Hey, friend! Welcome to another episode of Rewildology.
The more people I meet and talk to, the more I love seeing how we all combine our interests and talents to contribute to conservation. Today’s guest is another perfect example of using a past career in the startup tech world to save wildlife today.
In this episode, I’m chatting with Eric Schmidt, who is the Executive Director of Wildlife Protection Solutions. WPS’ mission is to use technology to conserve endangered species and ecosystems, and boy are they good at it. Eric and I chat about how WPS came to be, the technology they’ve deployed around the world, and he even shares a few stories about catching poachers in the act. We also talk in-depth about the poaching industry and why it’s not a straight forward issue. And as in most episodes, we discuss the personal struggles he’s had to overcome and how he’s continuing to move forward in this emotional field.
Eric and I recorded this episode live in the beautiful front range right outside of Golden, Colorado, which you can watch on the Rewildology YouTube channel. We drank some tasty bourbon and had a blast recording this for you all.
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Here is my conversation with Eric:
Watch this episode on YouTube.
- (Brooke) So take me back to square one. Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like? [2:45]
- Eric shares how the idea for Wildlife Protection Solutions came to be. [7:00]
- Brooke asks Eric if it was hard for him to leave his stable career to start WPS. [8:30]
- Eric asks Brooke more about her journey and how she got to where she is today. [11:00]
- Brooke asks Eric to share WPS’s mission and what they do to protect wildlife. [15:00]
- Brooke asks Eric if anyone is analyzing the massive amounts of data they’ve collected over the years (PS – huge research opportunity for those of you in wildlife research or teachers wanting immersive educational materials!) [23:00]
- (Brooke) So what are some of the craziest things that you all have caught on camera? [32:42]
- (Brooke) How do you find your partners in these far-off destinations? [38:17]
- (Brooke) I would really love it if you just took some time to chat about why there’s poaching and what’s going on. [45:05]
- (Brooke) What has COVID done to your work and the wildlife that you’re sworn to protect? [57:30]
- Parting thoughts, how to volunteer with WPS, and ways to connect with Eric. [1:05:14]