“In accordance with the [Environmental Protection Agency], agriculture is the leading contributor of pollutants into the waterways of the USA,” Daniel E. Ho, co-lead writer on the job, informed Digital Trends. But environmental monitoring and enforcement has been hampered by the lack of systematic knowledge about those facilities. Some interest groups and one nation authority resorted to scanning satellite images to identify CAFO locations, a process that can take more than three years for a nation. above
Development of this system was done in collaboration to confirm the training information, along with Stanford computer engineering students who brainstormed computer vision techniques that were relevant for looking for facilities.
“We covered largely the legal questions about how CAFOs are regulated under the Clean Water Act, however, many [were] amazed by the fundamental lack of knowledge about CAFOs. Our study team then began to examine whether there were ways to leverage the major improvements in image recognition to figure out this problem.”
Ho isn’t necessarily who you’d expect to be supporting an initiative like this. A scholar, he is a law enforcement and political science professor at Stanford University. How did he come to get involved?
A paper describing how the job was recently published in the journal Nature Sustainability.