- The increased portability and reduced cost of data collection and synthesis tools have transformed how we research and conserve the natural world.
- Devices from visual and acoustic sensors to DNA sequencers help us better understand the world around us, and they combine with online mapping platforms to help us monitor it.
- New online and mobile apps have democratized data collection, inspiring a brave new world of citizen scientists to learn about the species around them, contribute to conservation and scientific discovery, and feel part of a learning community.
- Here, we present 10 tech trends we covered in 2017, in no particular order, that have helped us better understand nature, monitor its status, and take action to protect it.
Technology is changing how we investigate and protect planet Earth.
The increased portability and reduced cost of data collection and synthesis tools, for instance — from visual and acoustic sensors to DNA sequencers, online mapping platforms, and apps for sharing photos — have rapidly transformed how we research and conserve the natural world.
These tools afford research and conservation projects across the globe an unprecedented capacity to access, collect, organize, analyze, and convey information. But these new tools are being developed and deployed so quickly, it can be hard to stay on top of them all.
Below, we review some of 2017’s conservation tech trends that have helped researchers and conservationists better understand their species and systems of interest, monitor their status, and take actions to conserve them. We hope Mongabay-Wildtech’s coverage of their experiences will help readers advance their own projects and priorities.