Guest blog: Meet Medini

From: Kottawa, Sri Lanka

What motivated you to volunteer as a NASA citizen scientist? How did you learn about NASA citizen science?

Well ,I learned about NASA citizen science when I participated in the 2020 (STEM). Due to my experiences with mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease as a Sri Lankan, I decided to join the Mosquito Mappers team, where part of the was collecting and analyzing GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper and GLOBE Observer Clouds citizen science data. I saw opportunities to utilize my interest in programming to automate certain tasks that made the data we were using more accessible and easier to use. Also, I really wanted to continue contributing to these initiatives after seeing the potential of these data sets in not only improving our understanding of the world, but also empowering and encouraging communities to participate in science. I volunteered to continue working on two projects during the fall. Being a volunteer citizen scientist over the past year has allowed me to apply my skills in computer science and contribute to our understanding of the Earth system. Really interested with GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper and GLOBE Observer clouds. I learned Cloud changing and the Environment



What do you do when you’re not doing science with NASA? Tell us about your
job and your hobbies.      ​​​​​​​


I’m currently St Paul's Girl’s School Milagiriya in Colombo and I’m planning to do the Ordinary Level Exam in Sri Lanka. I’m still doing my school works and one of my future ambition is to become an Aerospace Engineer in NASA (JPL) and I also want to become a Scientist. My hobbies are Reading Astronomy Books and Science Fiction books like Dr. Arthur C Clarke, and I really like to Climbing Mountains (Ella rock) in Sri Lanka, another my hobby is making new innovative products. I appreciate the nature in my community.

Image credit: Author. Medini climbing Ella Rock in Sri Lanka

What have you learned about the process of science from your time on NASA citizen science projects?

The main thing I’ve learned about science is its constantly evolving nature and use of the GLOBE data being iterated upon to produce better science and accommodate technological innovations in software tools and NASA Data Satellite.

Which peer-reviewed research publications have you contributed to through your citizen science work? What was your role in the research and writing process?

I join to the Astronomy club in the School and I’m the President of the grade age and studying the environment will give me the data I need to my innovations. I really like to studying mosquitoes because, It provides the background needed to create inventions

We’re aware that not everyone has equal access to speedy computers and internet signals. Was this a problem for you? And if it was how did you overcome it?

Internet access and the computer speed aren't an issue for me.

What are your favorite NASA citizen science projects to work on, and why?

My favorite NASA citizen science projects to work on are the GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper and GLOBE Observer Cloud Cover, as these data sets are really powerful in learning more about our Earth system. Also, I appreciate being able to use my interest in Clouds photography to benefit science.

What have you discovered or learned as a NASA citizen scientist?

Working with the citizen science data is so cool! I’ve learned just how powerful our collective work can be as citizen scientists. It allows us to really scale the amount of data collection that can get done. Furthermore, getting to explain and spread citizen science to students and teacher in Sri Lanka has shown me how contagious excitement for science can be if spread through engaging ways like citizen science.

What advice would you give to others who might want to volunteer with NASA citizen science?

There’s always so much to do and learn in this Universe, especially in a field as new and growing as citizen science. Finding the new things is so, Curious and Citizen Science offers the power of science to and everyone and everyone in science.

Who have you met during your NASA citizen science work who inspires you?

My mentors Dr. Rusty Low and Ms. Dorian.W.Janney. Their passion for science is so contagious, and they have truly been wonderful mentors who have helped me grow as a scientist, researcher, and programmer while also providing amazing opportunities to further benefit citizen science!

How much time do you spend on NASA citizen science projects?

A few hours each week.

About the author:
Medini. i is a  high school student in St Paul's Girls School Milagiriya, Sri Lanka. She shares her
experiences and STEM passion in this guest blog post.    ​​​​​​​

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