Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
What do you study?
There are two citizen science projects that we participate in through the GLOBE Observer app: Cloud Observer and Mosquito Habitat Mapper.
One of our ongoing research projects involves observing mosquito larvae in high-low dengue risk areas. We also do dengue incidence predictive modeling.
Why do you do citizen science?
There are many reasons why we do citizen science.
We train GLOBE teachers and students in grades 5-12 to use the GLOBE Observer app (both the Cloud Observer and Mosquito Habitat Mapper projects) as a way to promote the GLOBE program in Thailand. [We also train] undergrad students in some classes on Mosquito Habitat Mapper. Additionally, we have our Ph.D. students helping train others. We train 500 to 1,000 undergrad students at Walailak University in how to use the GLOBE Observer app.
We encourage student research projects using the GLOBE Observer app (both the cloud and mosquito projects). Many Thai student research projects have used Mosquito Habitat Mapper. The nice part about Mosquito Habitat Mapper is that students can visualize their container location on the map, in real time, through the GLOBE website, along with the size of the dots (larger dots mean more mosquito larvae in these containers).
The GLOBE Observer app fits with the STEM education theme. Right now, Thailand education is geared toward STEM education. Implementing and training on the GLOBE Observer app, and showing the data visualization online in near-real time through the GLOBE website, is one of the best ways to teach STEM education with nearly no cost. Students already have smartphones and Internet connections. So using a free app like GLOBE Observer would be something that is relatively easy for them.
What's your day job?
We are both associate professors in the School of Science at Walailak University, Thailand.
Favorite contribution you've made?
Citizen science makes school research projects much easier. Instead of students having to report their observations on a computer using spreadsheets, they can use Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Cloud to record their findings right at the study sites with correct GPS locations. Visualizations of mosquito larvae on the GLOBE website are also awesome.