Call for Applications

Workshop dates: January 6–24, 2025
Workshop location: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA

We invite applications for the third Computer Vision for Ecology (CV4E) workshop, a three-week hands-on intensive course in CV targeted at graduate students, postdocs, early faculty, and junior researchers in Ecology and Conservation. Each student in the workshop will learn to build computer vision models to help answer their ecological research questions. Students are expected to propose a project as part of their application materials, and clearly define (1) the question they hope to answer, (2) the data they plan to use, and (3) the broader impacts of their work if successful. See here and here for examples of past projects.

Deadline for applications: March 22, 2024. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
Notification of acceptance: April 19, 2024.

Application Materials

The application includes a written project proposal, personal statement, data and Python readiness plan, CV, and one letter of reference. The following should be combined into a single PDF for submission:

  • Project proposal (1-page, 11pt font, 1" margins) addressing the following:
    • Research problem -- What question are you interested in and how would computer vision methods better enable you to address it?
    • Motivation -- What would success look like? What is the likely impact of your research for science, policy, education, and conservation?
  • Data plan (max 1 page). Please answer the following questions directly:
    • What data do you have in hand? What is the overall data storage size? Where is it located? What is the temporal and spatial distribution of your data?
    • Does your data need to be kept private? Do you have the rights to use your data? How is the data organized?
    • If you plan to collect data (i.e., you do not already have your data in hand): What will it be? What is the data collection timeline? What is your backup plan?
    • What labels do you currently have for your data?
    • If you plan to label additional data, what is your plan and timeline?
    • What format will the data and metadata be in?
    • Data examples (optional, not included in page limit) - images/spectrograms can be directly inserted in the PDF, otherwise provide a link to Dropbox/Google Drive/etc. in the PDF, or upload a zip file.
  • Python readiness (max 250 words):
    • Describe your programming experience/history.
    • Submit a link to a GitHub repository you have authored in Python, or if you are not yet proficient in Python provide a detailed plan for how you will learn Python in the time leading up to the workshop.
  • Personal statement (1 page, 11pt font, 1" margins) describing your accomplishments, skills, and career objectives.
  • CV (2 pages maximum)
  • One letter of reference should be uploaded seperately by the letter writer.

How to Submit

This year we ask that all application materials, except the letter of reference and optional data examples, be uploaded by the applicant in a single PDF.
Please upload your application [here] with a filename in the format LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_application.pdf
Please upload your data examples [here] (optional) with a filename in the format LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_data.zip (or add a link to DropBox/GoogleDrive in the PDF)
Please ask letter writers to upload their letter of reference [here] with a filename in the format LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_lor.pdf

Target Workshop Participants

  • Senior graduate students, postdocs, early faculty, junior researchers in Ecology and Conservation.
  • Familiarity with Python programming for data analysis. If you do not have existing Python familiarity it is OK, in such a case we require you to submit a plan for building Python skills in the time between acceptance and attendance of the workshop.
  • A demonstrated interest in academic research in ecology and conservation or the deployment of technology for conservation impact. A record of published research on quantitative ecology and conservation or a record of technology deployment within conservation or governmental organizations is preferred.
  • An ecology/conservation question in mind with access to a large image/audio/video/etc. dataset and the need for CV/ML methods to support such research. We will work with accepted applicants in the months leading up to the workshop to help them curate and label their datasets for CV/ML models.
  • Scientists from communities facing large conservation challenges and from minoritized communities are especially encouraged to apply.

Accepted students will be responsible for travel to and from Caltech, as well as a registration fee of $1200 that will additionally cover room and board while at Caltech. We believe no qualified student should be turned away due to financial inaccessibility and will have need-based aid available. If you are interested in supporting a student, please contact us at cv4ecology@caltech.edu.