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How do I get started with participatory mapping?

Catch up on our Tech Tutors episode with Christine Wilkinson, who answered the question, How do I get started with participatory mapping? In this episode, Christine discussed the importance of involving communities in your conservation tech work, incorporating local knowledge into research and management, and factoring ethical and logistical considerations into your projects. Watch the full session below and on our Youtube channel.

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About the Series

Welcome to the third season of WILDLABS Tech Tutors, the series that answers the "how do I do that?" questions of conservation tech! Brought to you with the support of Microsoft AI for Earth, Tech Tutors is made for conservation tech beginners of all knowledge levels (and yes, even experts can still be beginners when it comes to tackling a new aspect of conservation tech or starting a new project.). Our Tech Tutors will give you the bite-sized, easy-to-understand building blocks you'll need to try new conservation technology, enhance your research, DIY a project for the first time, or simply explore the possibilities.

Taking place every Thursday, each Tech Tutor will present a 30 minute tutorial guiding you through an aspect of conservation tech, followed by a 30 minute live Q&A session with the audience.

What do you gain as a Tech Tutors participant? You'll leave each episode with the confidence to build on the skills discussed in these tutorials, and you'll have an ongoing opportunity to learn and collaborate with other members of the WILDLABS community! The connections made through the past seasons of Tech Tutors have led to real projects and results, and our third season is set to introduce you to even more new ideas and community members who are ready to start something new! 

Can't make it to an episode this season? Don't worry! You can find every tutorial after it airs on our Youtube channel, and you can collaborate and ask questions in each episode's thread on the WILDLABS Tech Tutors forum.

Want to catch up on Tech Tutors Seasons One and Two? Find links to our episodes' recordings and resources here and here.

Meet Your Tech Tutor: Christine Wilkinson, UC Berkeley

Christine Wilkinson is a conservation biologist and postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include human-wildlife conflict, carnivore movement ecology, multidisciplinary mapping, and using participatory methods for more effective and inclusive conservation outcomes.

We asked Christine...

What will I learn in this episode? 

You will learn what participatory mapping is, why it's an important tool, the main types and platforms for participatory mapping, and how to get started with using participatory mapping in your work and/or in your community. I will also show an example of how I used participatory mapping in my work on human-carnivore conflict in Nakuru County, Kenya.

How can I learn more about this subject? 

Here are some great resources to get started: 

If I want to take the next step, where should I start? 

Start with consulting with the community you would like to work with, whether it is your own community or another community in which you are conducting research. Make sure that community members are involved from the beginning to the extent possible- especially in the question formulation and giving input on the methodologies. At the same time, do some introspection to assure you are doing this work to elevate the voices.

What advice do you have for a complete beginner in this subject? 

Participatory mapping is a great tool for involving communities, elevating their voices, and incorporating community knowledge into research and management. There are many ethical and logistical considerations, so it is a tool best used with as much community consultation and introspection as possible throughout the process. Don't be afraid to revise your process or even your questions to match what the community would like to answer or express! Remember that you are doing research with people, not on people. 

Are you ready to learn with Christine? Watch Christine's episode on Youtube here.

Learn more about our upcoming Tech Tutorials

Visit the series page on WILDLABS to find the full list of WILDLABS Tech Tutors.


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