428 GLOBE Schools: Monitoring Climate Parameters and Mosquito-borne Diseases around the World

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Gary Randolph, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and R. A. Boger, K. Jaroensutasinee, M. Jaroensutasinee, L. S. Rafarasoa, E. B. Sparrow, M. R. Kopplin, T. Andersen, J. Mackaro, J. S. Malmberg, S. Tessendorf, and K. Wegner

Mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent throughout the world and are transmitted by distinct mosquito genera: Anopheles sp. transmits Malaria; Aedes sp. carries Dengue Fever, while Culex sp. transmits West Nile virus. Working with the Earth Systems Science Project Seasons and Biomes located at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, GLOBE partners in Thailand, Madagascar and Benin have developed scientific protocols that allow GLOBE students at schools around the world to capture and identify mosquito larvae belonging to these genera. GLOBE is an international science and education program, founded in 1995, that engages teachers and their students in an exploration of their local environment through data collection, ultimately gaining a better understanding of their world.

Traditional GLOBE scientific protocols include a vast array of over 50 different measurements, from air temperature and precipitation to bud bust and soil characterization. These protocols have been developed over time as the Program has matured and evolved. GLOBE schools in Africa began tracking cases of malaria within their community, comparing patterns with those of air temperature and precipitation. A decade later, the GLOBE Seasons and Biomes team developed, in collaboration with scientists working with the GLOBE Madagascar and GLOBE Thailand programs, a methodology to identify the differences between these two genera by observing mosquito larvae. Students using these protocols have discovered locations of mosquito larvae within their communities and, working with their local governments, have worked to develop policies to help diminish mosquito breeding locations. As the climate changes, and both air temperature and precipitation patterns shift, data on mosquito population shifts collected by GLOBE students could provide the necessary information to communities, thereby potentially greatly reducing human impact.

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