The Carbon Cycle Institute’s mission is to stop and reverse climate global change by advancing science-based solutions that reduce atmospheric carbon while promoting environmental stewardship, social equity and economic sustainability. The Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI) is advancing this mission through our Ag Carbon Program, which is advancing carbon farming and regenerative rangeland management that builds soil carbon and critical ecosystem services on ranches, farms and working landscapes.
The Carbon Cycle Institute was seeded in 2007 when founders of the Marin Carbon Project (MCP), including Jeff Creque, set out to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural, and forest soils through applied research, demonstration and implementation. MCP’s efforts scientifically validated the capacity of agricultural soils and systems to sequester measureable amounts of atmospheric carbon.
With this science as a foundation, several parallel but related projects concurrently took root, each committed to identifying and demonstrating carbon beneficial practices that can scale—including Fibershed, Thermopile Project and its offshoot, DNA Everywhere. CCI was formally “germinated” in February 2013 to serve as a combination think-do tank, catalyst and incubator for these and other promising solutions to the global climate crisis. In its inaugural year (2013), CCI provided the platform for the development of three important projects: Agricultural Carbon (Ag Carbon), DNA-Everywhere (DNAE), and Thermopile.
Thermopile was successful in documenting the ability of thermophilic composting to destroy pathogens in human waste streams and the infrastructure and technology required to demonstrate deployment. DNAE created a reliable, accurate, and low-cost process for collecting and analyzing DNA samples for use for monitoring with the Phylochip, specifically in thermophilic processing of human waste. Having completed their goals and objectives under CCI, DNAE and Thermopile have been transitioned to new institutional homes (starting in 2015), where they can be further developed and deployed in the field.
Thus, starting in 2015, CCI’s primary programmatic focus is Ag Carbon. CCI also received its 501c3 status in the summer of 2014 and has developed the governance, administrative, and management systems necessary to grow and mature.
CCI is supported by these important and generous partners:
11th Hour Foundation
Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
Herbert Family Foundation
Marin Carbon Project (including Marin Agricultural Land Trust
and Marin Resource Conservation District)
Mental Insight Foundation
Rockefeller Family Fund
San Francisco Foundation
US Department of Agriculture, NRCS
Numerous anonymous donors
How We Work
CCI works to advance carbon cycle solutions: working models of alternative practices, technologies and economic value chains that can produce food, fiber, and flora in ways that improve the environment and are climate- and carbon-beneficial. CCI focuses on early research and development of the most promising solutions (or proof of concept), developing partnerships with existing organizations and infrastructure to demonstrate the efficacy of these solutions, and then launches them to scale by:
- Advancing our understanding of the carbon cycle and biological processes to better inform how human practices can mitigate climate change while meeting our material needs;
- Delivering training and educational programs that foster carbon literacy among farmers and ranchers, policy makers, thought leaders and the general public;
- Developing tools and technologies that will improve carbon cycle stewardship;
- Designing and disseminating replicable solutions and systems; and,
- Supporting community and national policies that promote carbon stewardship.
CCI operates its own programs and partners with like-minded organizations, institutions and individuals to advance its mission and scale it work.
What We Believe
- Climate change cannot be addressed through mitigation of GHG/carbon emissions alone; we need solutions that reduce the “legacy load” of carbon in the atmosphere;
- Effective and lasting solutions to global climate change must incorporate the “three Es” – equity, environment, and the economy;
- Carbon management solutions should focus first on restoring natural resources and processes;
- To be scalable, solutions require an enabling policy environment and appropriate economic incentives; and,
- Real solutions will be grounded in rigorous science and combine the education, engineering and organizing/advocacy work required to bring them to scale.