Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2016 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Take Back the Block: Outcomes of the Baltimore Mosquito Citizen Science Program
Sorensen, Amanda
Co-Authors: Amanda Sorensen, Rebecca Jordan, Shannon LaDeau

Abstract: In this poster, we share data on three years of citizen collected invasive mosquito data collected as part of Take Back the Block, a pest-oriented citizen science and civic ecology project. Take Back the Block is part of a larger coupled natural systems project seeking to understand the fundamental drivers of mosquito population density and pathogen infection rates in a matrix of human construction, urban renewal, and individual behaviors. Focusing on residents in West Baltimore, neighborhood workshops and festivals were used to engage/recruit citizen scientists for involvement in yard surveys, surveillance, and peer-education activities. We found that citizen scientists were able to accurately collect course data that reflect trends found in a comparable researcher generated database. Individuals were able to do so with minimal education and training. Beyond the data, we found that citizens experienced a greater sense of agency and responsibility for environmental clean-up. Such agency affected individual behavior and their discussions with others but did not affect their sense that they could advocate with these data to decision-makers within the city.