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The WILDLABS Community Base is the ideal place to get oriented with the all that our community platform offers, hear about news and opportunitys, and to meet new friends and collaborators. 

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Service Designer

Love design, passionate about conversation? Want to make sure that  technologies that are being developed actually meet the needs of the people who use them? Come and work for us! 

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Writing Bootcamp: Shaping Your Story

In this series, we'll share tips from our editorial team to help you get started writing great case studies, articles, and blog posts right here on WILDLABS! In our third post, Ellie Warren shares advice on structuring...

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Writing Bootcamp: Questions for Writers

In this series, we'll share tips from our editorial team to help you get started writing great case studies, articles, and blog posts right here on WILDLABS! In this second post, Ellie Warren shares the questions that...

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Writing Bootcamp: Ask the WILDLABS Editor

Hi wildlabbers! Ellie here - I'm the WILDLABS editor! We've just launched...

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Awesome! We were wondering about writing on WildLabs now that you can publish articles to specific topics. My writing skills are a bit rusty too. Looking forward to the article series :)

Thanks Akiba, hope you liked the series and found it helpful! Can't wait to see what you share! If you ever need someone to help brainstorm ideas on how to approach specific topics, drop in here anytime!

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What are your biggest sustainability challenges and issues in your work?

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Hey all! 

I mentioned that on Friday, we'd update this post with all the sustainability conversations happening across our platform, but I wanted to flag this great Twitter thread right now in case anyone wants to jump in! Lots of interesting conversation about challenges with transporting batteries to field sites on planes and using rechargeable batteries in the comments. 

Check it out here:

Battery Twitter Thread

Hi David,

Yes and no. A lot of organizations have realized that we also need to talk about co-benefits in such projects, especially when it comes to biodiversity. So, it's definitely not only about carbon anymore. however, most players struggle on how to measure and communicate biodiversity impacts. At WWF, we partnered for instance with Restor, who is trying to incorporating biodiversity

During a volunteer project, I ran into some stupefying experiences with camera traps, one of those 'corner stones', it seems, of nature conservation research. 

Everybody who works with camera traps knows it, but it was new to me, and I think it can't hurt to point out the glaringly obvious here:

They consume no less than 8 AA batteries per run. I've seen a project description boasting the use of 200 camera traps if I remember correctly. That is 1600 batteries and I sure hope they are able to retrieve every single one of them.

Secondly, the manual of the camera trap that I had purchased explicitly discouraged the use of rechargeable batteries. I tried it anyways and indeed, the camera seems to run shorter on them. Tip to myself for next time : download and read the manual first before purchasing.

Thirdly, in the country where I did the volunteer project it was completely unclear if there was a battery recycling system in place. It seemed to depend on the town and private initiative. The question now is to which extent camera traps for nature conservation are used in countries with a proper recycling system?

Fourthly, the project had a couple of camera traps that 'didn't work'. A few of these just needed some spraying with contact spray helped ( a whole different topic, but what is the environmental impact of contact spray? Does that weigh up to replacing the electronics? ). A few others seemed to suffer from the same problem. They contain a button cell that seems to power the clock and perhaps some other functions when the AA batteries are lacking. This button cell had gone bad, that is, rusted away. In the traps that I checked, the button cell was soldered to the electronics board. I had no means to replace them, so I do not know for sure that the faulty cell was the source of the problem. This really is a disclaimer, the camera traps seemed pretty old, and other things might caused the malfunction.

I found only one online source about these button cells in camera traps. It is listed below.

At least it indicates that this happens more often and that the cell is probably not rechargeable. If so, I find it a major design flaw. Would it not be better to make the button cells replaceable and /or rechargeable? Or do without them completely?
 

 

See 

 

 

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Grants for vehicles

Hi all,  It is an understatement to write that vehicles are necessary for efficient conservation. We all need motorbikes, pickup trucks, 4x4 to get to the places where...

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There was a previous Wildlabs thread on this - https://wildlabs.net/discussion/conservation-grants-field-vehicles but it didn't garner any comments unfortunately. 

I'm not sure if IdeaWild allows for car repairs? The grants are for equipment specifically. That's a small grant anyways though ($1500) so you'd probably need something bigger it sounds like.

I don't know of any grants specifically funding this, but most people I know who have gotten vehicles have applied for bigger grants that they write a new vehicle into as a budget line item (e.g., WWF, WCS, CI, MBZ, national agencies like NSF).   

Hi Carly, 

Thanks for digging up my previous thread (I couldn't find it). I guess I've been asking this question for a few years now!

I had also heard of grants from car companies but it seems they stopped doing this (or limit their support to areas around their factories, like Toyota). 

 

 

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Conservation Tech Career Pathways - what do you want to know? 

Hi wildlabbers, I made a casual comment in my post in the friday check in thread...

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+ 1 on the above comment; new to wildLabs, and the exact title of this post is what got me here as I was looking for ways I can contribute to Biodiversity conservation. Excited for the series to come out 

Hi David.

We're interacting with a lot of conservation organizations, more in the area of environmental monitoring/restoration than wildlife. However in regards to you're questions, this is what we're seeing. Also please remember, it's more from a commercial point of a view than academic.

  • what sectors want R vs Python if you do programming/data science

It's probably best to know both. A lot of conservation organizations internally use R, but a lot of the tools that are coming out are python-focused. This is especially true with the machine learning tools.

  • how to best represent all the weird random skills we end up picking up doing our work on a resume/CV

I think it's better to keep a focused CV that clearly expresses what you're looking for or your specialty. Rather than listing all the random skills that you've picked up, I recommend setting up either a portfolio or website where you can talk about all those additional details. For field researchers deploying technology, you have to be extremely resourceful so it's best to highlight that in a blog/portfolio website where you can explain more about what led you to come up with that solution, how you came about it, and the outcome. This would be extremely interesting to someone doing further research on you in anticipation of hiring.

  • comparison of private sector / public service / ngo / academia as workplaces

I can't speak much for academia. From the NGO's we're talking to, the largest ones are kind of early in their conservation technology adoption. Nature Conservancy has a relatively mature conservation technology group that's well funded. Same for WWF. Other orgs we've talked to are more like dipping their toes in the water and often bring outside people to implement specific projects rather than maintaining their own internal resources. Smaller orgs either have no conservation tech departments or fledgling ones. I think many orgs are trying to determine if they need dedicated conservation tech resources and trying to define what that means to them. 

In private sector, if you have programming skills, you'd probably end up being a programmer. This is because software customization and improvement is a never ending task in commercial software. In most orgs, they'd likely expect python since it's more general purpose unless they explicitly ask for R. 

  • how to identify sectors where there's going to be a lot of demand

In terms of wildlife conservation and wildlife conservation technology, the major data collection tools seem to be camera traps, bioacoustic recorders, trackers, GIS, and increasingly drones. The data processing tools seem to be R, python, and familiar with emerging ML tools for data processing. 

The common thread in all of this is that ecologists are drowning in a deluge of data. So being proficient in managing, analyzing, and processing data, especially in building tools to increase efficiency and productivity is probably one of the more desirable skills. Of course expertise in a specific field is important, but ecology is looking more like it also requires general purpose IT/programming skills. 

Akiba

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Invitation to Silverstrand Capital's Biodiversity Accelerator+

Are you an entrepreneur working to solve the biodiversity crisis through market-based solutions? If so, this call is for you!The Biodiversity Accelerator+ is a...

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Hi Stephanie, 

Thanks for getting back! I have updated the link to our website, where we have our launch event recording and the application form for companies.

In short, we are looking for companies past ideation stage employing either nature tech and/or nature-based solutions. While this is a global call, we will prefer if the company is currently operating in or have intent to operate in South East Asia. We have more examples at our website but I will be happy to answer your questions if any. 

Do follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/silverstrand-capital/ and feel free to share with your network as well! We do see biodiversity as a serious crisis to tackle and we want to empower founders that are mission-aligned with us. 

Dean

Hi Dean,

I love the sound of this accelerator, it's the sort of thing I'm looking to support through Cambridge Consultants' Tech for Good initiative. We're engineers, scientists and designers who could help with advice around building a first prototype of a new technology, or what it takes to get a technology to market quickly, just for example. Would you like to connect for an initial exploratory chat?

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