Public scientists can help NASA track deadly mosquitoes through GLOBE Observe app

Public scientists can help NASA track deadly mosquitoes through GLOBE Observe app.

Citizen scientists have been invited by NASA to help them in tracking the mosquitoes spreading diseases such as malaria, West Nile Virus and Zika in order to make a new forecast models that can anticipate the spreading of these diseases.

A collaboration with the DEVELOP team has been started by the scientists at NASA as a part of its Applied Science Program that points at public and environmental policy issues to make the new models.

The citizen science data was merged with the observations obtained from NASA satellites, which was aimed at the humidity, land surface temperatures, soil moisture, precipitation and vegetation.

Scientist, Assaf Anyamba from the Universities Space Research Association of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said in a statement that, “We do not have enough information on the geographic distribution of mosquito and time-variation in their populations. If a lot of people participated in this citizen science initiative worldwide, it will help fill in gaps and that would help our work.”

Then the data was used to build an open source and interactive Google Earth Engine map to enhance forecast models for the mosquitoes carrying diseases. However, the previous findings have demonstrated that vegetation, soil moisture and humidity led mosquitoes to more easily thrive throughout summer months.

Anyamba added, “Knowing the mosquito species and their approximate populations at a given time provides useful information on the potential of occurrence of a particular pathogen, or disease transmission.”