Two projects have adopted the GO Mosquito Habitat Mapper tool as a way to obtain data for scientific analysis. The GLOBE Mission Mosquito Campaign plays an official role in a research project funded by the National Science Foundation: Citizen Epidemiology: Designing and Connecting Next-Generation Cyber, Biological, and Citizen Science Systems for the Surveillance and Control of Mosquito-Borne Diseases. The project PI is Dr. Ryan Carney, University of South Florida. To create an automated larva identification using artificial intelligence, many images of mosquito larvae are needed- from all angles. Mosquito Habitat Mappers can help support this work by submitting larvae photographs using the GLOBE Observer app. Remember that you can take up to 9 photos. Dr. Carney, with Dr. Chellappan, are developing the AI larvae recognition software. They would like to see as many as you have time to make, including the entire body, tail segments, as well as head, thorax, and abdomen. Using your toothpick, roll your specimen around and get several angles- the challenge is always trying to represent our 3-D organism in flat 2-D images, which is why one photo is rarely enough!
Besides collecting the larvae photos, Dr. Carney also needs land cover photos that correspond to the place where you find mosquito habitats. This is the beauty of the GLOBE Observer app: the Land Cover tool is handy, and this task will take less than 5 minutes. You don't need to do the classification step in the land cover protocol (the second step); however, the six photos from the first data collection step that corresponds to the mosquito breeding site location would add valuable data for our scientists.
Here is a short video by PI Dr. Ryan Carney and Dr. Sriram Chellappan, Co-PI, talking about the AI model they are developing to create a larva identification tool. https://youtu.be/HV3Djyc0RJY
GO Mosquito Habitat Mapper has been adopted as a data collection tool by Ethiopian entomologists working in conjunction with the President's Malaria Initiative. Hear Dr. Sarah Zohny, CDC, talk about the critical problem of invasive Anopheles stephensi and why it is a game-changer when it comes to fighting malaria, and how citizen scientists can help: https://youtu.be/6G-x0ELzth8
The Ethiopian entomologists working on this invasive species problem are also collecting land cover photographs using the GLOBE Observer app, because these data help contextualize mosquito larval habitats on the landscape.
Collection of GLOBE Observer data using both tools, Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover, is a new addition to the GLOBE Mission Mosquito protocol. By using the two tools at each study site, we are building an important data sets that can be used in the development of machine learning algorithms as well as building a broader understanding of where and when mosquito habitats are found on the landscape. What will you discover today, using your GLOBE Observer app?