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Citizen Science and Engineering Responses to the Dengue Fever Outbreak

Event Details

Citizen Science and Engineering Responses to the Dengue Fever Outbreak

Time: March 28, 2016 from 5pm to 7:30pm
Location: NELHA Gateway Visitor Center
Street: 73-4485 Kahilihili St.
City/Town: Kailua Kona
Website or Map:…
Phone: 808-989-0977
Event Type: talk, networking
Organized By: Rod Hinman
Latest Activity: Mar 14, 2016

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Event Description

Presenter: Van Eden, PhD

When the dengue outbreak started, Van Eden studied the research literature to see what was known about preventing the spread of arboviral diseases. What became clear is that many authorities use mosquito traps as part of an integrated vector control program. Van realized that mosquito traps could empower the community to fight dengue, but there was no source of instructions for a scientifically validated trap that people could make using easily obtainable materials.

Van will describe how he has reverse engineered a number of commercial and research traps to enable anyone to make effective traps using relatively safe chemicals and containers like jars or buckets. These traps target the Aedes species that carry dengue, and are very effective. Over 150 people have attended his workshops in lower Puna. More information can be found at

Van will also describe a citizen science project run by Prof. Durrell Kapan at the California Academy of Sciences (ex UH Mānoa). This project, hosted on iNaturalist (, is designed to collect geo-referenced presence data for mosquito species on Hawaii Island. Using this data, Kapan and his team can run computer models that use information about human and mosquito population distributions, weather, geography, etc. to predict where the highest risk areas are for the spread of diseases like dengue. These are areas where vector control should focus efforts during the next outbreak.

Volunteers are needed! All it takes to contribute observations is a hand lens and a camera such as a smartphone camera.

Van Eden, PhD is a retired physicist living in lower Puna. His primary research area was surface physics using a variety of techniques including atomic force microscopy. He worked at a number of universities, IBM Research, Microsoft Research, and several high tech companies.


5:00-5:15 p.m. Gather and Networking
5:15-6:15 p.m. Presentation and Q&A
6:15-7:30 p.m. More Networking, pupus


Making Mosquito Traps

Download Mosquito Trap Poster

Prof. Kapan's Mosquito Observation Project

Hawaii Dengue Fever Awareness Facebook Page

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