discussion / AI for Conservation  / 9 December 2020

Seeking interviewees - AI in Conservation & nonprofits


My name is Alexander Lam. I am an undergraduate honors student investigating the use of artificial intelligence/machine learning by conservation nonprofit organizations. I am working with Professor Renee Sieber, who researched the potential for geographic information systems in environmental and conservation nonprofits. We are interested in any potential challenges that conservation nonprofits might face in that use. This could include those of you thinking about using AI/ML and especially those of you who have used/are using AI/ML.

The hypothesis is that the use of AI/ML (e.g., anything from Bayes and Random Forest, to convolution neural networks) is no different from using GIS or statistical (non ML) modelling. Same resources, similar needs for skills.

We are currently looking for individuals who might have insight on the topic for a half hour interview. Please let me know if you are interested. I will send you a research consent form and a copy of the questions.

Thank you in advance,


If you haven't reached out Wildlife Insights (https://www.wildlifeinsights.org/), I would highly recommend it. It's a partnership between Google and several organizations such as WWF, ZSL, Conservation International, etc. They use AI/ML to automate camera trap data.


You could interview Jorn Dallinga ([email protected]) about the EWS project. You could watch the movie on our Dutch website (English spoken). The project has advanced since the clip was recorded, but it gives an impression of the goals. https://www.wwf.nl/wat-we-doen/actueel/nieuws/ontbossing-tegengaan-met-een-early-warning-system



I would try to reach out to folks at Rainforest Connection, Econode, SMART (co-run by a bunch of org's like WCS, WWF, ZSL), Bonnie Lei, Dan Morris, etc. at Microsoft AI for Earth, Li Ling Choo is the program head for Conservation Tech at WCS. Just some thoughts!  

Hi @Alex.L , I would suggest the same as for @mattzig at https://www.wildlabs.net/community/thread/1046#post-4348 :

I could try to connect you with some of the people and orgs we have worked with. If you go through https://www.vizzuality.com/project/ and identify the projects you would like to be look into, I can then try to connect you with the best person for each project.

And I would be very interested in learning more about your research group's work, besides your current research question, if possible!

Happy New Year! Luisa