By Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environment Strategies (IGES)
The GO Oklahoma! citizen science challenge (June 15-Oct. 31, 2019) is part of the GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign, co-led by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and NASA GSFC. Citizen scientists in the greater Oklahoma City/Norman, OK metropolitan area are collecting GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper data to support NASA research by partner scientists Dr. Mike Wimberly, University of Oklahoma, Norman, and Dr. Caio Franca, Southern Nazarene University.
- The University of Oklahoma provided the equipment (clip-on magnifiers and mosquito traps) and an expedited Institutional Review Board (IRB). The data collected is related to their research on northern expansion of West Nile virus.
- IGES is recruiting citizen scientists through local community organizations and SciAct referrals, particularly NISE Net and STAR Net.
- Workshops for citizen scientists and informal educators were hosted by local organizations the week of June 15. These included OK City County Health Department, Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Library, and National Weather Center. Other groups engaged included 4-H. Training was conducted by Dr. Rusty Low (science lead for GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper) and Cassie Soeffing (informal education lead GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper), with Dr. Wimberly and Dr. Franca.
Currently 39 volunteers have signed up to participate, and we are anticipating additional volunteers joining over the summer through local partners. For example, the Science Museum Oklahoma is looking to incorporate this activity into ongoing garden program and the OK City County Health Department is interested in Mosquito Habitat Mapper as an outreach tool, and potential data to examine in their work.
Click here for more information about how your library can participate in the GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign.