Hi, WildHub community.
Today at the catalyst table I have brought you @AMANI T. NGOMA from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a Central African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the west. "By area, DRC is the second largest country in Africa". The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, with violent conflicts preventing displaced people from fleeing their homes.
Amani T. Ngoma is a Computer Scientist, and he has been working in conservation for 10+ years. He has a passion for conservation and environmental protection. His experience is summarized in preparing, implementing, and maintaining conservation tools (from software to hardware). He started as an IT intern at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Then, he started loving what his colleagues were doing, especially how they analyzed the spatial distribution of trees and sequestrated carbon, and he started to love Conservation.
I recently had an interview with Amani, please find it below
What is computer science in your view?
Amani: "Computer science is the science of computation and automation. It's science, technic, and art to make things run. Computer science is about implementing solutions that are used to make work easy. I view it as the science of algorithms, the technic of network information sharing, and the art of attractive software".
An example: Behind the NASA fires website, there are algorithms that analyze the patterns of satellite data to detect fires. There are Application Programming Interface (so called 'APIs') that allow communications with other systems. There is a good presentation of these results, shared in maps, dashboards, or other datasets and datatypes".
How Can Computer Science Support Wildlife Conservation?
Amani: "Computer science is at the center of many other sciences, including conservation science.
Let's talk about this science in Conservation:
As we speak about computer science in conservation, we need first to know the basics of conservation and environment management principles that can lead to the implementation of computer science integration. When talking about these, I prefer the quote from WCS's former motto: "Know, love, and conserve.
In fact, if we consider that these three words can sum up the process of environmental care, then, I would say that Computer science makes it easy for people to know nature better. Data Science for example can help discover hidden patterns of common environmental events. Computer Scientists can develop strong machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to prevent disasters, or even influence decision making at all levels. Computer scientists can develop tools for education to make the community love the creation (games, software, media)"
How did you hear about WildHub and why did you join?
Amani: "I joined Wildhub after I had participated in a Conservation Leadership Course by WildTeam and, as many colleagues referenced this community".
Based on your professional background, what are the top 5 lessons you can share with us?
📖"Here are the top five lessons I learned from my experience in Conservation,
- There is a lesson behind every mistake we make: stopping when you fail is the failure, but standing up and continuing your way is the art of championship.
- Who are the best conservationists? The local communities. Their ancestors conserved what we are studying. Conservation science should reach out to them.
- Data is the best eye for the future
- Do not destroy what you have: we will hand to the future generation what we have not what we lost.
- The world needs peace: DRC needs peace. Without peace, there is no conservation, and if you do not conserve, you are preparing an endless battle for future generations.
How does your work impact other people in conservation?
Amani: "Since I joined conservation, I noticed that I am at the crossroads of demanding environmental information traffic and that there is a need for conservation techies because we are moving to a digital world. There is a need to develop digital tools to reverse environmental degradation. It is an efficient way to enhance science, and security and preserve humanity from disasters".
Thanks, Amani, for sharing your insights and wisdom with our WildHub members and many others around the world, I particularly like your perspective or insights about computer science in conservation and that we need to work towards peace, worldwide.