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Invasive Mosquito Project: USDA

Leveraging U.S. schools to crowdsource mosquito data for Zika prevention.

Photo of Adam Crawley
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The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is leveraging a crowdsourcing approach to collecting mosquito data, with students making mosquito traps that allow for collection and analysis of eggs being deposited in areas around the country. 

https://share.america.gov/teenage-scientists-enlisted-to-fight-zika/

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Photo of Nikhil Gangaraju

I think the use of data is a great way to address the spread of Zika especially if it starts impacting US cities. I know that the current Whitehouse administration is funding some great initiatives around Open Gov that opens up massive data sets around many aspects of civic society. Applying mosquito data with these other sets might provide some interesting insights to enable better prevention measures: https://www.data.gov/open-gov/
Minh Nguyen  thoughts?

Photo of Minh Nguyen

I'm a fan of engaging students and using it as a point of entry to educate students on how to be safe and proactive. There are many good points Lauren Kaplan brought up that need to be addressed. I think there are natural synergies with actively trapping mosquitoes for data and educating students on why they're doing it while staying safe. 

Photo of Ashley

Minh Nguyen, the Invasive Mosquito Project is a public education and national mosquito monitoring program that partners local professionals with high school teachers and community educators to teach about mosquito-borne disease and public health while providing teachers with educational materials that allows their students to gather real data outside of the classroom environment.  The first lesson plan focuses on the collection of mosquito eggs, and within the lesson, we emphasize safety, such as wearing insect repellent and long sleeves and not going out during peak hours of mosquito activity.  Feel free to check out the website, www.citizenscience.us!

Photo of Lauren Kaplan

This is really promising! How do you plan on integrating public health awareness in the classroom through this project? If students are using traps to collect data, how can we make sure they also understand how to keep themselves safe? What other activities could students be engaged in to enhance prevention? Will students be given materials they can take home and share with their family and friends so that this project can use a social network approach to prevention and awareness? 

Photo of Emma Kelsey

Adam Crawley , interesting post! I think this is a great way to combine education while also empowering communities to feel that they are able to contribute to prevention and help protect themselves. Lauren Kaplan you also make some great points about how this could be extended even further. Students can be powerful advocates in their communities, and might be able to help spread awareness of Zika. Thanks for connecting us, Minh Nguyen !

Photo of Ashley

Lauren Kaplan, you definitely bring up some good points in regards to public health awareness.  I am a part of the Invasive Mosquito Project team, and safety was a big concern with this project.  On our website, www.citizenscience.us, we have provided resources for teachers and participants to utilize, and a big component is emphasizing safety and prevention when it comes to mosquitoes.  Additionally, this citizen science project is unique in that it is partnered citizen science where professionals in the field provide their expertise and guidance to educators participating, while also emphasizing safety. 

Photo of Adam Gall

Great find, Adam! Upon reading the article and digging a few layers deeper, I found this resource for teachers to join the cause: http://www.citizenscience.us/imp/ Check it out!