Greetings! The Upstream Tech team recently returned from our first in-person retreat in two years. After three days of discussions, cooking together, and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, we’re feeling energized and inspired to continue our growth.

Our Lens team has been expanding our work in forestry and wetlands, capitalizing on the insights offered by Lens’ vegetation and wildfire risk layers. Our HydroForecast team has also had an exciting fall, from leading in the preliminary results of a streamflow forecast rodeo hosted by CEATI and the US Bureau of Reclamation, to receiving a Small Business Innovation Research Phase II award from the US Department of Energy, to bringing on new partners across the US and Canada. Read on to learn more!

What's New with Lens

We’re all about forests these days as we work alongside great partners like the US Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests to use Lens for scalable and cost-effective forest monitoring. Check out our new blog post, Remotely Tracking Forest Conditions with Lens, to see how three land trusts use Lens to monitor timber harvests, forest composition, and wildfire risk. 

We recently added Salo Sciences’ AI-derived wildfire hazard (below), burn severity, and forest composition layers in Lens. Our recent webinar with the Salo Sciences team provides a deeper dive into using remote sensing to understand wildfire risk. Reach out to Eve Boyce to learn more.

Over the past few months, we’ve also shared several stories of insights our partners have made using Lens. Catch up:

Looking for ways to connect with the Lens team and learn about our work? Here are some upcoming opportunities:

What's New with HydroForecast

That’s a wrap: we submitted our final forecasts on October 1, 2020, for CEATI and the US Bureau of Reclamation's year-long competition to forecast streamflows at 19 hard-to-predict sites across North America. While the organizers are still crunching the final numbers, preliminary results show HydroForecast was the most accurate forecast in the competition! What’s more, not only was HydroForecast the most accurate all-around, it also led the pack in attributes that matter to water users: predicting high flows, making accurate predictions for the short-term, making accurate predictions further in the future, and minimizing overall forecast error. 

We are also thrilled to announce that we received a Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 award from the US Department of Energy, which will support us in continuing to develop and commercialize HydroForecast. As a follow-on from a prior Phase I award, this opportunity underscores the Department of Energy’s investment in HydroForecast as a state-of-the-art technology and a vital tool to support the clean energy transition.

One exciting partner project we are working on is with The Nature Conservancy California to simulate historic, 20-year daily streamflow across hundreds of basins in the state. Water planning for conservation depends on understanding past trends and patterns, particularly extreme low or high flows, and this project will significantly increase the scope and quality of flow records available to planners. Learn more in our recent post on the California Water Blog.

There are plenty of chances to catch up with our HydroForecast team on the road before the end of the year. If you’d like to meet, you can reach them at 

Growing Our Ground Team
Eve Boyce is focused on growing the use of Lens for forestry and ecological restoration. Previously, Eve worked for the Open Space Institute acquiring conservation lands for public recreation and habitat protection. She lives in Ithaca, NY.

Jake Faber recently joined the Lens team to expand Upstream Tech’s partnerships with the land trust community. Previously, Jake worked for the Land Trust Alliance, where he launched new grant programs and developed educational resources to help land trusts and agency partners explore remote monitoring approaches. He lives in Philadelphia.

Matt Koh is a machine learning engineer working on HydroForecast. Previously, he worked as a machine learning engineer at Bloomberg and ASAPP, where he focused on natural language processing models and infrastructure and tooling for training them. Matt is based in Queens, NY.

Welcoming New Advisors

Since Upstream Tech’s founding, we’ve been lucky to have been supported and guided by a network of experts with deep experience in technology, environmental issues, and growing organizations. As we continue to grow and bring Lens and HydroForecast to new markets, we’re thrilled to announce that Upstream Tech is adding three strategic advisors to our team:

Katherine Birnie, Managing Director of Markets at Ecosystem Investment Partners

Paul Fleming, Fellow of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, corporate advisor to startups and early stage companies, and independent consultant

Rand Wentworth, Louis and Gabrielle Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership at the  Harvard Kennedy School

We are excited by the depth of expertise, creativity, and leadership in the environmental field that they will bring to our work. We’re grateful for their partnership and looking forward to continuing to build Upstream Tech together.

That's all for now. You can always find us at Cheers!

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