Hiking with a Purpose Using the GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover Tools

Thirty-one seniors armed with the GLOBE Observer mobile app hiked Kamanaumui Valley at the end of October. During the 3.3 mile trek, hikers made Land Cover and Mosquito Habitat observations, while passing verdant tropical vegetation, the ruins of a colonial manor, a biological restoration plot and ancient petroglyphs.

 OLLI trekkers used the GLOBE Observer app to make observations

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a wide range of educational activities and non-credit courses for people 50 years and older. GLOBE Observer has conducted 7 outreach events at OLLI in 2019 and is now an official partner with the Institute. GLOBE Observer scientist Rusty Low hosted a Sunday session for OLLI members to learn about NASA science, to install the GO app and to experiment with the app interface before the hike.

There is  strong motivation for OLLI members to make mosquito observations in Hawaii, and it’s for the birds! Scientists at the University of Hawaii are conducting research to reduce the threat of avian (bird) malaria, a disease endangering many species of endemic Hawaiian birds. The vector for avian malaria is Culex quinquefasciatus, the southern house mosquito.

Stagnated water provided breeding  sites for mosquitoes

The importance of the observations and measurements are not lost on the hikers, many of whom commented on changes they have seen on their landscape over the past two decades. “We need to document today’s landscape for tomorrow,” noted one of the trekkers. “All hiking groups on Oahu should be using this app.”

Making Land Cover observations in conjunction with Mosquito Habitat Mapper observations provides additional important information that helps us to better understand mosquito ecology. What have you noticed when making Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover observations at the same location? We would like to hear from you!


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This is so exciting! Great job!
¡Gran trabajo! Puede replicarse en mi país