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 journalArticlepeer-review

6 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 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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