AOI Fieldwork
At first, collecting land cover data for 37 points within my area of interest felt like a daunting task. However, after only a few "expeditions" in the past week, I was able to complete all 37 observations.

To make my work easier and more accurate, I intentionally choose an AOI that would contain as many points as possible within a nearby park. This was to ensure that I could access as many points as possible. Despite my best efforts, many of the points still landed in residential properties. This activity actually reminded me how many neighborhoods there are in my town. To begin the fieldwork, I collected observations from the origin of my AOI. These points were probably the easiest, as they landed in the middle of a park. This park contained a lot of forest, trails, and two bodies of freshwater. Although I wasn't able to access the points that landed on the water or in the deep woods, I still had a great time hiking around this park. Additionally, within these first few hours, I quickly found the best way to navigate the Globe Observer app and other tools on my phone. I set up a list of each coordinate pair and the point on my map that correlated. I used Google Maps to type in each coordinate pair to ensure that I was as close to my target as possible. This system allowed me to move between points as efficiently as possible.       

After getting all of the points near the origin, I started to work in the corners and edges of my AOI. These points were much more difficult and took up the majority of my time. Since there are a few back country roads in my area, I was able to get really close to a few points that looked inaccessible on Google Maps. During this stage, I felt like I was more on an adventure to find the closest location that I could make an observation.

On the last day of making observations, I decided to switch tactics and went out on bike rather than foot. Although I couldn't start moving to the next point as soon as I was done taking pictures, the bike increased my speed tremendously. There was one section where 5 points lines up on one road, so using the bike allowed me to get all 5 points in under an hour! Overall, because of the duration and scale of this activity, I was really forced to use the tools available to me in as efficient a way as possible. In this manner, I learned what it was like to do fieldwork without someone "holding my hand." It was a great activity that I look forward to using the data collected in a meaningful way during week 4!

Mosquito Trap
For my trap project, I decided to change the amount of substrate (sticks) in each trap.
For each week I plan on using 3 traps (each with 0-2 sticks) near a stream's edge and 3 traps (identical to the other group) in a shaded forest. I gathered my supplies and began setting up the traps. This trap project became very difficult when I realized that my buckets had small holes on the bottom. I attempted to recover from this by using several layers of duct tape, plastic lining, and even flex seal to cover the holes. After this repair, I set up my traps and waited a day to see if there would be a loss of water due to these holes.

The next day, the water levels in 5 of 6 buckets were relatively normal, but the water level in one bucket was noticeable lower. To combat this, I simply added water to fill the bucket back to a normal level. Hopefully, this will not affect anything too dramatically, but I will need to find a better solution for week 2 and 3. Data from week 2 and 3 can be used to see whether losing and adding water midway through the experiment has an impact. Besides this problem, I am excited to see how these traps will turn out!

​​​​​​​About the author: Hugo B. is a rising a rising high school student from New Jersey. ​​​​​​​  ​​​​​​​His virtual internship is part of a collaboration between the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the NASA  Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) to extend the TSGC Summer Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) internship for U.S. high school ( In this guest blog post, he shares the NASA SEES Earth System Explorers virtual internship in 2023.

More Blog Entries