Mosquito Challenge Community Campaign

Kid Citizen Science to Combat Zika

Organization: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and University Corporation of Atmospheric Research

Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA; Boulder, Colorado, USA

Problem: The global health crisis posed by vector-borne diseases is so great in scope that it is insurmountable without the active help of tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals working to eradicate risk in communities around the world.

Solution: This initiative connects health education, environmental awareness, scientific discovery and community-based action in a citizen science effort with direct benefits to NASA science and public health decision-making. Using the GLOBE Program’s Mosquito Protocol, citizen scientists collect and share mosquito data and then use the data to develop a local mitigation strategy that reduces the risk of disease in their communities. This project will create new data sets that do not exist today, catalyze populations at risk (primarily students) to better understand their environment and mitigate risk, delivers the new data sources to those that need it (health officials, citizens), and enables the efforts to be replicated throughout the world.

Innovators:

Headshot of Russanne D. Low

Russanne D. Low – Lead for MCCC project, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies; PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; M.Phi., Ludwig Maximilian University; M.A., University of Alberta (Canada)

"Within the GLOBE Program, teachers, students, and communities choose from more than 50 scientific investigations to address an environmental question of local interest...Until now, the primary users of GLOBE data have been student researchers and scientists validating remotely-sensed environmental data from satellites. We saw that this data could also serve to improve the health and wellness of communities, if the data were shared with public health authorities. This was the thinking behind our proposed pilot with USAID."

Headshot of Tony Murphy

Tony Murphy – University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR); PhD, The Ohio State University; B.S. and M.S., University of Limerick (Ireland)

"Internationally, GLOBE is implemented through government-to-government agreements in over 110 countries. This worldwide community promotes scientific literacy related to understanding our interconnected Earth system. As an educator, I know the power of GLOBE to engage students in real-world science. And the MCCC project will leverage GLOBE’s new mosquito larvae protocol and networks - scientists, teachers, students, and citizen scientists – to do just that: engage students and their communities in doing science that directly impacts their local area."

Headshot of Theresa Schwerin

Theresa Schwerin – VP Education/Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, IGES; M.S., University of Maryland, College Park; B.S., College of Charleston

"Our mission is to foster national and international cooperation in global Earth observations to improve understanding of, and response to, environmental change. Some of the greatest challenges we’re facing for generations to come are related to our changing environment. And these are not simple problems – they’re multi-disciplinary, interconnected, and complex; education is a key component to solutions. IGES’s unique contribution is making connections across agencies and organizations and building strategic partnerships that leverage environmental data and information for improved decision making."

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