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Shah Selbe

shahselbe.com/

National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Spacecraft Propulsion Engineer. Ocean Conservation Technologist. Leader at Engineers Without Borders.

My primary activity is focused on the use of engineering in it's ability to harness design and science to improve humanity and solve our greatest problems. These efforts are specifically within the areas of ocean conservation, unmanned spacecraft, and access to clean water, sanitation, and renewable energy in the developing world.

I am a conservation technologist and technology expert working to identify and implement innovative approaches to ocean conservation. This work began at Stanford University and I have worked with a number of influential nonprofits and government organizations worldwide. The work, often called “FishNET”, was honored as 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalist, 2011 Savannah Ocean Exchange Gulfstream Navigator Finalist, and 2011 Katerva Award Nominee. Most recently, this work resulted in National Geographic naming me as one of their 2013 Emerging Explorers. This includes the identification of innovative approaches and technologies that work within the constraints of a certain community, including the development of hardware (low cost conservation drones, acoustic sensors, etc) and data management solutions (smartphone apps, online databases, etc.). I also created MPA Guardian, a website and smartphone app to allow crowdsourced protection of CA’s marine protected area network.

I also work as a spacecraft propulsion systems engineer, focused on both liquid and ion propulsion systems for satellites. In this work, I have supported propulsion systems engineering, R&D efforts, and worked numerous launches and mission controls.

Finally, I serve as the Southern California Regional Representative for Engineers Without Borders (EWB), watching over all the university and professional chapters in the region (consisting of thousands of professional engineers and engineering students). I have held multiple leadership roles within EWB, including many years as President of the Los Angeles Professional chapter and project leads for many projects throughout the world. Some examples of the projects I have built are homes in Mexico, solar energy projects in Mali, water distribution systems in Malawi, and rainwater catchment systems in Tanzania (so students spend time in school instead of fetching water).

Got an idea to protect our oceans? Here is $10k to make it happen.

In recent years, there has been a growing global understanding of the importance in establishing marine protected areas (MPA) in our oceans. These sanctuaries serve a fundamental role in creating safe spaces for fish to spawn and grow before spilling out into the open ocean to benefit environmental rejuvenation and fisheries alike. These have been…

Open Source #Okavango14: The Heartbeat of the Delta

On day two, we found ourselves hushed and intensely listening on the side of the channel in our mokoros, the traditional canoe of the baYei people. The air was tense as we waited as a result of the nearby rumblings of a male elephant. I have never felt so simultaneously excited and anxious at the…

Robot Eyes Protecting From Above: Drones and Ocean Conservation

A robust and healthy ocean is the lifeblood for our planet, sustaining life through interconnected ecosystems worldwide. Unfortunately, as a result of global industrial overfishing pressure, many of these ecosystems have shown signs of rapid deterioration. This is particularly bad in the high seas, the part of the oceans that lie beyond 200-miles off the…