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Join the Climate Challenge Hackathon with IBM and University of Florida

By Christina Howell posted Mon August 23, 2021 12:57 PM


Be Part of the Change!

Join the University of Florida and IBM in protecting environmental resources and preparing communities for the impact of climate change.

In 6 weeks, you and your team will build an application in one of our challenge areas that can change the world using IBM AI and machine learning technologies and with support by leaders in technology and climate from University of Florida, IBM, and other partner organizations.

As a hackathon participant, you will be provided with $200 in cloud credits to access to all of IBM’s services on the cloud.

Hackathon Challenges

  • Challenge #1 - Climate Change & Florida Ecosystem
  • Challenge #2 - Improving the Condition of Florida’s Waterways
  • Challenge #3 - Sustainable Fisheries
  • Challenge #4 - Power Consumption
  • Challenge #5 - Animal Agriculture
  • Challenge #6 - Wildcard

$100,000 Prize Pool

  • Grand prize: $30,000
  • Second place: $20,000
  • Third place: $15,000

Who Should Participate?

This hackathon is for US residents only. Students, developers, entrepreneurs, designers, skilled individuals, and even first time hackers are encouraged to join the Florida Hacks with IBM Hackathon! Please note that the participation age for this hackathon is 16 years and older. Individuals who are under 18 years of age will require a signed parent or guardian consent form. Failure to do so will disqualify an individual from participation.

Check the website for the complete description, instructions how to RSVP etc.

Challenge #1 - Climate Change & Florida Ecosystem

Florida’s 8,000 miles of coastline exhibit tremendous natural beauty, attracting tourists and enriching the lives of our state’s 15 million coastal residents. Changes in weather patterns, extreme events, deoxygenation of ocean waters, ongoing erosion, and human development are disrupting and degrading our state’s coastal ecosystems, including our beaches, dunes, seagrass meadows, oyster and coral reefs and wetlands. Reasons cited for this climate change include emissions problems, lack of proper waste control, and increased development of surrounding areas. 

Many are attempting to restore or create new ecosystems to regain these ecosystems and their services. This challenge invites participants to create applications to help with emissions problems, lack of proper waste control, and sustainable development plans.

How can we:

• Target and reduce emissions in the state of Florida?

• Better collect and dispose of waste?

• Sustain long term development without radically affecting the environment?

Challenge #2 - Improving the Condition of Florida’s Waterways

Florida’s springs, rivers, and estuaries define the natural aesthetic of the state and are largely responsible for establishing Florida as the 16th largest economy in the world. However, the physical, chemical and biological condition of the state’s waterways are dramatically changing due to climate change, shifts in land use, and population growth. Harmful algae blooms, macro algae blooms, pathogen outbreaks and hypoxia (low oxygen events) are now pervasive in many waterways, threats that are projected to worsen with warming temperature and continued land use change.

This challenge invites participants to find applications to help increase the productivity and optimization of land use and improve zoning laws to promote better land use.

How can we:

• Target and reduce the impact of coastal land use on Florida's waterways? 

• Use land in a sustainable and climate-safe manner?

• Promote better land use through zoning laws?

Challenge #3 - Sustainable Fisheries

Florida is the fishing capital of the world, with more anglers than any state and recreational and commercial fisheries that are worth over $15 Billion annually to the state economy. Many Floridian’s fish or grow/harvest shellfish in our state’s rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal oceans, either for fun (i.e. recreational fishers) or to support their livelihoods (i.e. commercial fisheries and aquaculture). Changes in water quality, water temperatures, aquatic habitat loss (e.g., mangroves, oyster reefs and seagrass), and other global change factors are transforming both the recreational and commercial fisheries sectors. 

This challenge invites participants to help both public and private organizations to detect or deter changes in water quality, increasing water temperatures or monitor and aid in reduction of aquatic habitat loss.

How can we:

• Detect and deter changes in water quality?

• Detect and deter increasing water temperatures? 

• Monitor and aid in the reduction of aquatic habitat loss?

Challenge #4 - Power Consumption

Florida has one of the largest per capita consumptions of energy in the United States. The bulk of this energy is drawn from fossil fuels leading to high carbon emissions. Currently there is a lack of public and private spending and initiatives in the Sunshine State for use of renewable energy resources such as solar and wind. 

Participants are invited to contribute to help develop applications for facilitating higher usages of renewable energy sources and optimize for efficient energy usage for all types of resources. 

How can we:

• Analyze and target locations for renewable energy sources?

• Optimize power generation to reduce overproduction? 

• Target and reduce areas of inefficient energy usage?

Challenge #5 - Animal Agriculture

Production of animal products for human and other animal consumption emits 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions. Ongoing global greenhouse emissions continue to contribute to the effects of climate change now and into the future and less demand for meat and other animal products as well as more sustainable animal husbandry could lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Participants in this challenge are invited to encourage reduced consumption of meat and other animal products and find ways to promote more sustainable animal husbandry.

How can we:

• Target and reduce wastes associated with animal product production?

• Analyze and predict outcomes of efforts associated with methods for sustainable animal husbandry? 

Challenge #6 - Wildcard

Do you have a solution that encompasses more than one of the challenges above? Do you have an idea that is completely out of the box, but still addresses the theme at hand? If so, take on the Wildcard challenge. Participate in the Hackathon to help combat climate change!

Sign up and join the challenge today!