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Kuleen Sasse Selected for Internship to Assist NASA Scientists with Mosquito Habitat Study
Laine Williams

Kuleen Sasse, a current senior at The Altamont School, was selected for the prestigious Student Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) summer internship. This nationally competitive program sponsored by NASA's Texas Space Grant Consortium selects students to conduct authentic research using NASA data. Investigations are being conducted as part of Mosquito Mappers, a SEES team co-sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) under the NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative project.

Mosquito Mappers receive training from NASA scientists on safety procedures, mosquito ecology and habitat, larva identification, land cover classification and satellite data analysis. Each intern devoted 10-15 hours a week in June and July participating in weekly data explorations, developed and implemented a research design, and collaborated with NASA subject matter experts. Using the GLOBE Observer citizen science app and a microscope that clips onto their mobile device, student scientists can report actual and potential mosquito habitats they identify on the landscape. Paired with satellite observations of temperature, water and vegetation, these data can support scientists forecasting a community's risk of mosquito-borne disease.

The SEES internship provides an outlet for the excitement many students feel about Earth and space science. Kuleen experienced a unique opportunity, working with professional scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of NASA science, being part of a science team, and exploring STEM career options firsthand. Congrats, Kuleen!

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