated understanding of statistics. This is a two-year position subject to annual performance reviews.

About the Wrigley Institute:

The mission of the Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability is to create a more sustainable and environmentally just future for our planet and all who live on it by educating, training, and empowering the next generation of leaders and change agents; leading solutions-focused research at the intersection of people and planet; and engaging with the public and our partners to raise awareness and inspire positive change.

The institute is in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, one of the nation’s premier research universities in one of the world’s cultural capitals. The Wrigley Institute also has its own dedicated campus in a marine protected area on California’s beautiful Santa Catalina Island, which sits 22 nautical miles southwest of Los Angeles in the Pacific Ocean. The Wrigley Institute is part of USC’s oldest and largest school, the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and plays a key role in USC’s high-profile sustainability initiatives.

The Wrigley Institute is home to:

  • The Environmental Studies academic program, which grants both undergraduate and graduate degrees;
  • The online Masters in Sustainability Management, created for working professionals;
  • The Wrigley Marine Science Center, our Catalina Island campus and field research base;
  • USC Sea Grant, which leads research, education, and outreach activities with a specific focus on policy and management of the "urban ocean";
  • Research launchpads for studies on Earth & Environmental Systems, Applied Environmental Solutions, and Social Transformation; and
  • Signature public events that bring together business leaders, policy makers, activists, and scholars for conversations of consequence on the environment and sustainability.

A position at the Wrigley Institute is an opportunity to help solve some of the most important challenges of our era. The institute is growing rapidly, with dedicated communications and DEI programs to help maximize our reach and ensure that the work we do is accessible to and beneficial for everyone.

Those who work at the Wrigley Institute are dedicated to helping create a more sustainable future!

To Apply:

Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate has been identified. To apply, please send the following to the Director of the Wrigley Institute, Dr. Joe Árvai, at

  • a letter of interest, including a description of your research experience and your research interests;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • copies of at least two refereed journal articles;
  • official graduate transcripts; and
  • the names and contact information for three professional references.

This is an in-person, fixed-term position that will be based in Los Angeles, CA. However, opportunities to occasionally work from our campus on Catalina Island are plentiful.

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