Join a lab!

At the heart of The Earthshot Institute are labs that bring together scientists, technologists, and organizers to work together on well-defined problems that stand in the way of ecological regeneration. Labs need lots of different kinds of people with many different areas of knowledge. We recently welcomed participation in three new labs: Beaver, Ganges, and Assisted Forest Regeneration. The application period for Beaver and Ganges labs is now closed. Assisted Forest Regeneration is different from other labs in that it requires a larger amount of people, so we are keeping the application portal for this lab open.
Assisted Forest Regeneration

The Assisted Forest Regeneration Lab will expand the possibilities of the traditional scientific literature review by calling on numerous participants around the world. Leland Werden, of ETH Zürich, is leading this effort to bring together a polyglot team of forestry data scouts to look well beyond the usual journals and databases and synthesize the world’s under-appreciated wisdom about what interventions work to regenerate forests. To join this lab, one just needs a bit of familiarity with forestry, or ecology, or a related field, and an interest in putting one’s data-digging skills to work. The lab also needs project managers.

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Beaver

The Beaver Lab, led by Grace Lindsay, of NYU, returns to one of Earthshot’s foundational ideas: If we could use satellite imagery and machine learning to identify beaver dams, maybe we could start to understand—and even forecast—how these relatively small additions to a river result in dramatic transformation of local ecology. Beaver dams have been shown to result in greener, more drought-resilient waterways in semi-arid environments. By learning from their new database of natural dams, the lab will predict how humans can emulate their effects on biological productivity, carbon sequestration, and drought resilience. This lab will be calling for experts in remote sensing, machine learning, and riparian ecology, as well as a project manager.

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Ganges

The Ganges Lab, led by Anthony Acciavatti, of Yale University, will map and analyze a key feature of the Ganges basin—naalas—to understand how new forms of green infrastructure, such as parks, bioswales, and bioremediation, can rejuvenate this vital and sacred river. The lab will need a project manager in addition to people with expertise in remote sensing and machine learning (to identify and map naalas), river ecology and hydrology (to understand how they function and generate ideas for better management), as well as permaculture techniques and anthropology (to plan interventions on the ground).

Learn more

Join!

Ways to get involved

First, fill out our typeform to let us know what interests and areas of knowledge you have. This will help us find the right opportunities for you to get involved. Then, once you’ve done that…
Join our slack! Here you will find hundreds of new allies and colleagues in our shared campaign to regenerate the planet. In this open forum you can…
Share something you’re excited about, like an organization, a publication, or a dataset.
Solicit help with something you’re working on, like an event, some code you’re developing, or a paper you’re writing. Or maybe you want to pull together a group to learn about and discuss a particular topic. If you’re working toward ecological regeneration, we’ll try to help you make connections.
Stay current with what’s happening in the Earthshot community, including events, seminar series, and learning circles.
Join or pitch a learning circle! Learning circles bring together community members who are interested in thinking together about a field related to planetary regeneration. If you’d like to organize a learning circle, you can send out a message to #general or, if you’d like more support and structure, let us know, and we’ll help!
Calls to action! Earthshot Institute calls to action are opportunities for engagement in citizen science projects that need the attention of lots of people on short notice. They do not require the specialized skills or the level of commitment that are needed to join a lab, yet they present opportunities to contribute to real, meaningful, and potentially impactful science. Calls to action will be posted in #general on our slack and via our emailed newsletter.
Join a lab! At the heart of The Earthshot Institute are labs that bring together scientists, technologists, and organizers to work together on well-defined problems that stand in the way of ecological regeneration. Labs need lots of different kinds of people with many different areas of knowledge. You can browse our current labs here. And for more information on what you’ll be committing to, read here.
Pitch a lab! If you have 1. a scientific question or technological need which, if addressed, will catalyze regeneration, 2. a plan to reach a well-defined benchmark goal in less than nine months, and 3. an idea of the areas of knowledge you’ll need to execute your plan, then let us know. We are excited to work with you!
More about Earthshot Institute Labs
Each Earthshot Institute Lab is formed around a scientific problem or technological need that stands in the way of ecological regeneration at scale. In an organized and collaborative process that begins with an Earthshot Institute event and continues on this website, prospective Lab Leaders pitch their ideas to the Earthshot Institute community of nearly 2,000 diversely talented members who are eager to play a role in addressing our planetary crisis. Lab Leaders identify the skills they think they’ll need to tackle their problem, community members enroll to meet the Lab's needs, and work begins.
The first three to six weeks of lab work consist of a collaborative review of existing scientific literature and other sources of understanding of the specific area under study. At the end of this stage, the lab submits a mini-review to Institute staff, who will circulate the mini-review to members of The Institute’s Academic Council and other experts in relevant fields, ensuring that the lab is aware of all other significant relevant content in their area of work. After completion of this review stage, novel work kicks off in earnest.
Labs will have been selected and designed such that the end-goal or a significant benchmark is attainable in less than nine months of work. As work progresses past the review stage, the Earthshot Institute development team will work with the lab to match the project with funding sources to provide the lab with honoraria.
In the course of the Lab's work, unforeseen challenges may arise. In this case, Labs may return to the broader Earthshot Institute community for input or to bring on new Lab Members. As the Lab closes in it goal, Earthshot Institute staff will engage with the Lab for two purposes. The first is to begin to implement the Lab's theory of change. How can the research findings or the technological developments be publicized or deployed to realize real ecological regeneration on the ground? The Institute will leverage its connections and resources to ensure that the lab’s work finds its most impactful applications. Second, Earthshot Institute staff engages the lab to determine the best path forward for the lab as a team. Should the group disband, freeing members to join new projects? Or should the Institute and its broader community function as an accelerator, finding the most promising path for ongoing and impactful work?
Commitments
Lab Members commit to:
  • One 60 to 90 minute lab meeting, by zoom, each week.
  • Five to ten hours per week on asynchronous work. Some lab members have been known to do more, but that is not a requirement.
  • Every other week, there is an optional meeting of all current lab members. This meeting takes place on wonder, where you can seek out whomever you would like to engage.
Lab Leaders commit to:
  • Each week’s lab meeting.
  • Work outside of the meeting to provide the guidance and intellectual input that is needed to move the project forward.
  • Every other week, there is an optional meeting of lab leaders.
  • The semi-weekly meeting for all current lab members is also open and optional for lab leaders.
The Earthshot Institute commits to:
  • Support labs with project management, which includes coordinating meetings and tracking progress as well as action items.
  • Facilitate communication between labs and other individuals or organizations in The Earthshot Institute community to address scientific questions or technical needs that may arise in the course of work.
  • Work with labs to pair them with sources of funding. All labs start as volunteer projects. However our goal is to match labs with supporters to provide honoraria summing to $8,000 per month.

Join!

Ways to get involved

First, fill out our typeform to let us know what interests and areas of knowledge you have. This will help us find the right opportunities for you to get involved. Then, once you’ve done that…
Join our slack! Here you will find hundreds of new allies and colleagues in our shared campaign to regenerate the planet. In this open forum you can…
Share something you’re excited about, like an organization, a publication, or a dataset.
Solicit help with something you’re working on, like an event, some code you’re developing, or a paper you’re writing. Or maybe you want to pull together a group to learn about and discuss a particular topic. If you’re working toward ecological regeneration, we’ll try to help you make connections.
Stay current with what’s happening in the Earthshot community, including events, seminar series, and learning circles.
Join or pitch a learning circle! Learning circles bring together community members who are interested in thinking together about a field related to planetary regeneration. If you’d like to organize a learning circle, you can send out a message to #general or, if you’d like more support and structure, let us know, and we’ll help!
Calls to action! Earthshot Institute calls to action are opportunities for engagement in citizen science projects that need the attention of lots of people on short notice. They do not require the specialized skills or the level of commitment that are needed to join a lab, yet they present opportunities to contribute to real, meaningful, and potentially impactful science. Calls to action will be posted in #general on our slack and via our emailed newsletter.
Join a lab! At the heart of The Earthshot Institute are labs that bring together scientists, technologists, and organizers to work together on well-defined problems that stand in the way of ecological regeneration. Labs need lots of different kinds of people with many different areas of knowledge. You can browse our current labs here. And for more information on what you’ll be committing to, read here.
Pitch a lab! If you have 1. a scientific question or technological need which, if addressed, will catalyze regeneration, 2. a plan to reach a well-defined benchmark goal in less than nine months, and 3. an idea of the areas of knowledge you’ll need to execute your plan, then let us know. We are excited to work with you!
More about Earthshot Institute Labs
Each Earthshot Institute Lab is formed around a scientific problem or technological need that stands in the way of ecological regeneration at scale. In an organized and collaborative process that begins with an Earthshot Institute event and continues on this website, prospective Lab Leaders pitch their ideas to the Earthshot Institute community of nearly 2,000 diversely talented members who are eager to play a role in addressing our planetary crisis. Lab Leaders identify the skills they think they’ll need to tackle their problem, community members enroll to meet the Lab's needs, and work begins.
The first three to six weeks of lab work consist of a collaborative review of existing scientific literature and other sources of understanding of the specific area under study. At the end of this stage, the lab submits a mini-review to Institute staff, who will circulate the mini-review to members of The Institute’s Academic Council and other experts in relevant fields, ensuring that the lab is aware of all other significant relevant content in their area of work. After completion of this review stage, novel work kicks off in earnest.
Labs will have been selected and designed such that the end-goal or a significant benchmark is attainable in less than nine months of work. As work progresses past the review stage, the Earthshot Institute development team will work with the lab to match the project with funding sources to provide the lab with honoraria.
In the course of the Lab's work, unforeseen challenges may arise. In this case, Labs may return to the broader Earthshot Institute community for input or to bring on new Lab Members. As the Lab closes in it goal, Earthshot Institute staff will engage with the Lab for two purposes. The first is to begin to implement the Lab's theory of change. How can the research findings or the technological developments be publicized or deployed to realize real ecological regeneration on the ground? The Institute will leverage its connections and resources to ensure that the lab’s work finds its most impactful applications. Second, Earthshot Institute staff engages the lab to determine the best path forward for the lab as a team. Should the group disband, freeing members to join new projects? Or should the Institute and its broader community function as an accelerator, finding the most promising path for ongoing and impactful work?
Commitments
Lab Members commit to:
  • One 60 to 90 minute lab meeting, by zoom, each week.
  • Five to ten hours per week on asynchronous work. Some lab members have been known to do more, but that is not a requirement.
  • Every other week, there is an optional meeting of all current lab members. This meeting takes place on wonder, where you can seek out whomever you would like to engage.
Lab Leaders commit to:
  • Each week’s lab meeting.
  • Work outside of the meeting to provide the guidance and intellectual input that is needed to move the project forward.
  • Every other week, there is an optional meeting of lab leaders.
  • The semi-weekly meeting for all current lab members is also open and optional for lab leaders.
The Earthshot Institute commits to:
  • Support labs with project management, which includes coordinating meetings and tracking progress as well as action items.
  • Facilitate communication between labs and other individuals or organizations in The Earthshot Institute community to address scientific questions or technical needs that may arise in the course of work.
  • Work with labs to pair them with sources of funding. All labs start as volunteer projects. However our goal is to match labs with supporters to provide honoraria summing to $8,000 per month.

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Coastal Wetland Forests
Elliott White Jr

The goal of our lab is to create a high-spatial resolution map of coastal forested wetlands at global scale. If we know precisely where these ecologically critical but fragile forests are located, we can manage freshwater flows to counteract saltwater introgression due to rising sea levels, and we can assist in their migration inland, preserving their critical function in protecting coastlines and sequestering carbon.

Bison
Jason Baldes
Gisel Booman

Across the continent, a number of first nations are in the process of reintroducing bison to the grasslands in which they were once the primary grazer and an ecologically vital species. Initial experiences and evolutionary considerations suggest that this may be ecologically beneficial in terms of grassland biodiversity, carbon cycle, and resilience to climate change. However, these questions have not yet been studied at scale. In this lab, we will leverage remote sensing to scale up from ground measurements, establishing the large-scale patterns of bison impact.

Riparian Ecosystems
Forrest Pound

Beaver dams are known to result in greener, more drought-resilient waterways in semi-arid environments. We are using computer vision to spot dams in satellite imagery, generating a large dataset that we can use to train models that will tell us what the ecological effects of a dam will be at any point on a waterway. The goal is to create a tool to guide efficient restoration through the introduction of small dams.

Bundled Ecological NFT
Philip Taylor

Markets in voluntary carbon credits are increasingly providing a flow of capital for regenerating ecosystems. The problem is, thriving and resilient ecosystems are not just carbon. We need to find ways to structure credits to incentivize the diverse and functional ecosystems we want, not merely high-concentrations of carbon. We will design the technological tools to support a market in bundled ecological credits.

Global Forests
Aron Boettcher

We are building an accurate and global model for predicting potential rates of reforestation and resulting carbon sequestration. Such a model could have a transformational impact on global reforestation efforts by opening new streams of financing in the form of carbon credit futures.

Impact & Risk
Aaron Hirsh
Valérie Lechêne

Leveraging The Earthshot Institute’s broad scientific and technical expertise, the Impact and Risk Lab helps investors and governments who earnestly want to forecast, measure, and address the socio-ecological risks to and/or impacts from their work. For a given system, we build simple process-based models to identify key socio-ecological risks and outcomes. We then draw on big data to improve and train our models, generating quantitative predictions and developing measurement systems for verification.

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