Problem Solving in Public
Zack Parisa
Zack Parisa
7 February, 2022 min read

Solving climate change is not a spectator sport. Rising to this grand challenge will take the work of billions of people, from farmers and family forest owners to leaders and inventors. Most of all, it will take solutions.

Those solutions don’t exist yet. We need technologies that haven’t been invented. We need answers to key open questions in climate science. We need all hands on deck. This is our generation’s moonshot and we’re on the clock.

I grew up in a NASA family in Huntsville, Alabama where moonshots were what life was all about. During the week, my dad built rocket thrusters and on the weekends we’d take apart radios and carburetors and put them back together again. I’ll always be grateful to him for showing me the power of an inspiring mission and teaching me the joy of figuring things out.

I combined those lessons with my training as a forester to start a small forest mapping business a decade ago.  When we started, it was just me and my co-founder driving around the South in a Ford Ranger pickup truck. We invented technology that foresters relied on for mapping and managing millions of acres. Now at NCX we use our tree maps to drive the largest forest carbon projects in America.

As a forest measurement expert, I had a front row seat to many of the early forest carbon projects. These vanguard projects were far from perfect, but they taught us important lessons and it’s inspiring that they happened at all. In fact, our work at NCX wouldn’t have been possible without them.

We should celebrate the spirit of “problem solving in public” needed to tackle climate change at speed and at scale. We won’t get things perfectly right the first time. Rather than shouting from the sidelines, get in the game. The urgency of climate action means that we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’ve got to get started now and learn and improve as we go.

At NCX, we learn something new and get better every single day. We are problem solvers and we get things done.  We work with partners in academia, government, and industry to drive real climate impact in forests that are messy and complicated and beautiful. We’re tackling the hardest climate challenges head on and we’re proud of our work solving the practical problems needed to unlock real climate impact at planetary scale.  

This is what solving climate change looks like. There are a million problems to solve and we could use your help.

If you want to be on the front lines of climate action and do the best work of your life, join us.

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about the author

Zack Parisa

Zack Parisa

Co-Founder and CEO
Zack Parisa is the co-founder and CEO of NCX. Over the last decade, he has developed and pioneered precision forestry tools that are revolutionizing the way that forests can be measured, valued, and managed. Using satellites, cloud computing, and machine learning, NCX worked with Microsoft to create “Basemap,” the first high-resolution forest inventory of the United States. It is now using this data to build new markets for forest values beyond timber, such as carbon, wildlife habitat, and fire risk. Zack is a forester and biometrician by training. He earned an MFS from Yale University, and a BS in forestry from Mississippi State University.