Emerging Tech / Feed

Technology is changing and evolving faster than ever, and as it does, our community members are looking for the next big thing to revolutionize their conservation tech work. To chat about your favorite new tools that are just emerging in the field and discover innovations you haven't yet heard of, join this group!


ChatGPT for conservation

Hi, I've been wondering what this community's thoughts are on ChatGPT? I was just having a play with it and asked:"could you write me a script in python that loads photos...

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Interesting thoughts. 

1. Great - if it makes it easier for everyone GREAT. If we can all spend less time writing about what makes us good and worthy of funding  it means we can spend more time on the actual work. And I can only speak for WILDLABS, but most of our funding comes from people seeing our work and talking to us about what we could do together, rather than us writing long applications about work we could be doing and competing against other projects - though we do do this too. That's not true for everyone, but for us it's going to mean alleviating a pretty significant administrative barrier (and already is). 

2. And as someone who reviews a lot of grant and job applications, if it improves the overall quality - even better. I'd rather read across the board good applications and decide on merit, rather than deciding based on who understand how to construct a compelling case for a particular application. 

3. Tricky one - but surely it's more equitable to have tighter criteria rather than knocking half hour because of weaker writing? 

This last point is interesting and one I hadn't thought about - longer term access could mean entrenching more inequality rather than alleviating it. I dont have any answers, but it's given me something to think about. 

ChatGPT is not at all reliable for pulling in scientific information - in fact it is not able to pull Google-able real information. Its database is very limited and for everything it doesn't know the answer to, it simply makes something up!

Here is an example: I asked ChatGPT what is the difference between scorpionfish and stonefish and a bunch of follow up questions. They were answered in a "seemingly" reliable way. But when I asked if any of these two species are on the IUCN vulnerable or endangered list, it said yes. I asked for "any examples?",  it returned 4 results with actual species scientific names for each category (BTW - I was just testing if it could understand my 2x2 question, I am an HCI expert, so I was just curious). However, a quick Google search returned that these species were actually of "Least Concern". Partially fake information is even more dangerous than 100% fake.  I would have so much preferred if ChatGPT had said, "I am not sure, why don't you Google that..."At least it had the decency to admit the mistake and apologise when caught ;-)

So, please do not use ChatGPT to write grant proposals or any of the other ambitious use cases mentioned in this forum by relying on the data it returns - not without googling and validating everything yourself! At least not yet. When ChatGPT gets married to Alexa :-) and can search and analyse web information reliably, then we will be one step closer to an indeed powerful tool for searching and composing information for grants, reviews, reports etc. Even then, scientists will still need to be able to trace and validate the data sources.

Interesting. Just to comment on the 'please do not use ChatGPT to write grant proposals' as an ambitious use case - personally, I wasn't suggesting or planning to use chatgpt to do the specific content/science side of a grant proposal, my assumption was it would be completely untrustworthy for this and so hadn't even considered it. The usecase we've been talking about has been as a writing assistant, helping with framing and structure for a proposal, and as a starting point to work from rather than starting from a blank page. It's been relatively useful already in this context. It's a helpful jumping off point, not for a finished product.  

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NFTs for Carbon Credits

Dear all,I write from the montane cloud rainforest of the Torricelli Mountain range in Papua New Guinea. My name is James Wareing and having qualified as a solicitor in London...

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Hi James - I'm working for Regen Network at the intersection of blockchain and ecosystem regeneration and am developing an Environmental Stewardship initiative that might be of interest. I'm also familiar with a lot of related work people are doing around the world, including projects focused on NFTs. I think NIHT Inc. is using or at least thinking about using blockchain tech for forest protection in PNG. There is a lot of innovation going on in this space, but there are also a lot of sketchy projects so navigating the options isn't all that straightforward. One of these days, it would be good to have a Wildlabs session on blockchain and conservation. Let me know how I can help. 

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The Variety Hour: March

Join us on Wednesday to talk about building autonomous camera traps for insects, updates about the arbimon tool for bioacoustics, the Biodiversity Accelerator+ which is now open for applications, and to hear about an...

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Moveapps: EMAC23 Coding Challenge

Motivated by having been named a Conservation Tech Award grantee in 2022, we are launching...

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Super initiative! I hope you get a lot of entries to this coding challenge!

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The WILDLABS Variety Hour: February 2023 - YouTube

Last week's Variety Hour is now up on youtube. It was a great session - we covered Moveapps, an awesome community project building marine biologgers, chatgpt and google earth engine vs microsoft's planetary computer. Thanks everyone who came along!


Hardware Lead (Remote)

We are a team of ecologists and technologists who believe good business must be good for nature. We’re building an economy that puts nature and business in balance by incentivising the restoration of nature at scale. 

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Block chains and NFTs in wildlife conservation

Hello humans,I'm looking to understand more about blockchains and NFTs in conservation, any link to information will be appreciated, thank you

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Hey Janet! 

We had a slightly intense discussion at one of our recent variety hour shows, which I belive @Netty_Cheruto already sent your way. But in case anyone else spots this thread and has the same question, it's here: 

What specifically were you looking to learn more about? If it's just about NFTs and blockchain in general, the work the Unearthodox team (formerly known as the Luc Hoffmann Institute) are doing might be worth having a look at. They got in contact with me recently to share their project ‘Digital Disruption and Future of Conservation NGOs project’ and the digital toolkit that has recently been launched as part of this project.

The project is focused on exploring the potential of emerging digital technologies, including blockchain, to transform conservation practices and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation NGOs. The project aims to understand how these technologies can be used to benefit the conservation sector and support the work of conservationists around the world.

The digital toolkit has been designed as a basic introduction to blockchain concepts and their potential use for nature conservation. It includes information and resources to help conservation practitioners understand the opportunities and challenges of using blockchain technology in their work. 

If you have specific questions, pop them in a reply and I'll see if someone from their team can pop in here and answer them!


Hi Janet,


I've written quite a bit about this from the perspective of conservation and conservation science finance.  You can see some of the articles here and more on my LinkedIn pages.



Hi all,

Thank you so much for sharing the resources, these are quite insightfull

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The Variety Hour: 2023 Lineup

You’re invited to the WILDLABS Variety Hour, our monthly community event connecting you to the exciting projects, research, and ideas that are happening in conservation tech right now. Brought to you with the support of...

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Amazon Sustainability Accelerator

Are you building a sustainability start-up and want to maximise your impact? We want to support you! We are looking for startups developing sustainability-focused products or recycling technologies that help keeping...

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The Variety Hour: February

Join us on Wednesday to talk about Google Earth Engine vs Microsoft's Planetary Computer, ChatGPT for Conservation, an introduction to Moveapps, and learn about a project aiming to build a radio telemetry system to...

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Suggestions for user research/co-design methodologies

Hi everyone, I'm wondering if anyone on here has an experience with user research or user testing for conservation technology 'products'? Please get in touch, I'd love to discuss...

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I'm the UX researcher at Rainforest Connection (RFCx). I use research methods such as interviews, usability testing, and card sorting to understand scientists' pain points and needs while using the bioacoustic monitoring platform, Arbimon. 

In terms of tools, I use Figjam for brainstorming and mapping, Notion for a research repository, Zoom for interviews, and Figma for prototyping. I'm exploring how to use ChatGPT to speed up my process too! I use it to draft recruitment emails, summarize transcripts etc. I try to use tools that are either low-cost or that RFCx already has subscriptions of. 

Since I'm a UX team of one, I also partner with University student groups/practicum courses to let UX students take on some of our projects. 

Feel free to reach out; I'm always happy to chat.



Hi @Sicily_Fiennes 

Apologies for the very late response to this thread, are you still looking for advice on user research and co-creation methodologies? I see there is a lot of support here on tools already ;-)

I would recommend running some sessions with low fidelity prototypes as early as possible, definitely before investing in any development! You can do this with a variety of tools, but paper prototypes can also be great if you are trying to compare very different concepts. You can use sketches to run more of a co-creation session, so that you encourage your users to define the data insights that they need explicitly and explore together different ways of visualizing & interacting with the information.

I normally do 1-1 interviews to define needs and identify potential barriers, before prototyping. But, you might be further ahead in the design process by now. 

If you still need some advice on defining the key use cases or the data visualization with users, I would be happy to offer a quick chat over zoom on how to go about it.

I am an independent service designer / user researcher with 14 years of experience in the tech industry, based in Europe :-)

Hope this helps!


Hi @Sicily_Fiennes,

Over the past several years, I have explored how to design engaging and useful tools for the exploration of audio recording to locate calls of a particular bird species (i.e. Eastern bristlebirds). I worked to understand the practices of a species recovery team, as well as their experiences trialling audio recorders and analysis. Additionally, I explored knowledge of birders and broader audiences, and how this relates to them making sense of audio recordings and broader nature media (e.g. distribution maps and photographs of birds). My methods to understand these included semistructured interviews, artifact exploration (very low fidelity prototyping), and ethnographically inspired participant-observer fieldwork. I also took some inspiration from design research approaches such as contextual inquiry, cultural/technical probes, and more. My background prior to being a design researcher was in ecology, conservation, and environmental education, so I drew from that expertise to understand a little-known bird species and the role of technology in supporting people in becoming familiar with it. Most of my work was positioned within the field of Interaction Design, publishing via Human-Computer Interaction, Designing Interactive Systems, and Computer Supported Cooperative Work outlets (i.e. rather than UX/UI). If interested in knowing more, perhaps have a look at papers I was the first author on that are listed here, and a few videos here. My research highlights the importance of understanding the situation, knowledge, experiences, and needs of different groups of people to design enticing and useful technologies that foster learning, cooperation, and integration into existing practices. In my experience, people are sometimes compelled to be more open and creative when not interacting with technologies that can be perceived as expensive and polished products. 

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Deep Sea BRUVS Development

Hi everyone. Titus here from the Philippines.  We are currently working on creating a deep-sea dropcamera similar to...

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Hi Titus,

If the usual syntactic foam sources aren't available, an option may be to add an empty dry housing or use a larger housing for the BRUV, just to provide the buoyancy.

You can make your own syntactic foam from glass microballoons and epoxy resin, but this will require experimentation and testing.  For sub-surface buoyancy, you could also use a jerry can full of cooking oil, or a coil of polypropylene rope.

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We need more people using Earth observation data

The role of no-code geospatial software in the fight against climate change

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Interview for Technologies in Conservation

Dear Wildlabs community, my name is Nikolas and I am a Master's Student from Lisbon. Like many of you, I grew up with a great passion for the wildlife that we are surrounded...

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I'd be happy to chat with you if you wanted! My expertise is within passive acoustic monitoring particularly. The Conservation Tech Directory might be useful for you in identifying relevant actors within the space.

My original background is in ecology and conservation, and am now in the elected leadership of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware which convenes researchers developing open source tech for science. I am not working on a specific piece of technology right now, but am happy to contribute some higher-level views for your interview if that helps.

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