Tools, Tinkering, Science & Salvation


Tim Boucher sets a camera trap near a bird of paradise lek. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Justine E. Hausheer)

Camera traps are never going to lose our fascination, and have played a mitigating role in our non-Luddite but still determined effort to keep it simple, back to nature. The future depends on innovation, and we cannot hide behind trees pretending otherwise. If conservation efforts are going to compete effectively against the forces supporting environmental destruction, unconventional approaches are needed. We are entrepreneurially-inclined, and so are naturally comfortable with FishFace, among seven innovative pivots to a better future described by the wonderful team at Cool Green Science:

7 Science Innovations That Are Changing Conservation

BY ,

In our still relatively brief existence, humans have evolved our way to an era many are now calling the Anthropocene – a new geological epoch defined by human impact on Earth. But our unparalleled creativity is a double-edge sword. We are undeniably contributing to many of the global challenges now facing our species, and all species who share this planet.

At the same time, it is because of our impact that the world needs human innovation now more than ever. We know we must stabilize our climate. We know we must meet the resource needs of a growing global population. We know we must save the ecosystems that sustain all life. And we know we won’t get there on our current path.

Science makes new paths possible. It underpins the lives of each and every one of us—from the medicines we give our children to the vast networks of information at our fingertips. And at The Nature Conservancy, science has guided everything we do for more than 65 years. Today, more than 600 Conservancy scientists are working all over the world to discover and apply solutions to the biggest challenges facing people and the planet. From new bio-energy solutions to the increasing mapping precision of drones, here are some of our favorite recent scientific innovations.

1. Facial Recognition Technology, for Fish


Fish are prepped to be weighed and measured. With the help of the Nature Conservancy and other partners, fisherman have learned the best practices for fishing sustainably. Photo © Kevin Arnold

How do you recognize a fish’s face? Serious question.

Consider the state of global fisheries. The old business adage, “If it doesn’t get measured, it doesn’t get managed” applies to fisheries, too. And of more than 10,000 fisheries in the world, fewer than 440 are assessed.

With fish catches taking place at sea, and on many boats, it’s impossible for managers or conservationists to be there monitoring fish species and harvest levels. That’s why The Nature Conservancy is developing a system called FishFace to collect, organize and share data essential to sustainable fisheries management…

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