Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

20 Feb 2014, 22:21 p.m.

Robin, Global Forest Watch, and An Implicit Note About Careers

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I took several history classes at UC Berkeley. In one of them I met Robin Kraft. He graduated with a BA in history the same year I got my BA in political science. He and I kept in touch a bit after graduation, and in 2009 he mentioned that he'd gotten into Python and gone back to school "to learn GIS wizardry." His project:

we're doing automated mapping of deforestation across the world. Fun!
I gave him tips on source control and open sourceishness, suggested conferences, and so on. He learned Hadoop, R, Clojure, and more.

Today his project launched (see coverage from The Guardian). Robin's Lead Data Architect, Data Lab at the World Resources Institute. And he's one reason we now have a global forest monitoring and alert system.

I'm glad I could help the tiny bit I did. And I'm terrifically glad for multidisciplinary thinkers like Robin.