Parachute Science | December 7, 2021

In the wake of international disparities in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), parachute science is an underhanded means by which typically wealthier nations conduct research in another location with minimal engagement with local scientists or decision-makers. As scientific challenges increasingly occupy a global scope, scientific practices must coincide with JEDI initiatives to remain ethical. This workshop overviewed these challenges and outlined pivotal steps in preventing parachute science with a focus on projects related to remote sensing of the environment and biodiversity.


Parachute Science


Five headshots of the panelists: Abel Ramelo (a man with a white vest and maroon and white checkered shirt), Anabelle Cardoso (a woman in all black smiling in front of a garden), Asha de Vos (a woman with a black puffer jacket by the oceanside at daybreak), Amy Frazier (a woman with long brown hair and a turqoise button-up), and Izak Smit (a man with a blue and white polo shirt, showered in sunset)

Abel Ramoelo, Associate Professor/ Director at the Centre for Environmental Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa.  Abel researches remote sensing and its applications for environmental assessment and monitoring.

Amy Frazier, Associate Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. Amy is interested in using remote sensing to benefit conservation and biodiversity.

Anabelle Cardoso, Science Team Manager for BioSCape. Anabelle has spent most of research career in universities in the UK and USA collecting data in Gabon, South Africa, and Ghana.

Izak Smit, Science Manager for the South African National Parks. Izak has  an interest in applied conservation/ecology science with relevance to management of protected areas.

Asha de Vos, founder and executive director of OceansWell, Sri Lanka's first marine conservation research and education organization.  Asha is a marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research within the northern Indian Ocean.


Participants came from all across the world, including the United States, South Africa, West Africa, Australia, Eastern Europe, South America, and more)

Locations where participants had conducted research or collaborated.


Which of the following are most relevant to the issue of parachute science? A diagram depicts participants' reponses. Funding (1st), Language (2nd), Nationality (3rd), Education (4th), Culture (5th), Race (6th), Ethnicity (7th), Institution (8th), Professional Rank (9th), Class (10th), Gender (11th), Age (12th), Sexuality (13th)

Participants' ranking of the most relevant areas in the issue of parachute science. 

What does parachute science look like in biodiversity and related fields?

How do we work towards meaningful and equitable collaboration in remote sensing of biodiversity?

What are some effective means of engagement we can track?