Shah selbe

National Geographic Emerging Explorer & Conservation Technologist

To put it simply, Shah Selbe is a modern day superhero. He's a nature loving, tech mastermind who has been on a non-stop adventure creating new technologies to help save the planet. 

One such platform he designed, FishNET, detects and tracks illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing worldwide. Pretty cool right? Shah has also worked to develop solar energy projects in Mali and rainwater catchment systems in Tanzania. 

Shah is currently working at Conservify, a company that he founded to lead the way in effective, affordable wildlife conservation. To add to the the list, Shah is also sponsored by National Geographic as an Emerging Explorer. |  @sselbe



We asked Shah to choose a word that ends with -ity that best represents him.

My -ITY word is a very unique one, but it is something that I talk about often: anthropocentricity. We live in a world that is shaped by humans every day, which has a large impact on the environmental and conservation work that I do. This era, the Anthropocene, is defined by us and the choices we make. That's why it's important for us to make good decisions about the things we buy and make sure they are high quality to last a long time. The throwaway culture that defined the last few decades can not work any longer if we want to protect this planet.




We profiled Shah to find out what he carries with him on his National Geographic Expeditions.

  • Different types of cords: the tech I use out in the field uses all the different kinds of cords you can imagine (lightning, micro USB, mini USB, USB-C, etc) so I have to make sure that I am never left without the cord that I need. That also means chargers.
  • SD cards: I take a LOT of pictures, and my relationship as a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow means that my pictures end up on the social media, website, or lectures that I give for NGS.
  • Apple Pencil: I love the iPad Pro, and use the drawing function when working on tech prototypes so having it there is a huge help.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero: We use these microcomputers often to collect data in the field and it always helps to have extras. We have started to design our own boards as part of a big open source project announcing soon, so those would also be carried in this.
  • iPhone 7 Plus: I love this phone. Can't go anywhere without it.


illustrations/motion by @merylrowin