Conservation news

Audio: Technologies that boost conservation efforts right now and in the future

  • On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a look at the role technology is playing — and might play in the future — in conservation efforts.
  • Our first guest is Topher White, the founder of Rainforest Connection, a nonprofit based in San Francisco that has deployed upcycled cell phones in tropical forests around the world to provide real-time monitoring of forests and wildlife.
  • Our second guest is Matthew Putman, an applied physicist with a keen interest in conservation. Putman is CEO of Nanotronics, a company headquartered in Brooklyn, NY that makes automated industrial microscopes used by manufacturers of advanced technologies like semiconductors, microchips, hard drives, LEDs, and aerospace hardware.

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a look at the role technology is playing — and might play in the future — in conservation efforts.

Our first guest is Topher White, the founder of Rainforest Connection, a nonprofit based in San Francisco that has deployed upcycled cell phones in tropical forests around the world to provide real-time monitoring of forests and wildlife.

Not only can Rainforest Connection’s network alert local communities when illegal logging activities might be taking place, but you can go sign up right now to get an alert whenever your favorite monkey or bird is heard vocalizing in the rainforest. This is a great example of how a common technology that most of us probably carry around in our pocket all day is being used right now to aid in conservation efforts — and White sees even more applications for the technology in the future.

Our second guest is Matthew Putman, an applied physicist with a keen interest in conservation. Putman is CEO of Nanotronics, a company headquartered in Brooklyn, NY that makes automated industrial microscopes used by manufacturers of advanced technologies like semiconductors, microchips, hard drives, LEDs, and aerospace hardware.

Putman discusses some of the technologies that he sees making the biggest contributions to the way we approach conservation and why he believes these technological advances really can help turn the tide against environmental degradation.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

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Topher White places a cell phone upcycled by Rainforest Connection (RFCx) on a tree. NOTE: This photo of RFCx hardware does not represent a realistic placement location, and is intended for display purposes only. In this photo, the device is low-mounted on the tree in order to enhance its visibility. When properly installed, RFCx devices are placed high in the tree canopy where they are virtually invisible. Photo courtesy of Rainforest Connection, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001