Shah Selbe

Engineer, Conservation Technologist, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer
United States

Shah Selbe, an Explorer at the National Geographic Society, is an engineer and conservation technologist who works with communities, NGOs, and developing countries to identify and deploy technologies that can help with their greatest conservation challenges. His projects have integrated crowdsourcing, smartphone apps, drones, satellite data, and sensors to address conservation issues, including illegal poaching and the monitoring of protected areas. He founded Conservify, which uses open source technology to empower local communities to bring innovative tools into how we change our planet’s’ future.

He is Principal Investigator for SoarOcean, a grant project funded by National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions to use low-cost conservation drones for coastal monitoring. He is also Principal Engineer/Technologist for the National Geographic'sOkavango Wilderness Project, an ambitious effort to create an open-source environmental monitoring mesh network to monitor Botswana’s pristine Okavango Delta. He is also a National Geographic Society Fellow, New England Aquarium Ocean Conservation Fellow, and PopTech Social Innovation Fellow.

Over the next year, he will be deploying live-data sensor systems in Angolan wildernesses, glaciers in Alberta, reefs in Belize, and along a boiling river in Peru. He is currently developing an open source hardware and web open science platform called FieldKit ( that will help field researchers share live environmental and field data on an interactive site similar to He is building an extensive library of open source sensor systems that can be used in science and conservation research.