Ocean Scientist

Boston, MA
Science /
Full-Time /
Join Cascade Climate, a new global nonprofit accelerating progress in interventions, technologies, and markets that harness earth’s natural systems to stabilize our climate. Since our launch last summer we have assembled a stellar founding team, and lined up large initial investments from philanthropic backers including the Grantham Foundation, Quadrature Climate Foundation, and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. After kicking off our first set of field-building initiatives in enhanced rock weathering (ERW), Cascade is starting to expand into a broader set of open-system climate intervention pathways. In 2024, we are excited to begin working on marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) pathways–ocean alkalinity enhancement and direct ocean removal in particular.

We are looking for an Ocean Scientist to help us build out our in-house technical expertise in the marine realm; help establish and foster relationships with a network of collaborators and partners across mCDR; and help lead a range of Cascade’s initial mCDR programmatic initiatives.

We’d love to hire an ocean scientist who is both well-versed in the (bio)geochemistry or physical oceanography underpinning mCDR pathways and a versatile relationship builder and big-picture thinker. This role will put you in an unusually high-leverage position to help advance mCDR knowledge creation and field development holistically—and yet is not a research role per se. The day-to-day responsibilities in this role will involve heavy doses of relationship building, deep listening and stakeholder management—across academia, industry, NGO partners, and more. The role will also involve a great deal of zoomed-out thinking and programmatic strategy development. We are looking for someone who can structure, diagnose and distill complex problems and chart a path forward.

We hope this is an exciting fusion for someone who sees themselves as a scientist, a stakeholder communicator, and a strategic thinker. In addition, you will be joining Cascade at a pivotal time when you can shape our most important programs and our broader strategy to accelerate progress across open-system CDR pathways—from advancing the science of CDR quantification and developing a community system for rigor and consistency in MRV, to developing frameworks for environmental risk analysis, to federal policy advocacy.

We care as much about you—your character and mindsets—as we do about your scientific training and background. Do you consistently show up with humility and contagious curiosity? Do you love to build new relationships and work with lots of collaborators? Do you independently learn new things quickly and eagerly? Can you operate without a fully-developed roadmap that’s been handed to you—tackling ambiguous problems and imposing your own structured plan? 

About Cascade

Cascade coordinates and resources ambitious initiatives across scientists, industry, and governments to overcome the core bottlenecks that are hindering progress in the most promising open-system climate interventions. As a species we are already—unintentionally and haphazardly—manipulating Earth’s climate system in ways that produce disastrous consequences for ourselves and the biosphere. Decarbonization must be our top priority but on its own cannot solve the climate emergency. We must embrace the need to harness Earth’s natural systems in the service of avoiding deeper harm. This will mean intervening in soils, rivers, oceans, glaciers and more—but doing so with great deliberation and care.

Our initial focus is advancing the development of a healthy market for enhanced rock weathering (ERW), underpinned by its scientific evidence base and its potential for gigaton-scale, durable carbon dioxide removal. As commercial activity in ERW ramps up, it is essential that we collectively steer toward a healthy, virtuous market cycle wherein large-scale deployments become a powerful engine for public scientific learning and growing public trust, along with declining uncertainties and costs. Over the course of 2024, we are looking to expand into mCDR as mCDR gradually shifts into progressively larger field research and deployment scales.

For more context, you can read our blog post about the outlook for the ERW market or our broader thoughts on leveling the playing field for open-system carbon dioxide removal.

In the coming 3-6 months, you will be the science lead driving our stakeholder listening tours and strategic bottleneck diagnosis process as we expand in the mCDR space. You will collaborate closely with other Cascade team members and colleagues at other field building organizations in the space to define the initial set of programmatic initiatives and, over time, lead the execution of these initiatives.

Role and primary responsibilities

    • Mapping out and building relationships with key stakeholders in the mCDR space (suppliers, buyers, public agencies, researchers, NGOs, funders)
    • Leading the recruitment of core staff members and contributing scientists to Cascade’s mCDR team and maintaining a strong extended network of subject matter experts
    • In collaboration with other Cascade team members, diagnosing key bottlenecks in the mCDR space, and developing and sharpening the vision of Cascade’s initial initiatives in mCDR field development
    • Emergent from the above, articulating Cascade’s priorities, capabilities and unique roles in mCDR to a range of collaborators and stakeholders
    • Supporting the build out of Cascade’s policy priorities in mCDR and becoming a key liaison with federal and state agencies pivotal for mCDR R&D, deployment, and scaling.
    • Leading and co-leading early Cascade initiatives in mCDR to a high degree of execution.

    • Irrespective of the specific subset of projects you are working on at any given time, your specific responsibilities will often include the following:
    • Managing and monitoring the execution of complex projects that involve multiple strands (both scientific and operational) 
    • Building new individual relationships (e.g., with specific researchers) and organizational partnerships for Cascade
    • Whiteboarding new ideas with colleagues and facilitating group problem-solving on knotty substantive and process questions
    • Leaning into difficult conversations with partners who have concerns about how some of the systems or projects Cascade is spearheading are playing out in the real world
    • Reviewing and helping craft various documents—to help Cascade colleagues or partner organizations—that need scrutiny or input from a trained scientist
    • Representing Cascade as a participant in multi-organization meetings and various collaborations, and attending relevant conferences
    • Taking the lead on or contributing to reports and other writing deliverables
    • Helping Cascade build and deepen its organizational culture, brand, and community trust

Desired Skills and Experiences  

    • PhD in a relevant discipline (chemical, physical or biological oceanography, marine (bio)geochemistry, or similar) or equivalent research/professional experience in specific subject areas relevant to abiotic marine CDR.
    • Appetite and ability to build a trusted rapport with a wide range of stakeholders. Empathetic communicator with strong listening skills. Effective, eager networker and relationship builder
    • Strong technical thinker and scientific communicator
    • Strong zoomed-out thinking and creative problem solving skills, and ability to structure and diagnose complex problems, distill simplicity from complexity, and make informed decisions in dynamic, evolving situations
    • Skilled written communicator and group facilitator
    • Track record of independently and effectively managing moderately or highly complex projects—juggling many balls simultaneously without letting them drop

More generally, we think this role could be a good fit if you are:

    • Excited about the sometimes-complex project management and stakeholder management involved in the kinds of system-engineer / market-shaping initiatives outlined above—and feel you could enjoy and thrive in a role with this flavor
    • Consistently experienced by others as humble, kind and empathetic
    • Good at building new relationships across a wide variety of people grounded in trust, deep listening and mutual vulnerability
    • Comfortable working under uncertainty and a lack of any clear right answer. 
    • Intensely curious, hungry and self-driven in your learning about new topics 
    • An open-minded, flexible, and sharp thinker who thrives in highly collaborative problem-solving environments
$125,000 - $200,000 a year
Cascade offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including:   
• Medical, dental, vision insurance
• 401(k) matching
• Professional and personal development
• Generous paid time off, parental/family leave, and sick leave
• Flexible working hours  
If this broadly describes you, we think you’ll feel at home here, and will join a team of experienced and very like-minded people who will take great care to support you and your continued growth. 

No one will perfectly meet everything in the description above. We encourage anyone who is interested in this role to apply, regardless of whether you feel you meet 100% of the qualifications. The top candidates will bring their own unique perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds along with many but not necessarily all the skills and characteristics listed above. We offer professional learning and training opportunities to help you develop skills you may not have had the opportunity to cultivate yet.   

Cascade is headquartered in Boston with small hubs in Washington DC, New York, and the Bay Area. For this role, we have a strong preference for candidates who are based in one of these hubs or willing to relocate there. 

We love seeing each other in person.  We gather regularly (often in Boston) for team time like retreats, learning experiences, and whiteboarding sessions.  Be ready to travel at least once per month—and occasionally a bit more as needed—for conferences, team gatherings, and partner meetings. 

At Cascade, our mission is to dramatically accelerate progress across a range of open-system climate interventions in order to ensure a healthy, livable Earth for all humanity. Recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and retaining a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve is critical to our success.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. 

Cascade is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.