Data Analytics For Australian Wildlife /

On Earth Day, powerful analytics run by IBM volunteers improve the odds for wildlife in Australia

April 2021 | IBM Volunteer Story

Earth Day acknowledges and encourages participation in environmental protection around the world. As IBM moves towards its goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and other sustainability objectives, please join us in activities to celebrate Earth Day 2021. Enjoy the story below about an environmental project by IBM volunteers in Australia and take a look at the resources at the end of the story for ways you can participate in other volunteer projects for Earth Day and beyond.

Happy Earth Day!


Wildlife in Australia is incredibly unique. So unique that Cameron Kerr, the Chief Executive and Director of Taronga Conservation Society says, “In Australia alone, more than 1700 species and ecological communities are known to be threatened or at risk of extinction.”

Which is why understanding, protecting and conserving native habitats and animals are vitally important for the country and the planet.

Enter data analytics and IBM volunteers.

In late 2020, a team of 12 IBM volunteers came together in an IBM Service Corps project to help the Taronga Conservation Society use IBM technology, including IBM Cloud® and IBM Weather Operations Centre, to quickly and easily access a comprehensive set of weather data points to overlay, augment and improve their conservation research.

The idea is to provide insight to supplement the first-hand, in-the-field observations of dedicated professionals such as biologists, zoologists, conservationists and so many others.

As part of the initial IBM Service Corps project the team evaluated conditions impacting green sea turtles. Extensions of the approach can be used to better understand challenges facing endangered flying foxes, the factors surrounding shark attacks, and more.

Watch the video below, presented by team member David Birrell, to learn how the IBM volunteers created an innovative and actionable data analytics and AI platform to support the Taronga Conservation Society's effort to develop strategies to protect endangered species and habitats.

At the project's conclusion, the Taronga Conservation Society was extremely pleased with the results. One team member said, "This is huge! It's so incredibly powerful. That's a project that would have taken our team years."

Project summary presented by David Birrell


Resources for Earth Day 2021
Visit the IBM Volunteering & Giving portal to learn about volunteer opportunities (internal IBM only), including the following events:

Participate in Call for Code and use your skills to take on climate change (IBMers can also visit an internal web page for special ways you can also participate in Call for Code).

Visit IBMers for the Environment to find other volunteer opportunities (internal IBM only).

Join the conversation. Tag your tweets with #IBMvolunteers and follow us @IBMorg.

Join the conversation

Tag your tweets with #IBMVolunteers
and follow us @IBMorg.

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