Academic Venture Fund - 2014

Crowdsourcing Rangeland Ecology Data

African herders

Climate change is bringing extreme temperatures and catastrophic droughts to East Africa, where millions of livestock farmers rely on vast rangelands for the survival of their herds and families. This pilot project will engage migrant herders to collect on-the-spot data about the vegetation and water conditions they find. The citizen scientists' breaking information—submitted by mobile phone—will supplement satellite imagery as the basis for an innovative data platform to track the vulnerable region's changes across time. Timely, accurate data will inform local and global decision makers and boost international aid efforts to help pastoralists adapt to climate risks.

Investigators: Carla Gomes, Christopher Barrett, Peter Frazier, Stephen DeGloria