Rainforest Exchange App

ELI Student Project Comes to Fruition to Protect Tropical Rainforests and Local Communities

ELI alumna, Nora Siegler (ELI '20), celebrates the launch of a recent app that she helped develop during her time in ELI to protect tropical rainforests and the communities that live in these threatened areas.  Nora collaborated with nonprofit organization, Health in Harmony, to develop and launch their app, Rainforest Exchange. Development of the app was the focus of Nora's ELI project, which was delayed due to the pandemic and the urgency to redirect resources to immediate needs; despite these unexpected challenges, Nora, her ELI mentor, and the Health in Harmony team persevered and launched Rainforest Exchange.

The goal of the project was to scale the work of Health in Harmony through an online platform. The interactive app provides users with information about critical regions of tropical rainforests and shares the stories and needs of indigenous people in surrounding rainforest communities. The platform engages users to contribute to locally run projects to combat rainforest loss and health inequity. By amplifying the voices and meeting the needs of local indigenous people, users from around the world can participate in the protection of precious, biodiverse rainforests, and human life.

Nora spent her year in ELI conducting research and collaborating with her mentor in technology, Allen Gunn, and the founder and director of Health in Harmony, Dr. Kinari Webb. Together, they designed a prototype that was passed along to a team of developers who recently launched the app now called Rainforest Exchange in the app store. Check it out to learn more about how you can contribute to protecting rainforests and the local communities that call them home.

Also, join us in congratulating Nora, who will be starting medical school later this month.  Congratulations, Nora!