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  • Tech Breakthroughs for Animals and Communities

    When: Friday, July 1, 3 p.m. ET
    Where: Folklife Studio, National Mall
    Category: Narrative Session
    Real-time captioning available

    Watch and comment on YouTube

    CBS correspondent Rita Braver interviewed Smithsonian movement ecologist Jared Stabach on tech breakthroughs for monitoring animals and ecosystems. Panelists discussed how satellite technology is being reimagined to better understand the planet, and how local communities are applying technology in their everyday lives.

    About the Participants

    Rita Braver is a national correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, where she reports on everything from arts and culture to politics and foreign policy. Braver has won nine national Emmy Awards. She received the Joan Barone Award presented by the Congressional Radio and Television Correspondents Association, and the Star Award from American Women in Radio and Television.

    Jared Stabach is an ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center and the terrestrial program lead for the Smithsonian’s Movement of Life Initiative. His research focuses on the factors that affect the abundance, distribution, and movement patterns of large terrestrial mammals, incorporating emerging technologies to better understand and monitor changes occurring across the planet.

    Gustavo de Lucio is the director of the Americas Region at Iridum and has been working for the past twenty-five years in the telecommunications industry in a variety of roles. He joined Iridium in 2008 as regional director for Latin America initially based in Buenos Aires where he established a broad network of distribution partners with a strong focus in Brazil. In 2019, he moved to Iridium’s headquarters outside of Washington, D.C., to help grow the business in North America as director for the Americas.

    Tanya Harrison is the director of strategic science initiatives at Planet Labs, PBC. Prior to that, she worked in science and mission operations for various NASA Mars missions, including the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers. As a queer scientist with a physical disability, Harrison is also a strong advocate for diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in STEM, co-founding the Zed Factor Fellowship.

    Building on over twenty years of experience in commercial and open-source software, Jason Holmberg is the executive director of the nonprofit organization Wild Me, which brings professional software engineers and machine learning specialists into the fight against the Sixth Mass Extinction. Holmberg’s current work focuses on building long-term engineering capacity, skill, and focus on wildlife conservation.

    Jes Lefcourt serves as the director of EarthRanger, a software solution designed by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to help conservation organizations around the world protect endangered wildlife and their habitats. Lefcourt leads the EarthRanger program with a wide range of goals, from monitoring conservation area security operations and coordinating anti-poaching activities to better understanding continent-wide migration patterns of animals.

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