Mapping effects of climate change on coral reefs
Creating systems to protect oceans against illegal fishing
Behind the Scenes with Holodome - an immersive, social, storytelling and interactive environment
Building technology to protect wildlife
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Short Time, Large Impact!
August 13, 2019
By Daniel C.
10 interns joined the Vulcan Impact Team this summer from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Learn more about what the interns have been up to during their 12-week period on the team, with different projects and different skills.
June 3, 2019
By Chris D.
When you build software for conservation you find a market that's underserved and in some cases just left behind. EarthRanger is meant to help change this by being a practical and affordable tool for protected area management. Working on a small engineering team against a deep backlog requires thoughtful consideration for the tools and technology we use. This post provides a glimpse at one area in EarthRanger where we leverage existing software to quickly deliver customer value.
May 28, 2019
By May W.
Project Managers (PMs) at Vulcan work to ensure that projects are on time, under budget and on track towards achieving measurable results. PMs know what a project needs and they make it happen. They identify barriers and work creatively to remove them. They have high-level vision of a project as well as the nitty-gritty details. And while your project’s PM may not have the ABCs and 123s displayed on the whiteboard, all this vital work is actually not so different from managing a classroom.
May 20, 2019
By Jeroen B.
There's often a desire to use machine learning to augment and improve how areas are monitored for conservation. However, deploying machine learning solutions into the field require more than a good model. The people on the front-lines, those that are doing the monitoring and protecting, need to understand and trust the machine learning model to effectively make use of it. Click to learn more about the lessons learned about creating user interfaces for #ML4Good tools and projects.
May 13, 2019
By Ted S.
The challenges the Impact Team at Vulcan takes on are wicked problems. These are systemic problems requiring an interdisciplinary approach to effect change. They demand collaboration and partnership – and perseverance, not silver bullets – to create lasting change. Curious about what "wicked" problems are? Want to learn more about how collaboration and partnerships help create lasting change? Click to read more.
Developing Interactive Content for the Holodome – Part 1
May 6, 2019
By Patrick A.
#Holodome isn’t just for immersive cinematics any more! Learn how we enabled real time interactive content and games and the challenges we overcame to get there.
How to become a web developer in a few easy steps
April 29, 2019
By Rachel R.
Don’t be intimidated by the fancy title. Becoming a Web Developer isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here’s some cheap / free resources to get you started. With a little time, practice and an openness to learning as you go, you’ll be making websites in no time. Click to learn more!
What we’re doing to protect sharks and rays
April 22, 2019
By Rebecca N.
The Impact team at Vulcan works on various projects focused on wildlife conservation, ocean health, climate, and more. This Earth Day, we want to highlight some of the work Vulcan and its partners are doing in marine wildlife conservation, more specifically, in the space of an often overlooked group of species – sharks. Click to read more!
Rhinos don’t climb trees and other things I’ve learned
April 15, 2019
By Karen H.
At Vulcan, we create products and technologies to help frontline workers do their work more efficiently and effectively. Our user base is small, but they’re doing important work in challenging settings. Learning about these unique challenges, which create new twists on several User Experience best practices, is key to producing tools that work in their real world.
April 8, 2019
By Rose H.
At Vulcan, we work to tackle some of the world's toughest problems through technology, grants, storytelling, and advocacy. We employ measurement, evaluation, and learning activities to help teams define the problems they are trying to solve, the change they would like to achieve, and to map how use of the product will help end-users create that change. Click to learn more about why and how we do this.
April 1, 2019
By David E.
Learn more about the take that the Impact team is taking in regard to the DevOps experience - what we use, what we've learned so far, and how we've adapted over time!
Allen Coral Atlas: The Value of Field Verification
March 25, 2019
By Charlie W.
When we make maps for the Allen Coral Atlas, we have a question that follows of whether the map has been validated. We ask where the data came from to inform the creation of the map. The more calibration and validation data we gather, the more confident we are in the maps. Click to learn more about how this is done.
From Logbooks to Web Consoles: The Tech Behind EarthRanger
March 18, 2019
By Chris J.
Vulcan's EarthRanger product has gone through a number of phases here on the Impact team. Before it was known at EarthRanger, it was known, internally, as the Domain Awareness System. In this week's post, we throwback to post written in 2016, when we were just at a couple sites.
Celebrating International Women
March 8, 2019
By Gracie E.
On the Impact team at Vulcan, women are working on all the different aspects of our projects in a variety of roles. Women on the Impact team are biologists, project managers, philanthropists, engineers, designers, analysts, directors and more. They are protecting African wildlife, saving coral reefs, fighting climate change, stopping illegal fishing, and much more. Click to read about some of the fantastic ladies working on the Impact team at Vulcan.
The Power of User-Centric Design
March 4, 2019
By Jeroen B.
User centric thinking, also known as “design thinking” has taken the business world by storm. Many organizations, like Ford, Capital One and AIRBNB have embraced it. But design thinking doesn’t happen overnight. It is a fundamental shift in how a company is thinking about their products. Learn more about Vulcan and the Impact's approach in this area.
Technology’s Potential to Help Conserve Wildlife
February 25, 2019
By Shana T.
Learn more about how technology and data power conservation work, from first-hand experience of someone who was able to make use of data from Vulcan in the wildlife conservation space.
February 18, 2019
By Lauren K.
At Vulcan, we often talk about our power to convene people. Time after time, we're reminded that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and partnerships are a key aspect to success in the Impact space. Read on to learn more about our approach to partnerships.
Holodome: On the path to the Holodeck
February 11, 2019
By Joseph L.
The Holodome is a platform that renders 360 content without the use of head mounted displays. Learn more about its history, evolution, the technology that supports it, and the team that built it in this latest blog post!
Saving coral reefs from space:  Allen Coral Atlas satellite-based data
February 4, 2019
By Kirk L.
The Allen Coral Atlas builds its two core products, maps of the world’s coral reefs and a monitoring system for those reefs, on imagery from Planet’s Dove satellites. Learn about the first set of data processing steps we are taking as we turn those images into maps and a monitoring system.
January 28, 2019
By Matt S.
Elasticsearch® is a powerful and widely-used document store, which is easy to get up and running out of the box. However, production-grade operations and monitoring have some gotchas. Read what Vulcan's Impact team has learned about running Elasticsearch® on Kubernetes® in production.
January 21, 2019
By Art M.
On the Impact team at Vulcan, we're often asked how do we measure results, how do we measure success. While there are are a number of ways this is done in the commercial world, how to do this at the intersection of tech and philanthropy requires some more thought. Read on to learn how we measure impact here, at Vulcan.
Machine Learning for Protecting the Oceans
January 14, 2019
By Dave M.
Our oceans help feed our planet, support millions of jobs around the world, generate trillions of dollars in economic activity every year, and support most of the world’s life. But the health of our oceans is under threat from unsustainable practices like illegal fishing in protected areas, while human, arms, resource and drug smuggling on the ocean threatens the safety and health of communities across the globe. Learn more about how we're using data and machine learning to protect our oceans.
January 7, 2019
By Impact Engineering
Happy New Year! And with the New Year, we're sharing a few of the sources that one can go to get news about conservation, environment, climate, and its intersection with technology.
December 17, 2018
By Impact Engineering
Take a look back at 2018 with the Impact Team. We look back and explore some highlights and milestones, what inspired and fueled us and peak into what's in store for the new year!
December 10, 2018
By Matt S.
Fast-paced software projects can experience bottlenecks at the continuous integration (CI) phase of the software development lifecycle. Click through to learn how the we're transforming the developer experience to move full systems integration testing earlier in the traditional CI workflow.
December 3, 2018
By Satyarth N.
The Idea Velocity of an organization is defined by the time the organization takes to ship a well-defined idea into a customer’s hand. As such, Idea Velocity is a high order metric that an organization’s leaders should strive to optimize. In this blog post, I capture my take on significant attributes that directly impact an organization’s Idea Velocity.
Navigating the Coral Crisis
November 26, 2018
By Charlie W.
The Allen Coral Atlas aims to empower educated coral protection and restoration, so that reefs eventually flourish. Charlie, the Product Manager of the Allen Coral Atlas project recently had the opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka to work with coral conservationists there. Click to read more about the trip, the partners we're working with, and how conservationists have reacted to the Allen Coral Atlas.
Collaborative Ranger-in-the-loop Machine Learning to Stop Poaching
November 19, 2018
By Gracie E.
At Vulcan, we are investigating using machine learning to spot poaching in aerial imagery. Find out how we’re hoping to leverage ML alongside the expert knowledge of African park rangers to more reliably direct ranger resources and help them protect African ecosystems so that they remain untouched and vibrant for years to come.
How many elephants are there?
November 12, 2018
By Pooja M. , Kathleen G.
Modernizing Wildlife Surveys with Machine Learning (MWS) is a project at Vulcan, in which we aim to make getting wildlife population estimates easier and reduce the amount of error at the same time. Read on to learn more about why this is important and what we can do about it.
Product Manager in Residence
November 5, 2018
By Pooja M.
Working on the Impact team at Vulcan is pretty unique. #OnlyAtVulcan can you work on curbing carbon emissions, wildlife conservation, stopping bad actors, and more, all in one day. Read on to learn more about what some of the topics Vulcan is concerned about and how Product Management fits in.
EarthRanger Conference: Bringing Protected Area Leaders Together
October 29, 2018
By Kamal S.
Recently, Vulcan held its 4th annual EarthRanger Conference. The EarthRanger Conference brings together leaders from various Protected Areas across Africa. Click to keep reading and learn more about EarthRanger, the conference, and the ways we make an Impact in Wildlife Conservation.
Paul G. Allen 1953-2018
October 15, 2018
By Impact Engineering
Today, it was announced that Paul Allen has passed away. The Impact Team shares our deepest condolences with the Allen family.
A peek behind the curtains of the new VMLCI
October 8, 2018
By Chris E.
Last week, we announced the Vulcan Machine Learning Center for Impact (VMLCI). Learn more about the challenges and opportunities we face when tackling machine learning (ML) problems in the philanthropic space and what may be in store for the future of ML at Vulcan.
Welcome to Concept Notes
October 1, 2018
By Impact Engineering
Welcome to Concept Notes: Vulcan Engineering Blog. Within the engineering team at Vulcan, we strive to build solutions to create a better world. But we can't do it alone. We've created this blog as one of the ways to share ideas and start conversations. Read on to learn more about what we do, and what to expect from the Vulcan Engineering Blog.
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