Dave Thau

Global Data and Technology Lead Scientist, Global Science

Dave Thau
Media inquiries: News And Press Page

Dave Thau is WWF's Global Data and Technology Lead Scientist. He joined WWF in 2019, bringing with him over 30 years of software development experience. Prior to WWF, he worked at Google where he helped launch Google Earth Engine, Google's geospatial big-data processing platform, and managed developer relations for Google Earth Engine and Google Earth Outreach. He has also worked with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, the California Academy of Sciences, the Kansas University Museum of Natural History, and the All Species Foundation.

Dave’s work in the fields of data management, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and remote sensing has appeared in journals like Science, Nature, Remote Sensing of Environment, Sustainability, and Ecological Informatics. While at Google, he helped develop many projects including Global Forest Watch, with the World Resources Institute, and Map of Life, with researchers from Yale and the University of Florida.

Dave holds degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in computer science from the University of California, Davis. He also has an ant named in his honor - the charming Plectroctena thaui.

In The News

Nature Breaking

Can AI Help Save the Planet?

Dave Thau talks about the future of AI for conservationists on the Nature Breaking podcast.

More on Dave

Media inquiries: News And Press Page


Global Data and Technology Lead Scientist


  • B.S. UCLA, Cognitive Science
  • M.S. University of Michigan, Psychology
  • M.S. University of Michigan, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Ph.D. University of California, Davis. Computer Science

Areas of Expertise

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Geospatial Data
  • Databases and Data Management
  • Remote Sensing
  • Forest Monitoring
  • Biodiversity Informatics
  • Software Engineering
  • Developer Relations
  • Ants