People - GLOBE Observer
Mr. Dan Killingsworth
Dan Killingsworth is from Pensacola, Florida in the United States. He is the Director of Operations for Environmental Security Pest Control, working to develop integrated pest management and bio-control strategies for mosquitoes of public health importance. As a beekeeper for over twenty-five years, protecting pollinators and beneficial insects is at the forefront of his mitigation efforts.
From a young age Killingsworth interacted with the natural world, from hiking and fishing in the local streams and bayous, to collecting seashells along the Gulf of Mexico. From these experiences, he gained a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature. In his spare time, Killingsworth maintains indoor and outdoor gardens.
At Environmental Security Pest Control, Dan uses GLOBE Observer to map improperly discarded tires in service areas and identify the mosquito populations that develop in them. In the future, Killingsworth plans to identify the ecological settings these tires dumps develop in and target the neighboring communities for control initiatives. By doing citizen science with GLOBE Observer, Environmental Security is better equipped to support local areas in need of mosquito control.
“Citizen science can have a positive direct impact at the community level” explains Killingsworth. He believes teaching the scientific method develops vital critical thinking skills that allow observers to find answers and solutions to local issues. “And it’s fun!” he adds.
Killingsworth stresses that continual messaging and promotion of community programs through various formats is essential in developing momentum for a project. Sustained messages tend to yield stronger results than short-term efforts; and as such, he emphasizes the importance of extensive dedication to the promotion of citizen science programs, like GLOBE. “Messaging should reflect the legacy work but always invite new participants to jump in at any time,” explains Killingsworth.
Through citizen science and mosquito research, Killingsworth found a community of like-minded individuals that inspire him each and every day, “collaborating with good people doing good work [is inspirational]” he states.
One of Killingsworth’s favorite quotes comes from renowned astronomer Carl Sagan: “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.” Citizen science renews this natural curiosity, and sparks interest in the betterment of local communities and scientific fields alike.