Episode 8: How Do you Use Technology to Help Conserve the Planet?

Meet the Expert: Shah Selbe

Engineer and Conservation Technologist, National Geographic Explorer

Shah Selbe is the founder of Conservify and a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow. He is
an engineer and conservation technologist that works with communities, NGOs, and
developing countries to identify and deploy technologies that can help with their greatest
conservation challenges. His projects have integrated crowdsourcing, smartphone apps,
drones, satellite data, and sensors to address such conservation issues as illegal poaching and
the monitoring of protected areas. He founded the first solely conservation technology makerspace and
nonprofit prototyping lab called Conservify, which uses open source technology to empower
local communities to bring innovative tools into how we change our planet’s future.

Conservify’s work has included water quality characterization in Peru’s Boiling River, biodiversity protection in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, tracking glacial melt in Canada’s Banff National Park,
understanding the behaviors of Congo’s lowland gorillas, helping citizen scientists monitor
water in the Amazon Rainforest, drone-based monitoring of Sri Lanka’s blue whales, and many
more diverse activities across the globe.

Shah believes that “Engineers create the society that we live in…They give us the tools to solve humanity’s greatest mysteries … they save lives.” Here Shah speak about it here  in his talk Engineers Build a Better World 



                                                         FIELD KIT

Conservify’s main initiative is FieldKit, an open-source software and hardware platform (environmental sensors, app, and FieldKit.org website) that allows individuals and organizations to collect and share field-based research data and tell stories through interactive visualizations. Designed to be easy to deploy customizable, FieldKit can be adapted to meet the needs of diverse research teams, from biology and ecology to marine and environmental sciences, from post-doc researchers to elementary school students. FieldKit offers a simple platform for enabling live data expeditions, and for the creation and deployment of environmental sensor networks or in situ monitoring. FieldKit has been funded by the National Geographic Society and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

See the Field Kit in Action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moCk5uftl1I




Connect with Nature! Download the iNaturalist app and use it in your backyard. Draw a picture of one or two plants or trees you see.

With your parents permission, send it to us via email at podcast@solveitforkids.com OR

tag us on our Twitter or Instagram account @kidssolve

If you send in your challenge OR just leave a comment below about the episode, you will be entered into a giveaway to win a FREE copy of the book listed below.


FREE BOOK for this Episode!

Everything Robotics by Jennifer Swanson and with expert Shah Selbe

They fix spacecraft, dance, tell jokes, and even clean your carpet! From the tiniest robo-bees to gigantic factory machines, robotics is all around you. This technology isn’t just for science-fiction anymore — it’s real and more relevant than ever. With stunning visuals and energetic, impactful design, readers won’t stop until they’ve learned everything there is to know about robotics.






Book List:

Bots! Robotics Engineering: with Hands-On Makerspace Activities by Kathy Ceceri (Author), Lena Chandhok (Illustrator)– Nomad Press

Engineered!: Engineering Design at Work by Shannon Hunt (Author), James Gulliver Hancock (Illustrator)– Kids Can Press

Rachel Carson and Ecology for Kids: Her Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities and Experiments by Rowena Rae– Chicago Review Press

Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail: What Will You Find? by the Editors of Storey Publishing

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