PSA: UC Berkeley’s first Eco-Hack is happening this month

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Mark your calendars — because for the first time ever, UC Berkeley is hosting an Eco-Hack. According to the Facebook event, the hack-a-thon will be held on Sunday, April 27 from 12:45 to 5 pm, so mosey on over to the Brower Center on Allston Way to get your eco-hack on.

Inspired by Tim Shields’ talk while participating in the TEDxBerkeley, Hardshell Labs and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Student Association are teaming up to provide an opportunity for UC Berkeley students to use technology to start a conversation about the variety of problems related to conservation biology. This idea, “Crowd Sourced Conservation,” seeks to link people from majors ranging from computer science to molecular and cell biology to business to ecology to psychology to engineering. Welcoming all who choose to compete, the founders of Hardshell Labs — who may be hiring in the near future, according to an email from Ian Moore, one of the people involved in the shaping of the event — will be there to talk to the participating students.

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You need to sign up by April 24 to be accepted, but the hack-a-thon is open to students of all experience levels and backgrounds — it’s not purely for coders. Rather, the goal of the event is to explore ways to foster environmentally sustainable technology through a design contest, and to “make saving the planet fun,” as Moore put it.

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The judges of the four-hour hack-a-thon will award cash prizes to the team with the best idea for an online game that allows its players to understand and begin to change the way they interact with the environment. These games, which Moore envisions being played by people around the world, will help both the developers and the players think about and come up with ways to solve problems in conservation biology. By seeking to engage the “online generation,” Hardshell and CETSA hope to create a better and more environmentally aware future.

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Contact Holly Secon at [email protected].