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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » ABADRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315247

Research Project: Ecology and Control of Insect Vectors

Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research

Title: Determining mosquito distribution from egg data: The role of the citizen scientist

Author
item Cohnstaedt, Lee
item Ladner, Jamie - Kansas State University
item Campbell, Leslie - Volunteer
item Busch, Noah - Volunteer
item Barrera, Roberto - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States

Submitted to: The American Biology Teacher
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2015
Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Citation: Cohnstaedt, L.W., Ladner, J., Campbell, L.R., Busch, N., Barrera, R. 2016. Determining mosquito distribution from egg data: The role of the citizen scientist. The American Biology Teacher. 78(4):317-322.

Interpretive Summary: This article instructs teachers on methods to collect mosquito eggs for the purpose of teaching students about mosquitoes and their biology. Students are taught about mosquito habitat and how to rear the mosquitoes for the purpose of an interactive and local mosquito experiment. Furthermore, participating in the collections allows the teachers and students to participate in a national mosquito distribution study. This lesson plan has two objectives beyond the citizen science experience; (1) clarify the individual’s role in protecting individuals, communities, and pets from illness and (2) raise awareness of diseases transmitted by mosquitos by participating in a national program to gather mosquito distribution data.

Technical Abstract: Nationwide science classes from elementary through secondary are placing a larger emphasis on inquiry and authentic experiences. The opportunity to collect real data and contribute to a research project is the definition of citizen science. Recent outbreaks of mosquito transmitted diseases (West Nile, eastern equine encephalitis, and Chikungunya) demonstrate the need to educate children and adults about the public health risks posed by mosquitoes. This lesson plan has students determining mosquito species and subsequent disease risk around their house by collecting mosquito eggs and rearing a portion of them to adults. The students identify adult mosquito species and associated health risks. Furthermore, students and teachers have the option to participate in a national mosquito species distribution study by submitting mosquito eggs and adults to the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service. The data generated by participant submissions will be available to all mosquito submitters, making each student and school part of a larger project. This lesson plan has two objectives beyond the citizen science experience; (1) clarify the individual’s role in protecting individuals, communities, and pets from illness and (2) raise awareness of diseases transmitted by mosquitos by participating in a national program to gather mosquito distribution data.