Senior Research Analyst, Carbon Storage

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  


Washington, DC or San Francisco


EDF’s Nature-based Climate Solutions (NbCS) project addresses two of the biggest barriers to effective carbon credit markets: lack of clear scientific understanding and consensus on the realizable carbon storage or removal potential of the vast array of natural carbon sinks, and lack of market confidence in the integrity of carbon credits available for purchase. The NbCS team conducts research and convenes stakeholders to find agreement on the science, measurement and accounting standards that underpin high-integrity credits. The project focuses on natural climate solutions where we can accelerate carbon storage most quickly because of the scale of the potential storage and the current interest in those credits. These include the management, use and protection of tropical and temperate forests, agricultural soils and oceans.

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring that all EDF policy positions are based on the best available natural and social science. To that end, OCS supports all staff scientists and fosters relationships with others outside the organization. Our innovative projects convene diverse partners from academia, government, industry, and local communities, developing new lines of inquiry and advancing policy-relevant, foundational questions of environmental science.



The Senior Research Analyst (SRA) is a key member of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) and Ecosystems team to quantify the realistic magnitude of carbon storage in agricultural soil and temperate forests and changes in soil carbon over time. The SRA will work in collaboration with EDF scientists, post-doctoral fellows and research partners, conducting spatial and statistical analyses and literature review. The SRA will report to a Senior Scientist in the San Francisco office.



  • Conduct geospatial and other data analyses for EDF’s agricultural soil and forest carbon projects, and prepare data visualizations, GIS products and reports of findings

  • Perform literature reviews and find, analyze and synthesize scientific information on aspects of carbon storage to inform EDF’s nature-based climate solutions efforts

  • Work with EDF scientists to write up project results for staff, partners, donors and peer-reviewed scientific journals

  • Work with EDF Communications staff to help develop reports, fact sheets, blog posts and other materials for general and specific audiences on a variety of topics

  • Apply excellent organizational, communication and planning skills in preparing correspondence and reports, responding to requests for information and helping to coordinate activities among staff members

  • Represent EDF externally with collaborators and others

  • Build relationships and consult regularly with partners from the research and NGO communities

  • Mentor early career analytical staff members

  • Assist in preparing notes from important internal and external meetings

  • Assist with organizing meetings, including scheduling and other logistics as needed

  • Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned



  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 4 years of experience or recent M.S. degree in an environmentally relevant science field or spatial statistics, and related work experience in environmental science, environmental advocacy or related fields

  • Strong quantitative skills and experience in performing rigorous geospatial analyses

  • Demonstrated skill in synthesizing and interpreting primary research

  • Experience with database and GIS software (ArcGIS preferred) and strong computer proficiency, including Microsoft Office Suite, Internet research and data analysis programs and tools (e.g., R, SPSS/STATA)

  • Familiarity with process-based soil carbon models such as DayCent, DNDC and/or RothC preferred

  • Intellectual agility and comfort with working on a variety of environmental topics

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills for technical and non-technical audiences

  • Ability to work with colleagues and partners of varied backgrounds and experience

  • Ability to work independently and use judgment to plan, prioritize and organize a diverse workload in a fast-paced environment

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.