University of Washington (UW) graduate student Amelia DuVall has received Integral Consulting’s Environmental “Big Data” award for her research in the Quantitative Conservation Lab on ecology and conservation of threatened seabird populations in the rapidly changing Pacific Ocean.
Integral’s Big Data award at UW was open to graduate students in the College of the Environment whose work focused on extracting information from large data sets through the use of innovative computational and analytic approaches. Integral’s scholarship program aims to support new areas of research and to foster relationships with students, faculty, and institutions. Integral recognizes the importance of contributing to the development of future leaders in the areas of health, environment, technology, and sustainability and brings decades of analysis experience and cutting-edge tools to help develop data driven solutions.
Ms. DuVall’s big data approach will incorporate artificial intelligence via machine learning algorithms for extracting species-specific information from the large amounts of acoustic data she will collect using acoustic sensors as a wildlife monitoring tool. Her project will use acoustic data to track changes in seabird distribution and abundance in response to rat eradication at Tetiaroa Atoll, French Polynesia. Rats are an invasive species that are negatively impacting seabird nesting populations. Acoustic data will be used to develop a model for predicting changes in seabird abundance and distribution following an invasive mammal eradication. Results of the study can be used to inform the prioritization of future eradication efforts to conserve threatened seabird species on islands. Although Ms. DuVall’s data collection is currently on hold due to COVID-19 issues, she hopes to begin her work within the next 6 months.