WILDLABS is the central hub for conservation technology online, connecting 6,000+ conservationists, researchers, field biologists, engineers, developers, makers, and #tech4wildlife experts from around the world!
During the "Imagine" machine learning conference from Edge Impulse, we were fortunate to attend the Conservation/AI Ethics Panel, which was facilitated by Stephanie O'Donnell, the Founder and Community Manager at WILDLABS. The panel shared many ways they are using technology to support conservation efforts - from protecting wildlife across the globe (Smart Parks and ConservationXLabs) to accelerating technology capacity in emerging economies (Mara Foundation). Topics included animal tracking, data logging, camera traps, GIS, remote sensing and making everything smarter with edgeML. Based on what we know about the SparkFun community, we thought there may be a subset of folks that would like to hook in to this global community - a good entry point is through the WILDLABS conservation community. Here are some easy ways to get involved!
If you have an image of how you are using technology, upload it to Twitter using #tech4wildlife. Although, WILDLABS hosts a photo challenge every year, people use the hash tag year round to share how they are using technology for conservation. A few examples:
I love when the bears actually have clean lenses on the collars!— Brogan Holcombe (@Brogan_Holcombe) October 12, 2022
Makes it so much easier to log what they’re doing and the plant species they are interacting with…and gives a pretty view #bearseyeview@marcellajkelly @whapavt@Brogan_Holcombe#wildlifeWednesday#Tech4Wildlife pic.twitter.com/xpriapaUsa
All my work involves #Tech4Wildlife, but this is hands-down my favorite picture. My biological #drone and #uav, who carries custom #bioacoustics and video equipment as she flies through swarms of #bats so we can better understand echolocation pic.twitter.com/pPUjOWoPAC— Laura N. Kloepper, Ph.D (@ProfLKloepper) February 24, 2021
Tech Tutors is a video series that focuses on answering the "how do I do that?" questions of conservation tech. The series provides the building blocks you'll need to try new conservation technology, enhance your research, or DIY a project for the first time. Taking place every Thursday, each Tech Tutor presents a 30 minute tutorial followed by a 30 minute live Q&A session. Here's a recent example:
These monthly calls are a great way to enter the WILDLABS community! Essentially, these conversations offer highlights of what's happening in the conservation tech world. Community members from around the world share projects, news, research and ideas and welcome participants to ask questions and participate in the conversation. Here is the recording from September:
Each year, WILDLABS, surveys the conservation tech community to see what they are up to, the challenges they encounter, what they need, and what they perceive as tech that will advance conservation efforts in the future. In 2021, the survey included responses from 248 individuals from 37 countries; about half were members of the WILDLABS community.
Are you using tech for conservation? Leave a comment about the work you do and head to the WILDLABS.net site to see all the resources they have to offer!