Introducing the Technical Difficulties Editorial Series

Welcome to WILDLABS' new editorial series, Technical Difficulties, an exploration of conservation tech challenges, failures, and lessons learned. 

Throughout this connected series written by conservation technology community members, we'll discuss the value of encountering challenges and failures in our work. And as we uncover that value, we'll also discuss how failures in conservation tech can lead to successes, solutions, and reasons to be hopeful about conservation's future.

Explore each new Technical Difficulties case study, released on a weekly basis, below.

Date published: 2021/08/30

Today is the International Day of Failure, a day when people think about, share with others about, and learn from their failures.

In the spirit of celebrating the lessons learned by the conservation tech community from facing failures and challenges, we're proud to mark the International Day of Failure with the launch of our first WILDLABS Editorial Series: Technical Difficulties. 

Throughout this interconnected series, we'll discuss the value of encountering challenges and failures in our work. And as we uncover that value, we'll also discuss how failures in conservation tech can lead to successes, solutions, and reasons to be hopeful about conservation's future.

Technical Difficulties - case study 1 poster

Shared over the coming months through a new article each Wednesday, Technical Difficulties will explore experiences like baboons and elephants breaking tech gear, pangolins evading camera trap surveys, wildlife falling victim to poachers or becoming fishing vessel bycatch in spite of tracking efforts, setbacks in project and tool development leading to new connections, and much more. 

We hope you enjoy this new series and find worthwhile lessons to apply to your own work. And just as importantly, we hope that sharing the value of our failures will become an important part of the conservation tech community, opening new avenues for us to learn from each other, collaborate, and find solutions together.

Below, you'll find each new Technical Difficulties case study as it becomes available every week, along with a downloadable PDF. At the conclusion of the series, you'll be able to download the Technical Difficulties series in one convenient collection. 

Technical Difficulties - series poster

EXPLORE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

  • October 13: Understanding the Realities | Colby Loucks and Eric Becker 

  • October 20: Cleared for TakeoffColby Loucks and Eric Becker

  • October 27: Expect the Unexpected | Colby Loucks and Eric Becker

  • November 3: The Death of Giants | Christie Sampson

  • November 10: Pangolin in a Haystack: Advice on Studying Elusive Species | Juliana Masseloux

  • November 17: Tracking Thunderbird: Lessons in Risk, Limitations, and Optimism | Ellie Warren

More articles in the schedule will be announced soon.

This Editorial Series would not have been possible without the generous support of the Walton Family Foundation and WCS. 

Stay tuned to WILDLABS for more on the Technical Difficulties series, including future events with our contributors. 

Header image: Sara Beery: 'Plan for losses, and how you will handle them (currently sorting through broken cameras using my best forensics to determine what killed them. Crushed = elephants'

Join our community's open discussion of failures, challenges, and lessons learned.