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Spotlight on Using the Mosquito Habitat Mapper for IVSS Reports


High school students in GLOBE teacher Mercy Molina's 11th grade class are working in five small research groups to investigate various aspects of mosquitoes in their region. Even though there will not be active mosquitoes during the time frame they will be doing their investigation (November through January), there are still many aspects of mosquitoes that they decided to learn more about. 

The International School at Largo is a unique high school as it focuses on working with students for whom English is a second language, and who have come to the United States within the past four years. Mercy Molina, a phenomenal science teacher, heard about The GLOBE Program late last year when a member of the Global Precipitation Measurement science team visited her school. She reached out to me to see if there were authentic investigations related to NASA that her students could become involved in, and I got her started learning about GLOBE and GLOBE Observer. She was so excited that she worked with her principal and myself to develop an elective course that would GLOBE protocols. 

After learning about The GLOBE Program and GLOBE Observer, her students decided they would like to focus on learning more about mosquitoes and mosquito-transmitted disease. One student in the class had contracted chikungunya in his home country, and another had experienced being sick with dengue fever. After learning some of the basics about mosquitoes, they came up with the following questions to investigate. Each group will focus on researching one of these questions for their IVSS reports.

  • What species and genera of mosquitoes that transmit disease are found in Maryland?
  • What kinds of mosquito-transmitted diseases have been reported to health officials in Maryland?
  • When is active mosquito season in Maryland?
  • Is the length of active mosquito in Maryland changing over the past 20 years?
  • What are the best practices for protection and prevention of mosquito-transmitted disease for people in Maryland?

The class has been collecting air temperature, precipitation, humidity, barometric pressure, and cloud data on a regular basis. The students have downloaded the GLOBE Observer app and are collecting tree height and land cover data on a monthly basis. They are using home-made mosquito traps both inside and outside their homes and taking observations with the mosquito habitat mapper regularly. Using these data, they hope to explore relationships between these environmental parameters and their investigative question. They are also hoping to collaborate with a few other GLOBE schools and learn about mosquitoes and mosquito-transmitted disease in other locations. 

If you are thinking about using the mosquito habitat mapper as a part of the IVSS investigations, please complete this Google Form so I can reach out to you and see if I can offer any assistance or resources. 

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