Technology holds the potential to help conservationists better understand and mitigate critical environmental threats. Camera traps, acoustic sensors, and networked devices improve the efficiency, scale, and quality of data collection; powerful reporting software can generate novel conservation and management insight. While devices are gaining popularity as they become cheaper and easier to use, the knowledge to employ such tools is not equally accessible.
In Kenya, women are historically underrepresented in the conservation sector. We believe that empowering underrepresented groups generates innovative ideas, novel solutions, and diverse perspectives that engender conservation success. As such, we seek to equip early career Kenyan women with foundational knowledge in conservation tech to advance their careers in conservation while spreading awareness of novel solutions to their home organizations. We also aim to support women in the conservation community by creating a network of women working in the conservation tech community across Kenya.
About the Programme
WILDLABS, Fauna & Flora International and Ol Pejeta Conservancy are now accepting applications to participate in our first Women in Conservation Wildlife Technology Programme, a six-month program in which a cohort of early career women in Kenya will be selected to explore technological solutions to overcome conservation challenges. This programme has two primary aims.
- To provide an introduction to a diversity of hardware, software, and data management tools used for wildlife monitoring, wildlife protection, and resource management.
- To arrange opportunities for professional development and networking to empower a community of women working in conservation technology across this region.
This program is run by WILDLABS, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC). WILDLABS is the first global central online hub for conservation technology, providing connections, resources and training to conservationists, field biologists, engineers, and developers around the world. FFI is an international NGO dedicated to protecting the planet's threatened wildlife and habitats. OPC is a 90,000-acre sanctuary located in Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau that serves as a role model for innovative and sustainable conservation. OPC, with the support of FFI and WILDLABS, have established a Conservation Technology Lab that seeks to design, develop and use cutting-edge tech to stay at the forefront of conservation innovation. An overarching aim of this initiative is to provide capacity building programmes that empower people to embrace new approaches to conservation.
Participants will join two in-person workshops at Ol Pejeta Conservancy: the first will run for 5 days and the second for 3 days. In the six-month period between workshops, three half-day virtual sessions will be facilitated.
The first workshop will provide participants with an immersive introduction to hardware tools used to collect data on wildlife monitoring, wildlife protection, and resource management. The programme will also have professional development, mentorship, and networking sessions where participants will have an opportunity to meet and interact with female leaders in the conservation technology field. The subsequent three virtual sessions will cover software used to collect, manage, manipulate or visualize conservation data in order to inform decisions and policies, and provide a space to connect with identified mentors.
At the second workshop, the cohort will reconvene to share their experiences on the practical application of the technological tools in their work, highlighting their successes, challenges and failures. This meeting will be an avenue for the participants to foster already established networks within the cohort and explore new ones.
Benefits and Expectations
- Up to 15 participants will be have all in-country travel and on-site accommodation costs covered by the programme. Contributions for child care costs are possible.
- Participants must be available to attend the complete range of programme dates (15-21 May 2022; TBD November 2022) and participate in all three virtual half-day sessions.
- The programme will be taught in a combination of Swahili and English and a certification will be issued upon completion of the six-month programme.
- Participants will have access to downloadable resources and will be assigned a personal mentor who is a female leader in the conservation technology field.
This programme is geared towards early-career women starting out in the conservation field, although women at later stages of their conservation career are welcome to apply. Applicants must:
- Be a Kenyan national and identify as a woman.
- Be at least 18 years old and have completed a Diploma, B.Sc., or M.Sc. in Wildlife Conservation or a related area. NB: Applicants who have completed KWS or paramilitary training and have a demonstrated experience in wildlife/conservation technology are also invited to apply.
- Be passionate about conservation and curious about technology.
- Have or have a demonstrated interest in securing a position as a research assistant, field programme staff, or pursuing an advanced degree related to conservation science.
- Be able to commit to both in-person workshops and all virtual sessions.
How to apply
Applicants must submit the following materials via email to [email protected] with 'WCT Programme’ in the subject line.
- Completed application document (see below)
- Scanned copy of Diploma/B.Sc./M.Sc./ KWS or Paramilitary training certificates
- One letter of reference from a lecturer, employer, or mentor that can speak to your career aspirations and interests.
- Copy of National Identification Card or Passport
- CV or other relevant material
Reference writers – please clarify your relationship with the applicant in your submission. Please email your signed recommendations to [email protected] and reference the name of the relevant applicant in the subject line.
- 01 April 2022, Midnight EAT: Deadline for submitting applications
- 02-14th April 2022: Selection of prospective participants and Interviews conducted
- 15th April 2022: Sucessful participants are notified
For any questions or inquiries, please contact [email protected]
Coming soon: The WILDLABS East Africa Community Hub
The WILDLABS East Africa Community Hub is coming soon. As part of the next phase of WILDLABS, we are establishing regional hubs to bring together conservation and technology practitioners working in East Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. Our goal is to build tailored programmes that support these communities to share knowledge, ask and answer questions, and build collaborations for the innovation and deployment of technology to meet conservation challenges members are facing in the region.
Our East African Community is the first regional community to come online, and will be live with the launch of our new community platform in the coming weeks. The Women in Conservation Technology Programme is one of a series of upcoming opportunities and events that will be tailored to serve the East Africa community, and we are looking forward to growing and supporting this part of our community.