From an invasive reptile trapping system to a nucleic acid barcode that identifies poached and trafficked wildlife products around the world, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Theodore Roosevelt Genius Award (TR) the winners and their technological innovations will help address conservation challenges and opportunities and engage new communities and diverse ideas. The six competitions encourage technological innovation that advances the Service’s mission by preventing poaching and wildlife trafficking, promoting wildlife conservation, managing
Learn about invasive species, protecting endangered species, reducing human-wildlife conflict with non-lethal methods, and reducing human-predator conflict. Each of the 2022 prize winners will receive between $50,000 and $100,000 for their winning innovation submission, totaling $550,000 for the 2022 competition.
“As the Service addresses many conservation challenges, the 2022 Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Competition and future competitions will create a community of innovators with a wide variety of skills and perspectives to collaboratively advance resource management. “, said Director of Services Martha Williams. “These competitions support the broader goals of the america the beautiful the initiative and the work carried out within the framework of the
Learn more about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Both of these efforts underscore the Biden-Harris administration’s whole-of-government approach to building climate resilience and protecting natural areas for current and future generations.
The TR Genius Prize competitions have been established under the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act to award awards each year and expand opportunities for new partners and networks to share ideas, catalyze new solutions, and spark conservation collaboration across the country.
The 2022 TR Genius Prize Competition category winners:
Preventing Poaching and Wildlife Trafficking: The NABIT – Rapid and Portable Genetic Testing Tool to Combat Wildlife Trafficking by Conservation X Labs and the Thylacine Biosciences Team
- Conservation X Labs has developed NABIT, a portable, battery-powered system, to quickly perform a simple genetic test to identify suspected illegal or trafficked wildlife products. Providing fast results gives law enforcement officers and conservation partners an advanced tool for detecting illegal wildlife products, including meat and other tissues that are often difficult to identify.
Promoting Wildlife Conservation: Harnessing Machine Learning to Connect Urban Residents to Wildlife Conservation Through Social Media by Jason Holmberg, Executive Director, Wild Me, in collaboration with Seth Magle, Lincoln Executive Director Park Zoo, Urban Wildlife Information Network
- This project leverages machine learning to connect urban residents to wildlife conservation through social media to create a deeper connection to conservation. Using artificial intelligence software to identify media content and social media posts about urban wildlife, the innovation aims to collect important ecological data and create a dialogue between users and scientists through their posts. .
Protecting Endangered Species: Expanding the Use of Photo-ID Technology to Include Tiny, Flying, and Ephemeral Species by Jenny Shrum
- This innovation aims to extend the use of photo-identification technology to the level of individual insects and to use photo-identification to fill information gaps on rare butterflies, such as the marbled island butterfly. Advances in digital cameras, database processing and artificial intelligence software can expand our knowledge of individual insects and populations for management and conservation.
Invasive Species Management: A Smart Trapping System for Live Capture and Monitoring of Invasive Reptiles by Ben Stookey and Derek Yorks, Co-Founders of Wild Vision Systems
- This innovation features a live trapping system and data platform that uses artificial intelligence to identify and capture invasive snakes and lizards in a stationary robotic trap. The design could enable scalable, cost-effective, and sustainable deployment of smart trap networks for effective invasive species control and monitoring.
Promoting Non-Lethal Human-Wildlife Conflict: Creating a No-Fly Zone for Pest Birds by Boarman, Boarman and Shields via Hardshell Labs
- This innovation aims to improve laser repellency of pest birds using species-specific responses to different colored lasers and flash patterns. Innovation plans could include the systematization of the use of lasers to ensure effective protection of the habitat and nesting sites of sensitive species, agricultural resources, electrical infrastructure and waste treatment facilities.
Reducing Human-Predator Conflicts Using Non-Lethal Means: Cattle Farmer Designed Automated Mineral Bin by Cameron Krebs
- The innovation’s automated mineral bin is a human-predator conflict reduction strategy that combines standard livestock handling practices with robotic technology. Created by a fifth-generation Oregon sheep and cattle rancher, the project takes advantage of the natural defensive behaviors of livestock and is easy for producers to implement. The project uses an automated salt pan to herd livestock into larger groups, reducing the risk of predation by large predators.
The Service has partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help administer the contest. The competition was also guided by the Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize juries. These councils are responsible for selecting topics and issuing problem statements, and they notify winners of all opportunities for solution development and implementation.
The competition received a total of 104 submissions which were evaluated by 31 judges. The Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Advisory Boardmanaged in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, will hold a public meeting from October 4 to 6, 2022, to hear presentations on the six winners and consider any recommendations to the Home Secretary on potential opportunities for technological innovations related to the winning proposals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continued benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov and join us on social networks: Facebook, instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickrand Youtube.