Applied Scientist - Sustainability

Remote /
Science and Technology Solutions /
The Company

Descartes Labs helps the world's largest organizations unlock the power of geospatial analytics to solve global scale problems. Our solutions create new sources of environmental sustainability and operational advantage and foresight for agriculture, CPG, mining, and government users by combining machine intelligence and domain expertise into a complete operational solution.

Descartes Labs is proud to be a remote-first, deliberately distributed organization that recognizes that people have different needs and motivations for building a life and career that matters and works for them. For this reason, we are open to our employees working from any location, in a way that enhances their well-being, productivity, and role. We focus on helping our employees produce positive outcomes and we recognize that the path to getting there will look different for different people.

The Role

Are you interested in shaping the tools that enable global enterprises to turn their sustainability commitments into action? We are looking for pragmatic problem solvers who favor practical, efficient solutions that also maintain a high degree of scientific rigor. As an Applied Scientist on the Sustainability team, you will collaborate with our cross-disciplinary team to build cutting edge sustainability solutions for our clients and partners. 

The work we do includes (but is not limited to): (1) Land cover mapping and disturbance monitoring over critical ecosystems, particularly tropical forests (2) Forest carbon mapping and modeling using remote sensing data, and (3) Regenerative agriculture, including its mapping, modeling, and implications for carbon sequestration. In particular, we are looking for candidates with expertise in forest remote sensing, including (but not limited to) using LiDAR, SAR tomography, and other advanced methods to remotely estimate forest biomass.

Your Impact

    • Use our archive of satellite imagery and other datasets to develop and implement scalable models (statistical, mathematical, machine learning, and/or empirical) that support our products and customer engagements. 
    • You will actively participate as a member of a cross-disciplinary team, openly communicating your ideas, insights, and feedback while helping to continuously improve our processes.
    • Collaborate with product managers to develop new products, feature datasets, and capabilities relevant to sustainability initiatives
    • Contribute to building a scalable, efficient set of workflows and toolsets leveraging our existing platform infrastructure

What You Bring

    • An advanced degree in a relevant scientific or quantitative field such as meteorology, climate science, environmental science or closely-related field preferred; industry experience may be taken under consideration as a substitute
    • Demonstrated background developing statistical, machine learning, and/or simulation models for climate/weather systems
    • Proficiency in Python, or in another scientific programming language with the ability to quickly pick up new technical skills
    • Strong problem solving skills, with the ability to research, develop, and implement solutions to novel problems
    • Ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner, relating economic concepts and market developments to both general and business audiences
    • Self-motivated and able to work independently as well as within a team
    • Familiarity with cloud-based and/or distributed computing

Who You Are

    • Curious. You are always exploring and experimenting, and you have a hard time putting down exciting new problems. You enthusiastically share your learning with others and actively seek new knowledge. 
    • Conscientious. You are determined, always keep your promises, and are forward thinking. Principled and integrous, you take your commitments seriously.
    • Humble. Unpretentious and self-aware, you cultivate compassion for others and take responsibility for your mistakes. Egos are barriers to doing the best work and always learning. 
    • Open and Inclusive. You are receptive and interested in new ideas and perspectives, even when those perspectives don’t agree with your views. You value and respect difference and create ways for all people to contribute to the organization. 
    • Collaborative. You know it takes a team to get anything accomplished and you actively and inclusively work across the organization. You listen intently and openly and are always focused first on creating the best results. 
    • Adaptable. You are able to navigate changing circumstances and environments with ease and approach uncertainty with enthusiasm, while inspiring others towards effective goal setting and accomplishment. 

Top Reasons to Work at Descartes Labs

    • We pride collaboration over ownership, iteration over perfection, principles over rules, and discussion over directives
    • We’re using the world’s top technology to solve the world’s largest problems with a strong focus on sustainability, environment, and impact science
    • We look at Descartes Labs as a work environment where people are included, treat their colleagues with professional regard and respect, and thrive as a result
    • We’re a highly collaborative company that constantly promotes success through teamwork
    • We strongly encourage and enjoy a flexible work environment
You belong here! If your experience and interests match with some of the above, we want you to apply. Nobody is an expert on all or even parts of our stack.

Descartes Labs is committed to building a diverse community and we embrace equal opportunity in a serious way. We strive to be a team with a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. Scientific discovery is in our DNA and the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be; diversity fuels innovation!

Accommodations will be provided as requested by candidates during all aspects of our interview process.