Dr. Rusty Low's presentation on the SEES Mosquito Mappers internship at the 2020 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

During summer 2020, NESEC partnered with the Texas Space Grant Consortium at the University of Texas, Austin, to offer a safe virtual summer internship experience for 114 rising high school juniors and seniors from 22 states, PR, and APO (Germany).

The Mosquito Mappers were one cohort of the larger NASA STEM Engagement in Earth Science (SEES) project.

Students analyzed coincident data collected using GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat and Land Cover tools. They made use of a wide array of online data access and analysis tools, including Collect Earth Online, AppEEARS LP DAAC, NASA Worldview, Google Climate Engine, and ArcGIS to understand the distribution of mosquito oviposition sites on the landscape. Several teams created Python code products to support their research projects.

Over the course of 8 weeks, the internship was organized using a Learning Management System (Blackboard) and students were connected to mentors and to each other through online chats, a weekly NASA scientist webinar series, 2x weekly “Meet Up and Do Science” video conference work sessions with mentors, and informal meetings organized by small groups of students collaborating on research projects. The last week of the internship included formal presentations by each student research team to mentors and guest scientists to obtain feedback on their projects. The internship culminated in a public event broadcast on YouTube, The SEES Research Showcase, with presentations by selected research teams from the Mosquito Mapper cohort. The SEES 2020 team also presented their work at AGU.

Outcomes included:

  • 50 completed student research projects (team and individual)
  • Fieldwork: >7,000 observations submitted (interns who could safely go outdoors)
  • Classified >8,000 land cover images from NASA satellites on Collect Earth
  • 8 blogs written by interns posted on the GLOBE Mission Mosquito website
  • Papers and presentations in process, including a co-authored publication by mentors and the 2020 Mosquito Mappers Intern Team; a coauthored presentation has been submitted to the 2020 AGU Fall meeting; two interns are also included as authors in an additional manuscript to be submitted for peer review this month
  • More than 39 media reports (TV and newspaper) highlighting SEES interns

Learn more about SEES Mosquito Mappers from the students’ perspective: