Home Enterprise Podcast #68: Andrew Pratt, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Podcast #68: Andrew Pratt, Ducks Unlimited Canada

by Brian Beeler
Ducks Unlimited Pod Graphic

Ducks Unlimited Canada is all about the preservation of wetlands and the wildlife that rely on them. Maybe with the exception of beavers, who have their own plans when it comes to routing waterways. Okay, that’s not true, Ducks Unlimited doesn’t hate beavers. All of this preservation work requires a surprising amount of data. This includes what you’d expect, like aerial photography. But it also includes a vast array of extremely remote edge computing nodes with a bevy of sensors for measuring things like water levels, temperatures, and other environmental aspects. Every so often, they send a small payload of data back to the data center. When we think about IoT at the edge, there are few devices more edge than these.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is all about the preservation of wetlands and the wildlife that rely on them. Maybe with the exception of beavers, who have their own plans when it comes to routing waterways. Okay, that’s not true, Ducks Unlimited doesn’t hate beavers. All of this preservation work requires a surprising amount of data. This includes what you’d expect, like aerial photography. But it also includes a vast array of extremely remote edge computing nodes with a bevy of sensors for measuring things like water levels, temperatures, and other environmental aspects. Every so often, they send a small payload of data back to the data center. When we think about IoT at the edge, there are few devices more edge than these.

Ducks Unlimited Edge Device

On this podcast, I talk with Andrew Pratt, the manager of IT for Ducks Unlimited Canada. Andrew and I met at a Veeam conference last year. At the time he walked me through the IoT program in addition to their other data issues. This was the perfect time to reconnect on the podcast, to get an update on these adventures. In addition to his custom IoT boxes, we cover a number of topics including:

  • The data first approach of Ducks Unlimited
  • The need to service diverse constituents ranging from fundraising to data scientists
  • How the GIS team generates terabytes of imagery
  • Why AI is good but not great for interpreting spatial data
  • How to balance battery consumption and solar charging with data reporting at the extreme edge
  • How pushing analytics to edge devices might actually save power
  • Why visualizing data is as important as the data
  • And since we met at a Veeam conference – how Ducks Unlimited CA went all-in with Veeam for data protection and recovery

Ducks Unlimited could really use your help. Please check out Ducks Unlimited Canada to learn more and contribute if you can. I snagged this hat for $20, it’s patriotic with a duck, hard to beat that.

Bad Beavers

Beaver handiwork six days after the prior dam was removed.

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