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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!

discussion

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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Hi! 

Rainforest Connection is currently in the process of UX/UI research for our audio data analysis platform, Arbimon. I'll forward this thread to our lead on this.

The folks at ConservationX might have some insights as well with testing of the NABIT and Sentinel. 

Hi,

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.

 

 

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discussion

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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I've been using it a bit for GIS and remote sensing. Automating code snippets and fixing errors.

Also used it for a few excel queries and some marketing related tasks.

What I'm so excited about is if it is this good now what's ai going to be like 10 years from now?

I really think 2023 is the year ai is going mainstream and people are going to have that 'aha so this is what it is all about moment'.

Great idea for a discussion Isobel. I was thinking also that it is likely to be a tool for good (rather than evil). 

I have no idea how to use it (was googling about it yesterday...), so any infom shared here within WildLabs would be greatly received by many, I believe.

C.

Really excited to see ChatGPT making waves even in this community! I think there's a huge amount of potential for not just ChatGPT, but LLMs (large language models) and NLP (natural language processing) more broadly, to have concrete impacts on conservation. Like others have already mentioned, it can definitely be useful as a coding assistant, especially for people who don't have the strongest programming skills (and I recommend anyone to check out tools such as RTutor if you haven't already!). Beyond that, the utility within the context of scientific research could be quite potent. Climate scientists have begun to leverage NLP in a variety of contexts, e.g. using ClimateBERT to analyze climate risk disclosures, and I have seen conversations about the possibility of using NLP to analyze biodiversity offset initiative reporting, for example. Personally, I also see some really exciting opportunities for using ChatGPT and other NLP tools to assist in knowledge management, synthesis, dissemination etc.

I have some pretty concrete ideas about what this could look like, but more than anything I'd be really curious to discuss it in this community to see what use cases people can imagine! @StephODonnell if you're looking for someone to facilitate a conversation on this I'd be happy to host! I've been hosting some conversations on ChatGPT within a different industry and it's sparked some really cool conversations 🤗

 

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article

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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discussion

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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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 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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discussion

Help - Innovative ways to track elephant movement

Hi, I am working on a study to track wild elephant movement within an overlayed matrix of crop fields. We seek to understand how various landscape variables impact crop-raiding...

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Why would you want to avoid alerting the rangers ?

You don't need high tech for this; elephants leave very obvious tracks and sign. 

Hi Tyler,

Would like to introduce you to Ceres Tags products

  • Ceres Tags products come in boxes of 5, 10 and 24. 
  • There are some software partners such as Earthranger, Mapipedia and possibly CiboLabs that would be able to assist you with your mapping vegetation requirements
  • Ceres Tag does not require any towers, base stations and infrastructure. This allows you to see any movements from the heard outside of their normal herd (boundary alerts), and you will not be disturbing any of the flora and fauna with infrastructure set up. 
  • For the timing you are looking at, Ceres Wild pings directly to satellite 24 times a day. For Ceres Trace and Ceres Ranch there are 4 within 24 hours. Taking into consideration, when you set up alert areas, you will get them directly to your phone/laptop via your software of choice
  • Ceres Ranch is a reusable tag that has just been launched. Use it on this project, remove the tag and then use the tag on your next project
  • The software you choose will assist with the history of your animal movements. Ceres Tag is integrated with 11 software partners and in-development with 18 software partners https://cerestag.com/pages/software-partners
  • Understanding it is a short-term project, you would be able to use Ceres Tags products without the additional expense of setting up and removing infrastructure- towers, gateways
  • With Ceres Tag, you are purchasing the box of tags and picking a suitable software to deliver the information you require. On average, a box of 10 Ceres Trace Tags, is the same as 1 LoRaWAN tower. 

 

I just came across this interesting paper in which seismic monotoring of animals like elephants was mentioned. 

This is the study refered to:

Cheers,

Lars

 

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discussion

Workshop Invite: Building Partnerships between Conservation Tech and the UK Space Sector

Hi everyone, In collaboration with our partners over at the Satellite Applications Catapult, we are hosting an in person workshop...

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Hi Steph,

If it's not too late, I'm very interested in this workshop.

Best,

V

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discussion

Global shortage of Raspberry Pis - What are the alternatives

So, there is a global shortage of Raspberry Pis, the open source micro-computer that has been popular amongst open hardware designers and hobbyists alike. Like...

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Hi @tom_august this is a very important topic given the global shortages we are seeing. I tend to use really low power micros rather than Pis for my stuff if I can, but I'd be very interested to hear about alternatives. I take it you are doing some reasonably heavy processing given the need for 4Bs? I have a few old 3s you are welcome to. A great list from @PshemekZ there. I don't know much about these: 

But didn't see them in the list. 

 @Freaklabs will likey have some ideas too. Looking forward to hearing more.

Cheers,

Rob

Unfortunately not much to add. I think there was an assumption that Raspberry Pi's would always be available and it's turning out that it's unfortunately not the case. I'm guilty of this for standard chips. I didn't think there'd be such a huge shortage that spread across so many chip families which left us scrambling.  I'm sure the supply crunch will ease up soon so the RasPi shortage should ease. It should be considered thought that should something happen to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there's a possibility that the production could end. Since Raspberry Pi's are not open source, this would be devastating to many projects that rely on them. 

As for porting to another platform, I guess the question would be which platform to bet on for the Raspberry Pi alternate and possibly eventual successor. It would probably need to be open source, widely available, and have enough community around it to support itself. Nothing immediately comes to mind (Jetson possibly but not open source and subject to whims of nVidia).

And perhaps this could turn into a community project to come up with an open platform that conservation communities can standardize on where availability could also be guaranteed. There's a lot of exciting things happening with the RISC-V architecture, which could be a good candiate.

As an update from us, we are playing around with two alternatives:

  • Banana PI BPI-M5 M5 4GB 4 x 2GHz 
  • Radxa Rock 4 SE 

I'll update once we have results!

 

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discussion

Picking up signal of GPS tag

Hi all! Has anyone been able to collect any ID information from a GPS tag, by circling above with a drone? Thinking about FAD detection at sea.Thanks!

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Thanks Carly! I've been in awe of what Wildlife Drones is doing, but as you say my work at the moment is focussed on existing GPS units rather than telemetry for tracking. I'll still reach out & ask though. Thanks for your help! :)

Hi Kim! Thanks for sharing, this is really interesting! I'll check out the website & see what I can find out about the mechanics of the device. Thanks again!

Hey Sol, 

The only way for you to collect information from a GPS tag attached to a FAD is if that tag transmits that data to the drone. Unfortunately most receiver packages are a bit too large for hobbyist-style drones (from what I've seen). 

Depending on the range/distance from shore, you might be able to have a shore-based receiver system?  

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discussion

ConservationAI

The conservation AI platform allows you to upload your media for automatic species detection using our trained AI models. The platform uses cutting edge computer vision...

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Out of curiosity, what are the similarities/differences between your platform and other image classification ones such as Wildlife Insights, WildID, ZambaCloud? I don't mean that in like a "what's best" way, just would be great to better understand the the details so that people can assess what to try for their specific use cases & applications!

It would be great to have a comparative specs sheet of sorts! Peter Gyurov started something like that: https://www.notion.so/Camera-Trap-Pipeline-Solution-Comparison-2eac80825c4941b0b2b5fad3daea1cc3. Would be great to add ConservationAI to this list!

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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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discussion

Rainforest SigFox available for use

Hi EveryoneJust FYI that right now we now have a SigFox gateway running to create an IoT network at the Los Amigos field station in lowland Peruvian Amazon.  Amazing forest,...

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Hi Roland,

This is really amazing, great to hear about your set-up! I'm just wondering what the overall cost was to set up this system? Just thinking in terms of setting up something similar in other parks and what they should expect with regard to price. Would also be great to hear about the overall effort, e.g., hours/team members required. It would be great to have this act as a blueprint for other organizations/research stations wishing to deploy a similar system within their respective national parks/areas/etc.! 

Hi Rolland,

Interested too, but why did you choose SigFox (a private network) rather than LoRa (open network)? 

Sigfox currently has some financial troubles that, don't know what it will become in the long term.

Hi Everyone,

We chose sigfox becuase it seems to have better range and is plug-play, whereas LoRa requires more custom programming and updating.  Getting a gateway cost us $2000 for a year's lease + deposit. We covered solar power.  There are also some 'minigateways' you can purchase but I don't know how they compare in range (plan to test).  So far we are happy with the performance, in that it has worked consistency with no outages  (once we stabilized the power supply).  I think the annual costs are about $10 per tag.  We are working on a paper that will describe this in more detail.  So far just using for tracking tags but also looking at a trap sensor.

cheers

Roland

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