SkyTruth Lately

 Wondering what SkyTruth has been up to lately?  Here’s a quick rundown:

Pearl Award

Pollution – Oil and Gas – Fracking

  • MSNBC interviewed us for a story on the chronic Taylor Energy oil leak in the Gulf.
  • Associated Press interviewed us for an in-depth story and video featuring our work monitoring and documenting chronic oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico associated with offshore oil and gas development; covered in major media outlets including Seattle Times, Houston Chronicle, Washington Post. Followup action resulted almost immediately as Senator Nelson demands more information from federal agencies.
  • North Dakota regulators are finally cracking down on excessive, wasteful flaring of natural gas from oil wells. We’ve worked to provide daylight on this issue in a variety of ways, including our global flaring map and dataset.
  • Our testimony, meetings with regulators, and public critiques regarding the public disclosure of chemicals used in fracking are having a positive effect, as some significant improvements were recently announced.

Coal – Mountaintop Removal

Fishing – Ocean Monitoring

  • We detected a vessel fishing illegally in Palau’s waters and provided real-time, hot-pursuit support that helped Palau intercept the culprits in the nick of time, far out at sea. NPR covered the story.
  • Yale360 wrote about our work on the Global Fishing Watch project with Oceana and Google, analyzing big data to map fishing activity throughout the ocean and illustrate how well – or poorly – marine protected areas are being managed.


  • Fast Company profiled our work, highlighting the “watchdog” role that satellite image monitoring can play in encouraging better performance by government and industry.
  • This article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes our FrackFinder program of crowdsourcing to engage citizen-scientists in analyzing imagery and producing useful data.

Partnerships – Events

  • We gave a presentation on our vessel-tracking work at a meeting attended by dozens of representatives from federal government agencies.
  • We participated in a roundtable discussion at the Center for a New American Security focused on developing information-sharing platforms for large areas of interest to multiple nations.
  • On May 19 we’ll give a presentation at a workshop hosted by National Geographic, NOAA and the State Department on monitoring and enforcement strategies for marine protected areas.
  • In June we’ll be at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Portugal to present progress on Global Fishing Watch, including some research results, with our Oceana and Google partners.