Detecting Poaching from the Sky: AI for Wildlife Conservation

Gracie Ermi
Vulcan Research Software Engineer


Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 4:30pm

African parks are home to many species of threatened wildlife, with relatively small teams employed to protect them. This project uses a branch of artificial intelligence called machine learning to automatically analyze both daytime and nighttime (infrared) aerial imagery from the parks to then alert park rangers to potential threats. The goal of this technology is to allow for more efficient deployment of the rangers to stop poaching and other illegal activity. Prior knowledge about machine learning/technology is not required! Come listen to learn more about the intersection of technology and wildlife conservation.

Photo of Gracie Ermi

Gracie Ermi is a Research Software Engineer at Vulcan, Inc. in Seattle, where she works in the Vulcan Machine Learning Center for Impact. She builds machine learning solutions for wildlife conservation and for preserving ocean health. Gracie earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from Western Washington University. She hopes that her work will inspire others, especially women and girls, to pursue computer science as an avenue to make change in their communities and around the world. She loves spending time teaching girls to code and talking to students about her background and career, as well as knitting, reading, and camping and exploring in the incredible Pacific Northwest.

Location & URL

More Information

The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public.

Location & Time

Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.


Complimentary parking for the Huxley Speaker Series is available in Parking Lot 12A after 4:00 on Thursdays during Winter quarter.


WWU is an equal opportunity institution.

For more information or disability accommodation contact stefan.


Subscribe to the Speakers Series