August 31, 2022

Time: MW 3:00-4:20pm
Instructor: Kurtis Heimerl <>
TA: Matt Ziegler <>
SLN: 13567

Increasingly, wildlife conservancies and environmental institutions are experimenting with digital technologies for research, public outreach, tracking at-risk wildlife, designing mechanisms for sustainable systems, aggregating data to support management decisions, and encouraging the public to take political and personal actions. In
this class, we will broadly explore the area of Conservation Technology by reading about national- and global-scale challenges and more specific subproblems with relevant technology projects. This class will build from foundational understandings of conservation to a set of active research agendas conducted throughout the world. We will encourage a critical lens; one of our aims will be to differentiate between nice-sounding-but-ineffective tech-for-good solutions, nice-sounding-but-actually-quite-harmful tech-for-good-solutions, and answers that have a chance for real impact.

All students will complete a project and end up with an artifact; potentially a tool (designed and/or built) for solving a real-world problem that they bring to the class.

This is a graduate-level computer science class but particularly motivated and experienced students (including undergrads) from other disciplines can reach out if they’d like to participate.

Some potential areas we plan to cover include:
History of environmental movements
Processes for conservation and environmental governance
Animal tracking
Behavior change
Computer vision / camera traps
Biodiversity informatics
Environmental communication
Big data applications/mechanism design

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