Why is NASA sponsoring this work?
In many parts of the world, mosquitoes are more than just a summertime nuisance. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year. (World Health Organization). Using the GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper, citizen scientists will be able to augment broad scale satellite-based research with targeted ground-based observations at a high level of granularity.
“Satellites don’t see mosquitoes,” says Dr. Assaf Anyamba, a scientist using satellite data to study mosquitoes at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. “However, satellites provide us observation platforms from which to monitor the environmental variables that indicate where mosquito populations can flourish. This helps us identify areas where disease can emerge.”
“By generating local, ground-based data with the help of citizen scientists, the app gives scientists supplementary data as they model mosquito population outbreaks,” says Dr. Rusty Low of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Arlington, Virginia, one of the NASA-funded organizations that helped develop the Mosquito Habitat Mapper.