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Smart Earth




January 2016


Happy New Year! 2016 is off to an exciting start already, with two new staff members joining and as we hope you’ll agree, some very cool projects. We now have a Blog, so please check it out for SEN updates, as well as on the usual Twitter,Facebook and Instagram pages. 


New arrivals


I’ll just started by introducing myself. I’m Alex and joined as Community Manager two weeks ago. I studied for a BA in Biology and MSc in Marine Mammal Science, and specialised in conservation science at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In my role I will be helping to grow our network of technologists and conservationists and setting up meetups and webinars later in the year. Speaking as someone who is extremely passionate about conservation, I personally feel fortunate to be part of this small, but incredible, team and to be involved in some amazing projects.


I’ll be taking over from Ed, who is leaving us to pursue a field-based ecological career. We thank Ed for all his work in kickstarting the growth of this
network. We wish him the best in his future career.


You can be part of our team too, by signing up to our network on the website.  If you have a solution, a challenge or are interested in hosting a webinar or meetup, please contact me at alex@smartearthnetwork.com. I look forward to working with you all.


portrait 3We are delighted to welcome Pete Wilkinson, founder of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace UK, to our team. As campaign director of Greenpeace, Pete specialised in radioactive waste management issues.

Pete led the six Greenpeace expeditions to Antarctica,securing a 50 year moratorium on minerals exploitation and world heritage status for the entire continent. Between 1977 and 1985, Pete was Campaigns Director and International board member of Greenpeace, an organisation which transformed our view of the natural world and, as individuals, our own role and responsibility to protect it.  Pete's vast experience and expertise with regards to environmental issues will prove invaluable.

His passion for conservation has not wavered and we are so lucky to be benefitting from his energy and enthusiasm. 


He says he is delighted to be involved and believes "SEN will be the 'go-to' organisation for environmental and conservation project enhancement through technological innovation" by the end of the year. Welcome Pete!



hedgehog small 4Our Global Giving campaign for our hedgehog project was launched this month. We are fundraising for the launch of a pilot study testing a new tracking technology on the Regent’s Park hedgehogs. We want to create a smaller, lighter and more accurate system to improve research into this much loved mammal. Hedgehog numbers have declined rapidly in recent decades but the reasons for this are largely unknown. Scientists require better data to understand why these enigmatic creatures are disappearing. Please donate on
our Global Giving page: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/trackahog/

Dress for our Time

helen small 5We are thrilled to be working with notable art designer Helen Storey, creator of the stunning ‘Dress for our Time’ which featured at St Pancras in the run-up to the Paris COP21 talks. The Dress, constructed from a UNHCR refugee tent, will be part of an exhibition on Big Data at the Science Museum in London this summer. Helen herself has a keen interest in environmental issues, being part of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and SEN are collaborating with her to incorporate biodiversity and climate data into the exhibition feature.http://www.dress4ourtime.org/

WeLog app

police 3SEN’s successful dugong app has developed into potentially a crime-fighting tool! WeLog is an Android app that allows a user to take a photo and automatically logs its geolocation data and the time/date that it was taken. We are working with the Wildlife Crime Unit to begin a pilot study with volunteers to test the app’s viability in reporting wildlife crime across the capital. 



floodhack3The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) held Floodhack on 16-17 January. This was a hackathon aimed at developing the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFas) which provides global flooding forecasts. Flooding made up 39% of all natural disasters since 2000 and affects millions of people each year. GloFas, supported by Copernicus, is still in the process of development but is widely used by NGOs in order to plan natural disaster responses. It was hoped that the Floodhack would help 
engage the wider community of technologists to help improve the GloFas system. SEN’s founder, Simon, was invited to help judge the teams’ efforts.


There was incredible enthusiasm and dedication on show as the five teams worked tirelessly to design additions to the existing system. It was a tough decision, but in the end, the deserving winners were Team LIVE with their ‘Time to Respond’ map. Everyone enjoyed their weekend and we thank ECMWF and Copernicus for supporting this Hackathon. We hope for many more in the future. 

Dugong app success

dugong 2Due to the generosity of our Global Giving campaign supporters, we are delighted to announce that the dugong app was launched successfully.The app engaged local fishermen with dugong conservation in the Philippines. It enabled them to take photos of dugongs sighted at sea, for which the geolocation data was logged via GPS. We know little about these gentle giants, which are threatened with boat strikes, entanglement in fishing gear and hunting. This additional data is therefore crucial for their conservation. Please read the report of our successful campaign here

Exciting news

Version 2.0 of our website is nearing launch. This will include Salesforce’s Community Cloud which will allow our network of conservationists, technologists and entrepreneurs to collaborate, discuss ideas and develop solutions online. We are very excited about this next phase. Watch this space!


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