SkyTruth

If you can see it, you can change it.

aka n/a   |   Shepherdstown, WV   |  https://skytruth.org/

Mission

Sharing the view from space to motivate people to protect the environment. The nonprofit environmental watchdog uses satellite imagery and remote sensing data to identify and monitor threats to the planet's natural resources. Areas of focus include issues such as offshore drilling, oil spills, hydraulic fracturing, mountaintop removal mining, and illegal fishing. SkyTruth releases all of its imagery and data to researchers and the public for free, with the goal of greater transparency, motivating individuals, policymakers, governments, and corporations towards more responsible stewardship of the global commons.

Ruling year info

2002

President

John Amos

Main address

P.O. Box 3283

Shepherdstown, WV 25443 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

54-2059475

NTEE code info

Management & Technical Assistance (C02)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

Management & Technical Assistance (M02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We utilize technology to identify and monitor threats to the planet's natural resources such as offshore drilling and oil spills, urban sprawl, fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and overfishing of the oceans.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Global Fishing Watch

Global Fishing Watch uses data and open technologies to help save the oceans by showing, for free, exactly where all of the trackable commercial fishing activity has happened since 2012 and is happening today in near-real time.

The Global Fishing Watch Map represents billions of publicly-broadcast Automatic Identification Signals (AIS) from ships at sea. Artificial intelligence tools developed by our data scientists, process these signals to distinguish individual vessel tracks and identify when the vessels are fishing based on their movements.

Our data sets, data analyses, and reports are another vital product of Global Fishing Watch. Our data scientists and research partners combine the AIS data with information from fishing registries, Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) data, and other sources of information about vessels and fishing fleets to understand their activities and impacts. We publish these data sets and products here for free.

What Does Global Fishing Watch Do?
Create transparency by revealing the activity of the commercial fishing fleet, which not only uncovers suspicious activity, but identifies patterns of behavior among fleets, flag states, individual vessels, and more.

Increase traceability by identifying individual vessel tracks to help validate the supply chain and facilitate monitoring and enforcement.

Promote sustainability by creating and disseminating data about the fishing activity that will increase the understanding of global catch and fisheries interaction with the ecosystem.

Who Uses Global Fishing Watch?
Decision Makers, Policy Makers, and Resource Managers
Revealing where, when, and how much fishing can help decision-makers develop informed policy as well as strategic management and enforcement programs that create sustainable fisheries and reduce Illegal Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU).

Conservation Organizations and NGOs
Identifying patterns in fishing behavior and revealing individual vessel tracks can support campaigns to reduce impacts of fishing on the ocean and drive policies that will stop IUU.

Industry Members
Providing a tool for fishers and seafood suppliers to verify how and where their products are caught can help demonstrate that they are using sustainable practices and increase the market value of their product.

Researchers:
Developing datasets and analyses of global fishing activity can support research on ecology, the environment and human interaction with the ocean.

The Public and the Media:
Revealing fishing activity can empower the public to pressure officials and industry for changes that will improve the sustainability of the oceans.

Population(s) Served
Activists
Victims and oppressed people

Thanks to innovations in machine-learning and cloud computing technology, we were able to produce an extensive update to our MTR datasets. Rather than providing an update for the decade of mining since 2005, we worked to build an annual mining footprint dataset going back to the 1980’s and a triennial database going back another decade. Our team analyzed over 640,000 individual reference points at mining sites across Appalachia. Work to refine our algorithms in Google Earth Engine is ongoing. Though this approach, we are improving the temporal detail of the historical database. The datasets we provide have informed research work that has moved public policy forward.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

To fill gaps in publicly available information detailing where fracking operations in the Marcellus Shale are taking place, we analyze imagery for thousands of fracking permit locations over a period of several years. To expand our capacity, we look to crowdsourcing to speed up the process. Crowdsourcing FrackFinder gives us the opportunity to reach the public and provide them the chance to see the impacts of fracking firsthand.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

A heat map of nightly, infrared satellite detections of natural gas flaring across the entire planet, as seen by the VIIRS instrument aboard NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite. Why do we monitor global flaring? Methane and other gases are frequently flared from oil wells because it is cheaper to burn it off than to recover it – at least when the well is primarily producing oil. Flaring is also used while drilling new wells and at refineries to prevent an explosive buildup of gases. Flaring is a dirty practice that wastes colossal amounts of energy (in North Dakota alone they burn off enough natural gas every day to heat 100,000 homes), and globally the method adds as much CO2 to the atmosphere every year as 77 million automobiles. Flaring can also pollute the air with the known carcinogens like BTEX and could aerosolize a toxic stew of undisclosed fracking fluids.

Population(s) Served
Activists
People with diseases and illnesses

The SkyTruth Alerts system is a free service open to the public that provides daily updates of environmentally significant incidents by geographical area. You can browse the most recent incident reports on a map or in Google Earth, and you can also subscribe to a personalized feed of incident reports via RSS or email. Alerts 2.0 is currently in development.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

SkyTruth investigates, illustrates and measures the impacts of environmental disasters and issues around the globe. These include oil spills, mine tailings spills and ecological effects from extreme weather events such as the recent devastating hurricane season. We conduct ongoing research and R&D to maintain our expertise in the fast-evolving areas of remote sensing, digital mapping, and data mining. These events attract media attention, offering an unparalleled opportunity to inform and engage the public by calling attention to the often underreported systemic risks, policy, regulatory and management weaknesses, illegal activity, or other broader issues that are the cause of the disaster at hand.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

SkyTruth is empowering the next generation of "SkyTruthers" and environmental scientists through the development of a curriculum which teaches students about remote sensing and mapping.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We believe better transparency leads to better management and better outcomes. By sharing our findings – stunning imagery and robust science-based data – with the public for free, we move policy makers, governments and corporations towards more responsible behavior in the environment. We arm citizen activists with the tools they need to be more effective advocates. We also provide researchers and scientists with critical data that can inform groundbreaking work – and, notably, aid in the effort to begin asking a new set of questions.

Financials

SkyTruth
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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SkyTruth

Board of directors
as of 09/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Darshan Karwat

Arizona State University

John Amos

SkyTruth

David Shearer

Full Circle BioChar

Alan Septoff

Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

Catherine Irwin

CATF