From Nerds Without Borders
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Follow the progress of our first project -- Turtle Sense
NWB logo 2.jpg

Who we are

Nerds Without Borders believes that thoughtful people, acting without self interest and working collaboratively can solve many of the world's most pressing problems. We are looking for all sorts of people to help: Engineers, Scientists, Writers, Artists, Dreamers, Activists, Organizers, Fundraisers, Financiers, etc... It doesn't matter if you can donate a small amount of time or work full time. You define the type of work you want to do and how much time you can commit to a project.

As we discuss how this website should be organized and how projects should be organized, we are using a project that is already underway as a prototype. The prototype project called Turtle Sense is aimed at helping people coexist with sea turtles on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Currently when sea turtle nests are found, the nests are monitored via daily visual inspection and an entire section of beach from the nest to the ocean is fenced off by the National Park Service (NPS), sometimes for many weeks, when the eggs might hatch. This makes it difficult for people to enjoy many activities along the beaches. The project is building a system to monitor sea turtle nests so that the National Park Service will know much more precisely--within a day or two--when the eggs will hatch. If we are successful, the beaches will be blocked for a much shorter time. In addition, the information about hatching nests will be made public so that the local area can develop ecotourism while helping to raise the awareness of the plight of sea turtles. It is a win-win-win-win-win scenario. Good for visitors to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, good for people who access the beach via off-road vehicles, good for the National Park Service, good for the local economy, and good for the sea turtles.

The people involved in the Sea Turtle Project are varied. There are biologists, engineers, computer network specialists, etc. There are workers from the National Park Service, the private sector, and retirees. Many of the people became involved because they were friends of other people involved. Those people called on their own networks of friends and associates to help out, and some are even friends of friends of friends of friends.

All the work involved in the Sea Turtle project will be free to use for anyone who wants to use it to help protect sea turtles all over the world. The results can also be adapted for other uses as long as the results are also free for anyone to use ((CC BY-SA 4.0).) Any new hardware created will be patent free. All software will be open-source. All data collected will be available to researchers world-wide.

We hope that we can identify more situations where a simple application of off-the-shelf technology can create win-win solutions to pressing problems. We want to identify those problems that are ignored by governments because there is no powerful constituency pushing for action or that are ignored by the market-place because there is little or no money to be made.

To cut down on spam, you must register as a user to edit any page or add comments to this wiki. To become a volunteer, you will have to reveal your true identity to other people working on a project. Anyone being disruptive, abusive, or otherwise disagreeable will be banned from the site. We will be developing a code of expected behavior and responsibilities for participants, but until that happens (and after!) be nice.

This network is just forming, and we would like your input to help us get going. Please contact us and tell us how you can help. Since this is a new organization, which is just getting underway, we need help maintaining this wiki. Until we have a core group of people to maintain this site, we are limiting joining to people we know and to people who contact us wanting to help. We would like to make this site open to everyone who wants to contribute, but since there are so many people out there who see a wiki as just another place to add spam, we have to keep things limited for now. If you know one of the current participants, contact them about joining, and we will set up an account for you. If you don't know any of us and still want to join, please send an e-mail to "admin" at nerdswithoutborders.net. Eventually, we hope to have enough volunteers to patrol the site for spam and make registration open to more people.

Things we need:

  • Help designing and maintaining this website
  • A publicist
  • Written materials, like press releases and publicity
  • Suggestions and planning for future projects
  • Expert technical advisers

Thanks in advance for your help.