Christina is a professional software engineer based in Los Angeles, California. She has a Masters degree in physics from the University of California, Irvine, and over 5 years' experience engineering complex financial and scientific software solutions. PalmSmart is her brainchild, which she designed and almost entirely built, from the database through the front end.
PalmSmart grew out of a lifelong love of orangutans and the environment. When I read the heartbreaking news that widespread fires in Indonesia were threatening the already critically endangered orangutan populations, I knew I had to do something to help.
The unsustainable production of palm oil has been a major factor in driving the deforestation that now leaves the orangutan on the brink of extinction. Looking at my own pantry, I was amazed at how ubiquitous it was in the products I bought. At the same time I was ashamed at how I was contributing to the problem through something as seemingly benign as grocery shopping. PalmSmart was my response, a tool to help people like me make the right choices in the supermarket.
This project is a labor of love that I have so far financed myself in the hope that it will make a difference for the orangutan.
Phil is an LA-based software engineer with a background in scientific research. He holds a PhD in physics and astronomy from the University of Birmingham, UK, and has designed and built software to do everything from visualizing data from NASA satellites, to processing financial data. Phil played an essential supporting role in the development of PalmSmart and, in particular, researched companies' and products' use of palm oil.