Getting Started in the WILDLABS Community

Welcome to WILDLABS!  

If you’re new to our community, this is your roadmap for getting started and finding the best ways to get involved and engage with our events, members, opportunities, resources, and more. 

Date published: 2020/10/23

First Steps in the WILDLABS Community

Our community is the core of WILDLABS, and we want to help you to make connections, start collaborations, and share ideas and resources with each other. You’ll get the most out of our member directory by filling out your profile with details about your conservation tech interests, projects, and background. This will let other members find you for future projects and questions, and help us understand what resources and content will be interesting and helpful for you!

Likewise, our Welcome to WILDLABS thread in the Community Base should be your first point of call in the community. It's the best place to introduce yourself directly to our members and find out who else in the community! The WILDLABS Community Base group is your space to get acquainted with all that our platform and community have to offer, and you can always check in there to see announcements, news, and community-wide resources.

You can also find an overview of everything WILDLABS has to offer by using the Explore page of your Dashboard feature.

Lastly, our Community Digest also offers members a fortnightly at-a-glance review of the best conversations, opportunities, and resources happening on WILDLABS. Make sure you're subscribed to our mailing list to stay on top of the latest community news. 

Finding Your Group

Next, you’ll want to find the best Groups to join, accessed through our Community tab. Our groups are mostly organized by areas of technological interest - for example, our Acoustic Monitoring, Camera Traps, and Biologging groups, among many others! These groups are the right place to ask and answer questions, share what you’re working on, and invite others to join you in collaborations or contribute to conservation tech projects. 

You’ll also find groups like Early Career, where members share career resources and explore the many paths through which you can enter the conservation technology field; Events, Conferences, Hacks & Meetups, where you can stay up-to-date on upcoming chances to engage with the community online and in-person; and the WILDLABS Watering Hole, our general gathering place where members share news, activities, surveys, and more!

Every WILDLABS group is open to everyone, regardless of your skill level or previous experience with conservation tech; in fact, we encourage you to check out areas you’re less familiar with and expand your #tech4wildlife horizons!

How are you using #Tech4Wildlife? 

Speaking of #Tech4Wildlife, have you heard about our annual photo challenge? Each year, to celebrate World Wildlife Day on March 3, we ask users of conservation tech to share photos on Twitter of how they use tech in the field and the lab, using the #Tech4Wildlife hashtag. This is your chance to show the diverse, innovative ways you are using tech for wildlife conservation.

Over the past five years, we've seen proximity loggers on Tasmanian Devils in Australia, tags on endangered minki whales in Antarctica, tiny tags tracking desert bats in Kenya, acoustic tracking of endangered hawksbill sea turtles in Ecuador, camera traps watching snow leopards in Mongolia, 3D cameras mounted on drones filming river dolphins in the Amazon, and camera traps capturing Jaguar in Bolivia. So we want to know, how are you using #Tech4Wildlife? 

 

A picture says a thousand words, so to get a taste of all the ways tech can help with wildlife conservation check out the incredible projects shared in the #tech4wildlife photo challenge feed

Learning with WILDLABS

Our community brings together members of all skill levels, and we have virtual events, case studies, and other resources to help you at any stage.

If you’re just learning about the possibilities of conservation technology, or exploring new ways to incorporate it into your work, you’ll want to check out our Tech Tutors series, which answers the “How do I do that?” questions from our community through quick tutorials and live Q&A sessions! Season 1 covered topics including getting started with machine learning, repairing camera traps, understanding portable genomics, scaling up acoustic surveys, and more. Each episode has its own resource bank and a collaborative document tracking questions, attendees, and other ways to engage with the material, as well as a thread in our forums where you can continue the discussion! You can also find the entire first season on our Youtube channel.

Season 1 lineup

Also on our Youtube channel is our Virtual Meetup series, which brings together experts for big discussions on conservation technology’s biggest developments! All three seasons of this series will give you a great overview of what’s happening in our community, and the future directions of conservation tech research and fieldwork. Watch the entire series here on Youtube.

And beginning this November, we’ll introduce a hands-on way to learn about conservation tech with our first virtual course, Build Your Own Data Logger, an interactive and comprehensive 8-part program that will guide you through every step of building and deploying custom hardware using the Arduino platform.

Keeping Up with Community Resources

In addition to being a platform to engage directly with each other via the forums, the WILDLABS team also brings career and funding opportunities, news stories, training and event announcements, case studies, unique articles, and other relevant content right to you through our Resources tab! Our bi-weekly Community Digest also compiles all of these resources in one place.

You can also get an overview of our community's work in our Annual Reports, found here. Click on the map below to jump to our most recent Community Review. 

example connections in community map

Want to share something or create original content for us? Contact [email protected] to find out more about being featured on WILDLABS!

Need Help?

The WILDLABS platform is constantly growing and changing, and we know there’s a lot of information to take in! Use this thread in the Community Base to ask questions about navigating the forums and website, and send your questions about connecting with other members, getting involved in virtual programs, or sharing/creating content for us to [email protected].

See you in the community!

Have questions about getting the most out of WILDLABS? Stop by the Community Base and let us know!