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Just starting your conservation tech career path? Our Early Career group is the best place to network, chat about your master's projects, and seek advice from your peers and those who have been down this path before! Join now to get to know community members and students from around the world!

discussion

Looking for folks to do resume/CV reviews

Hi--I'm in the middle of my job hunt, and would love to have folks to work with and give me feedback on my resume/CV, and hoped that there might be other people here on wildlabs...

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Thanks for the kind wishes! I did just start a new job, and the group I tried to put together never really got off the ground. Hopefully some other folks can take this thread and make some connections and run with it, though.

HI folks: If anyone is looking for a teaching-focused academic careers (e.g. primarily undergraduate institution) I'd be happy to look at anything through that lens.  

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discussion

Opportunity: networking, funding and more...

Calling early-career folks and innovative thinkers - the future leaders of their fields!  We have a fantastic opportunity to attend a virtual event that will...

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Hi Alice, 

Sounds like a really interesting symposium and topic! I took a look at the link but I'm curious, is the intent of the theme of digital tools for reversing environmental degradation intended to be more geared towards developing tools that help with community practice or that are geared towards enhancing conservation and resource management? 

Cheers, Liz

Hi Liz,

A bit of both - we certainly have people from both sides of that equation. The event will be very multi-disciplinary and aims specifically to bring together a broad range of people!

Hope that helps,

Thanks

Alice

Super interesting! I registered immediately.

Perhaps good to know is that if one registers, it is not only to apply for the upcoming symposium but also for future ones. So even if the coming symposium is not a perfect fit, one may register anyways.

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careers

Conservation Technology Intern (Vietnam) 

Meredith S. Palmer
*New closing date!* WILDLABS and Fauna & Flora International are seeking an early career conservationist for 12-month paid internship position to grow and support the Southeast Asia regional community in our global...

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careers

Conservation Technology Research Internship

Boost cons tech capacity at an international NGO! Fauna & Flora International is offering a paid three-month internship to consolidate and share best practices for the application of emerging hardware and software...

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careers

Research Associate

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is seeking a new Research Associate to join their Conservation Technology Lab team.

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discussion

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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discussion

Academia folks: what kind of tech training/exposure are you giving to your undergrads?

One of the things I've noticed in my work with some undergrads is that they're getting a pretty scattershot approach to learning about technology and its applications in...

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Pretty much all biostats classes in higher ed will be taught in R, you'd have to separately take a Python class. But even that would require the knowledge that you might need Python at all, which is not something I realized until far later in my career (in undergrad, it was what the computer science people took so how could it possibly be helpful for me yadda yadda). I say this too having been an undergrad right around when the big data revolution really took off, so I'm not sure what kind of curricular changes have been made following that. At my undergrad & Master's universities at least, there have not been any. One biostats course required for each, taught in R.

In terms of tech like hardware, ecology/conservation programs seem woefully under-focused on this. You can take a conservation class that might talk it about it for one lecture or a genetics class where you talk about eDNA, etc. but it doesn't seem as embedded into the overall curriculum as much as it should be. 

I of course am only speaking from my own experiences and those around me who have come from different universities. I know there are some universities doing it better, for example Andrew Schulz teaches a Conservation Tech class at Georgia Tech. Florida Tech has a Conservation Tech Master's program, as does Liverpool John Moore in the UK and Holland College in Canada. Pacific Union College also has a Conservation Tech concentration in their Bio department. 

There are also centres within universities that are focused on certain aspects of conservation tech - we have a bunch listed in the Conservation Tech Directory (you can filter by academia). 

I just had a conversation with a professor in my department who's had students doing RasPi-based camera traps as a project in a REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program, which seems really cool. But unfortunately it's only getting that exposure for a relatively small portion of the total undergraduate student body. 

 

The other thing I wonder is if the ways that students are growing up in their relationship with tech is changing how we need to teach things. This article really challenged some of the things I've found most aggravating in teaching students things in R or ArcGIS https://www.theverge.com/22684730/students-file-folder-directory-structure-education-gen-z

The title of that article is "File Not Found". That threw me off since I totally thought I hit a 404 and the article didn't exist anymore. It's super interesting though so don't get thrown off by the title.

Notable quote:
“Take their phones away and get ‘em on Windows 98.”

Also, that article makes me feel so oooooold....

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discussion

A Triphibian Surveillance Vehicle

Hey all!I am Ayush, a core team member of my school's Robotics Club (Center For Innovation, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras). There is one project - The Triphibian - we are...

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discussion

Careers in Bioacoustics

I'm a PhD student studying whale acoustics and am beginning to plan for the next step of my career after graduating. As a student I've met a lot of people who went on to academic...

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Hi Eric, 

Dropping in a reply we had over on Linkedin here. Annoyingly I can't do a snazzy embed of the comment - will fix that!

Anton Baotic shared: 

I guess it depends on whether you want to stay in academia or go into industry. Overtime working hours are preprogrammed in academia without appropriate compensation. Austrian funding agencies pay a reasonable wage. I believe it could be improved.
I've always enjoyed working with exotic animals like elephants, giraffes, and giant pandas, as well as the collaborative and international work. This experience shaped me into the person I am today, and I don't want to missany of it. Personally, I believe that bioacoustics has not received the respect that it deserves, including the bioacousticians who put their lives into their projects. I am convinced that bioacoustics can be a valuable tool in conservation. Throughout my career, non-academics and the tech industry have approached me numerous times about using bioacoustics as a conservation monitoring tool. And I frequently feel stepped on when asked to provide material without appreciating the work behind the data, especially when it comes from economically-driven institutes that are unwilling to compensate. The fact is that the best conservation Technology is meaningless without solid basic data.
In retrospective, a more tech-oriented educational background would have been good!

Steph

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event

Wildlifetek's Summer School

Are you a wildlife student or early career wildlife professional? Would you like to gain new knowledge and skills to help you move forward in your wildlife career? Would you like to learn how you can use technology to...

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