Conservation Research Board
A website providing information on current and planned conservation research to expedite studies, collaborations, and public involvement.
Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Eligibility: Date of Birth
September 27, 1996
Date You Started Your Project Started
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Idea (hoping to get started in the future)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
Without a cohesive collection of current/planned conservation research efforts, it is difficult for young adults to know how they could help (ex. internships, citizen science). And with ecosystems declining rapidly, the months to years of waiting needed to publish results hinders current efforts. By listing current research, conservationists can collaborate easier, avoid repeating questions, and generally speed up conservation research efforts.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
I am planning to build a website in which organizations and individuals conducting conservation related research (ecosystem, wildlife, plants, etc.) can list their current and planned research questions and species/habitats of interest.
Part of this website will include a LinkedIn-esque page in which questions connected to internships and jobs (particularly those of entry level for young adults entering the field) will be listed.
Furthermore, another section of the website will be dedicated to questions connected to citizen science opportunities. All of these opportunities can be sorted by location, as well as education requirements (ex current high school student, college graduate, etc.).
Additionally, a page for collaborations will be created such that individuals/organizations can list planned questions they aim to collaborate with others on, such as those requiring the use of a species across numerous zoos.
Finally, a volunteering page will be created. While some opportunities may be connected to research questions, I expect most to encompass animal care assistance at zoos and aquariums. Such positions will be aimed at younger students to introduce them to conservation.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
While doing some conservation research for my degree, I talked to the older conservationists in the group and realized just how long the publishing process can take to get your results out into the scientific community. With our current rate of environmental degradation, results from three years ago may not be useful if the population in question has gone extinct. Furthermore, even when these results are released online, the public rarely see these results unless they're republished through popular science articles. Thus, in order to assist both newcomers and aspiring conservationists get a foot in the door, as well as allow the public to easily understand current conservation efforts, I hope to build a website allowing conservation organizations to more easily reach these groups.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
I am stepping up to make change because with the current rate of wildlife and plant extinction and ecosystem collapses, the need for conservation research is at an all time high. My website will allow for such research to be expedited by helping build collaborations, help future conservationists find work opportunities, and help the public better understand current research efforts and how they can help through citizen science opportunities.
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When a conservation organization wants to contribute their research questions/opportunities, they can log in as a contributor and will be directed to a simple survey-like page that guides them through the question/opportunity listing process.
When an individual interested in conservation research finds the website, they'll be greeted by a simple, cohesive website containing numerous easily accessible pages full of information and opportunities, as well as a "Where do I start?" guide on the first page that will help guide them to the most applicable page through a multiple choice questionnaire.
For example, the questionnaire could include "How old are you?", "What's your education level?", and "What topics interest you?" to guide a current high school student to a volunteering page automatically filtered for plant conservation opportunities open to 14- to 17-year-old students.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Current conservation research opportunities are spread across numerous websites, often focusing on one field (wildlife vs plant conservation), or one opportunity type (citizen science vs full-time entry level jobs). This website will act as a one-stop-shop for all aspects on conservation research, and will not be connected to any one organization or university, making it easier for individuals to join conservation efforts. Furthermore, current websites focus on one country, but I plan for this website to list global opportunities (ex. summer internships abroad, etc.) and have translated pages.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
After launching the website, I aim to have 100 universities/organizations list their current research and opportunities within the first three months. Within this time frame, I also aim to have this website listed on 50 - 100 school pages, including high school and college opportunity/internship pages.
I plan to track how often the links to opportunities are used to monitor utilization of this website.
Furthermore, I plan to utilize surveys (for example through banner pop-ups) to better understand who is visiting the website, if it is useful for them, and what else they may like to see incorporated into the site.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
Given that this project is still in the idea stage, I plan to learn more about website building and survey my colleagues in conservation research about what things they would want to see on such a website.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
PERIOD's Nadya Okamoto