August “Person Who Makes A Difference” – Rebecca Moore

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on

The earth is an intricate web of Nature, interlocking her systems of water, land, soil, air & weather, forests, animals and human usage. Google Earth measures the state of health of the Earth by showing the impact of past, present, and possible futures of these systems as human interact with them in formats that make it understandable. Rebecca Moore, American software engineer, is the director of Google Earth, and director and founder of offshoots Google Earth Outreach, and Google Earth Engine computer mapping tools.

Rebecca Moore early saw the value of telling the story of the state of the earth’s resources and systems. By showing in real time visualization, explaining what the pictures meant, why it is important, and the potential for positive – or negative action, she and her team have made these tools available for organizations actively working for human rights and environmental concerns

Starting with her leadership in her own community in the Santa Cruz mountains in 2005, they were able to prevent 1000 acres of redwood logging by the local water company in extremely difficult terrain.

The visualization tools made it very apparent to local citizens and politicians that this was not a project in the interests of the land or community; it was ultimately defeated and some years later gained even more security becoming ‘protected’ land.

Many other projects range from clearing landmines, mapping loss of chimpanzee habitat, showing the effects of mountain top removal mining, the loss of the world’s forests through illegal logging, illegal fishing, even the efforts to deprive indigenous people in the Amazon of their traditional lands as well as previously undiscovered rain forests. Further developments of the tools continue to take place.

Her work will be the subject of the Sunday talk, September 27th, as the August focused “Person Who Makes A Difference”. See you then.