Ground Support Specialist
Seattle, Washington /
Operations – Ground Operations /
Our mission is simple: Make reforestation scalable to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Trees are highly effective at carbon removal, but scaling reforestation has significant obstacles--and that gets our team fired up about how we can build solutions using technology. We’ve built DroneSeed, and acquired and combined it with 130-year-old Silvaseed to be a one-stop-shop for reforestation and remove obstacles at each of four steps:
- Seed. Natural regeneration after wildfire is in decline due to climate change resulting in larger fires of higher severity. These factors eliminate seed stored in the soil for regeneration. This creates challenges for seed supply. To respond we’ve expanded Silvaseed to become the largest private seed bank in the west and the first call for land managers affected by fire.
- Grow space. There’s not enough nursery greenhouse capacity to grow seedlings (link). We’re currently growing millions of seedlings per year at Silvaseed and, while we’re doubling that output, we’re creating a replicable method to scale further.
- Better tools for labor. We need better tools to accomplish more reforestation faster. DroneSeed is utilizing heavy lift drone swarms to deliver seed vessels after wildfire and boost seed establishment in combination with seedlings that are interplanted later.
- Finance. For the last 20 years, carbon offsets haven’t provided capital for the high-up front costs of reforestation. Landowners have had to rely on limited grant funding. Repayment periods were 25 years or more and reforestation projects were exceedingly rare. That changed two years ago when third-party certifier Climate Action Reserve (CAR) announced the Climate Forward protocol to conservatively forecast the carbon tonne removals as reforested trees grow. DroneSeed is developing one of the first projects using this protocol. This and future projects following the protocol will be protected by legal easements on replanted and re-seeded land, monitored by state-accredited land trusts, and have insurance buffer pools in place in case fire occurs again. Under the CAR protocol, DroneSeed is generating the most transparent, highest-quality forestry-based carbon offsets on the market from reforestation projects.
We need to overcome these four reforestation challenges to build back--even a fraction of--the forests we lose from wildfires every year. That's why we set out to build a model to make reforestation scaleable, which requires expanding the supply chain systems and financial flywheels behind them. That is the mission: make reforestation scalable to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
DroneSeed HQ: Ballard Brewery District, Seattle, WA
Silvaseed HQ: Roy, WA
Team Size: ~100
Leadership Team: Grant Canary (CEO), Ben Reilly (CTO), John Hall (VP Ops & Finance), Cassie Meigs (Director of Account Management), Matthew Aghai (Senior Director of Bio R&D), Arnoud de Villegas (Senior Director of Business Development), Katherine Wong-Velasco (Director of Talent Acquisition) and Mary Caroline Pruitt (Senior Director of Marketing & Communications)
Notable Investors: Marc Tarpenning co-founder Tesla, Tobi Lutke CEO Shopify, Alexis Ohanian co-founder Reddit, Marc Benioff, Court Lorenzini 1st CEO DocuSign
Revenue: Data will be shared with qualified candidates
Clients: 3 of 5 largest timber companies, Non-profits such as The Nature Conservancy, Tribal Nations, state and federal agencies, small family forests
What you'll be doing:
As a member of the Ground Support team, you will be assisting with the implementation of seedling planting projects, cone collection, site survey and prep, and a multitude of other operations involving reforestation both by hand and by drone. Aerial operations duties include servicing aircraft, visual observation, charging batteries, and operating heavy equipment that is both all terrain and one of a kind. Members of Ground Support will also assist with logistics and planning, implement and write new documentation, gather data project success and refine operations processes. You're expected to learn both aerial and forestry operations quickly.
Members of the Ground Support team should be able to hike long distances with weight up to 40 lbs on steep, rocky, and uneven terrain. Individuals should also be comfortable with travel, staying in hotels for upwards of 15 days, or potentially camping. Incumbents should have good people skills and be able to communicate effectively with a variety of individuals from different backgrounds. Team members must have a flexible schedule, oftentimes certain DroneSeed teams will not operate by standard 9 - 5 working hours. Schedule changes can be frequent or last minute.
Ground Support is a combination field/office position. Field work varies based on Pacific Northwest planting seasons with an overall field to office ratio of 60/40. Field work requires crews to travel and operate remotely for up to several weeks at a time. Outside of planting seasons there is an even ratio of office to field work. Members should be motivated, driven self-starters who can thrive and adapt in constantly changing environments in and out of the field.
- A bachelor’s degree or prior military service or civil service experience required.
- Excellent judgment with a clear “safety-first” mentality. Willing to work in remote environments and travel regionally up to 50% - 75% of the time.
- Experience operating and maintaining utility equipment and identifying mechanical breakdowns or failures.
- Experience driving large pickups and/or towing mid-sized trailers and equipment.
- Strong teamwork skills including respectfulness, strong communication, listening skills, reliability, and conflict management.
- Resourceful and adaptable to new and changing technologies, processes, and environments.
- Must be willing to learn and follow regulatory guidance and procedures.
- Prior experience in forestry or scouting.
- Forestry Technician experience.
Candidates must be eligible to work at DroneSeed HQ in the Ballard Brewery District of Seattle, WA. DroneSeed is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to building a diverse team. If you’re deeply committed to our mission and capable of supporting operations that enable reforestation in some of the world’s most challenging terrain environments, we’d love to speak with you.