Carbon Removal Academy is ALL NEW

Highlights from a completely updated, greatly improved, accessible course on carbon removal solutions.

Hi everyone,

I’m back from newsletter hiatus! The last few weeks have been a transition period for me as I’m reflecting on past projects and getting started with new ones, but this Carbon Travels newsletter is back in action and expect a few extra posts this week as I empty my idea backlog and then get back to regularly scheduled weekly programming next Monday.

This first post back is all about the first climate project I worked on way back in July, Carbon Removal Academy. It’s a curated curriculum of high quality carbon removal resources organized into a cohesive, topic-by-topic structure.

Since I first built the site many months ago, I’ve learned so much more about carbon removal, been exposed to so many more resources and content creators, and lots more has happened and been created! Over the past month, I’ve completely updated every single module of the curriculum to reflect the best and most helpful content I’ve come across.

Before I summarize some of the biggest changes and reflect on the process of putting this new curriculum together, I want to highlight that if you’re interested in learning more about carbon removal, no matter your current background, sign up for the next cohort of Air Miners Boot Up! It’s a free 4 week crash course on CDR that makes use of the updated Carbon Removal Academy curriculum, based around biweekly discussion meetings. The next cohort starts on April 5th, so sign up here!!!

Carbon Removal Academy 2.0 - What’s New!

If you haven’t seen the Carbon Removal Academy website before, the course is made up of 10 modules, each covering a discrete CDR topic. In renovating the curriculum, I’ve changed and improved most of the resources, my descriptions of each resources, the module overviews and intro videos, and even some of the module topics themselves.

In the updated course, the modules available are as follows:

  1. Carbon Removal Bigger Picture and Scale

  2. Soil Carbon and Regenerative Agriculture

  3. Forest Carbon Removal

  4. Biomass: BECCS and Biochar

  5. Direct Air Capture

  6. Carbon Storage: Mineralization and Geologic Sequestration

  7. Carbon Utilization

  8. Oceans 1 - Coastal Blue Carbon and Seaweed Cultivation

  9. Oceans 2 - Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Other Ocean CDR

  10. Carbon Removal Offsets and Voluntary Carbon Markets

Check out the links above to see all the great content available and to start learning, but I wanted to make some broad observations and highlight some of my biggest discoveries while putting this together.

A huge percentage of the content on the site comes from a relatively small number of really high quality carbon removal content creators. Almost all of the articles that Carbon Plan has put out have made their way into the curriculum somewhere. The newly released Carbon 180 Deep Dives (three page overviews of particular CDR technologies) are included in the High Flyer sections of many modules. The curriculum very frequently draws upon Nori’s Reversing Climate Change podcast and the My Climate Journey podcast.

However, some of the content I’m most excited about comes from lesser known sources or more specialized creators that more people should be aware of. I wanted to draw attention here to a few sources whose content I really enjoyed in particular:

  • Interested in learning more about biochar? Check out The Burning Question with Peter Olivier! Peter runs a thoughtful interview show with biochar industry leaders working on all sides of the sector. For a good sample, check out his recent interview with Andre van Zyl, the founder of a company called New World Pavement Solutions that’s growing fast and using biochar as a structural component in roads (asphalt). The Burning Question is also an active Substack newsletter, where Peter posts his insights about the past, present, and future of the biochar industry.

  • The Salk Institute ran a conference in March 2020 on Plant Carbon Drawdown, and videos from all the speakers are publicly available. The Carbon Removal Academy curriculum uses two of these videos in the Coastal Blue Carbon section, but the link above contains videos on regenerative agriculture, perennial grain crops, marine permaculture, and even enhanced weathering. All super interesting and well presented!

  • The National Academy of Sciences is working on a new report, titled A Research Strategy for Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration. In the process of putting this together, the NASEM committee has been holding public full day events with panels of experts discussing every single Ocean CDR topic you can think of. Want a 90 min masterclass into all things seaweed cultivation? BAM! How MRV works for ocean alkalinity enhancement? BOOM! Check out the full video playlists here, here, here, and here.

  • Jeremy Epstein’s Business Model Lab discussions from the past year, hosted on Air Miners, dive deep into how different carbon removal approaches will ultimately become profitable companies. All of the recordings can be found on Jeremy’s YouTube channel. One of the best discussions here was with Brett KenCairn of Urban Drawdown Institute, talking about the many synergies that carbon removal has with local governments, from urban forestry to biochar to local industry and cement production. Business Model Lab calls were foundational for me last summer in learning the ropes of carbon removal, so I’m excited to be including some of these discussions in the new Carbon Removal Academy curriculum.

  • Lastly, I recently released an interview I conducted back in December with Elias Ayrey, Head Scientist at Pachama, on how forest remote sensing actually works. It’s in Module 3 of the curriculum, and you can check it out on YouTube here! If you’re interested in going deeper on the topic, Elias also sent me two review papers on remote sensing to learn more (here, here). Thanks again to Elias for chatting with me!

Overall, I’m super excited about the new curriculum and all of the great CDR content that it features. If you have great carbon removal resources, whether articles, videos, podcasts, interviews, or anything else that I missed and you think should go in the curriculum, hit reply and let me know!

And if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon with an update on how the first round of problem packs went and details on what’s next!

Carbon Removal Meme of the Week

If you have any carbon removal memes (or are inspired and decide to make one!), please send them to me! I’ll highlight my favorite CDR meme each week here.