Caldeira Lab

Postdoctoral Research Scientist Opportunity:

Environmental Science of the Energy/Carbon/Climate Problem

Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology on the Stanford campus


We are looking for intelligent, creative, and productive people who

  1. are skilled in quantitative thinking,
  2. have a track record of producing quality peer-reviewed scientific papers (or equivalent accomplishment),
  3. are interested in addressing issues related to the energy/carbon/climate problem.

Specific domain knowledge is of secondary importance because the people we want to hire can learn facts rapidly. We want people who think for themselves.


Examples of topics we are currently interested in include

  • atmospheric physics of large-scale wind-power extraction
  • potential to intentionally modify climate at regional scale
  • how climate damage scales with amount of climate change
  • differences in climate consequences of different types of climate forcing (e.g., CO2, aerosols, land-cover change)
  • reversibility of ice sheet loss

Examples of papers recently published by our group include

  • How does pre-industrial land-cover change influence current atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate? (Pongratz and Caldeira, ERL, 2012)
  • How would various specific energy system transitions affect greenhouse gas concentrations and climate? (Myhrvold and Caldeira, ERL, 2012)
  • How do sea cucumbers affect the alkalinity budget of a coral reef? (Schneider et al., JGR, 2011)
  • How much of the CO2 emissions in China support consumption in the United States? (Davis et al., PNAS, 2011)
  • What is the frequency response of the climate system to periodic forcing? (MacMynowski et al., GRL, 2012)


Additional information can be found here. Our work is diverse and this diversity is driven largely by the interests of our postdoctoral researchers.

In many of our studies, we use and modify existing physics and biogeochemical models of the Earth (atmosphere, ocean, and land surface), and perform back-of-envelope calculations, to help evaluate and develop innovative solutions to the energy/carbon/climate problem. We also address questions related to basic climate science, energy-systems analysis, and ocean acidification. We are also interested in social science that tests hypotheses, is quantitative, is reproducible, etc. (i.e., social science but not social studies).

We seek to hire several outstanding postdoctoral researchers who can lead research projects that contribute to these or related research directions. We are looking to develop an exciting collegial atmosphere with a lot of personal freedom, wherein each group member both leads research projects and collaborates on projects led by others.

The initial term will be for one year with the potential for renewal for up to three additional years. The position will be at the Carnegie Institution for Science, working in Ken Caldeira’s group in the Department of Global Ecology on the Stanford University campus. Carnegie Institution postdocs have access to most Stanford facilities.

Interested potential postdocs should send an email (with ‘[postdoc]’ in the subject line) to containing:

  1. a curriculum vitae
  2. a few sentences on research interests and/or possible research projects
  3. the names and contact info for three references

Please also fill out the form at[field_job_req-raw]-3

Key factors in our hiring decisions will be intelligence, thoughtfulness, creativity, motivation, productivity, and a record of successful scientific or technical publication. We are flexible with regard to your domain of expertise, but find that people trained in physics tend to succeed. The Carnegie Institution for Science does not discriminate based on race, sex, age, physical condition, or country of national origin. The Carnegie Institution is an equal opportunity employer and provides competitive salaries commensurate with experience along with an excellent benefits package.

These positions will remain open until filled.