Using citizen science to enhance surveillance of Aedes aegypti in Arizona, 2015-17

Kara D. Tarter, Craig E. Levy, Hayley D. Yaglom, Laura E. Adams, Lydia Plante, Mariana G. Casal, Dawn H Gouge, Robin Rathman, Dawn Stokka, Joli Weiss, Heather Venkat, Kathleen R Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vector surveillance is an essential component of vector-borne disease prevention, but many communities lack resources to support extensive surveillance. The Great Arizona Mosquito Hunt (GAMH) was a collaborative citizen science project conducted during 2015-17 to enhance surveillance for Aedes aegypti in Arizona. Citizen science projects engage the public in scientific research in order to further scientific knowledge while improving community understanding of a specific field of science and the scientific process. Participating schools and youth organizations across the state conducted oviposition trapping for 1-4 wk during peak Ae. aegypti season in Arizona and returned the egg sheets to collaborating entomologists for identification. During the 3-year program, 120 different schools and youth organizations participated. Few participants actually collected Aedes eggs in their traps in 2015 or 2017, but about one-third of participants collected eggs during 2016, including 3 areas that were not previously reported to have Ae. aegypti. While relatively few new areas of Ae. aegypti activity were identified, GAMH was found to be a successful method of engaging citizen scientists. Future citizen science mosquito surveillance projects might be useful to further define the ecology and risk for vector-borne diseases in Arizona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Keywords

  • Aedes aegypti
  • Citizen science
  • Invasive species
  • Public health
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Insect Science

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    Tarter, K. D., Levy, C. E., Yaglom, H. D., Adams, L. E., Plante, L., Casal, M. G., Gouge, D. H., Rathman, R., Stokka, D., Weiss, J., Venkat, H., & Walker, K. R. (2019). Using citizen science to enhance surveillance of Aedes aegypti in Arizona, 2015-17. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 35(1), 11-18. https://doi.org/10.2987/18-6789.1