Moving pictures and managing mosquitoes

Mangroves_Video_June2016

For a few months now I’ve been thinking through some future options for the blog and my science communications activities. I’ve been toying around with starting a podcast or video blog about my work in local wetlands.

#MosquitoWeek has just happened in the U.S. and as it coincided with the close of entries with the Entomological Society of America YouTube competition, I thought what better time to play around with putting together a video.

A year or so ago I had the chance to see Karen McKee (aka The Scientist Videographer) talk about social media and the ways she uses video as a critical component of her community engagement and communications. Since I’m already using Instagram to connect followers with my various wetland sites and mosquito studies (as well as other things), I’ve thought video could be a way to go.

Interesting too since images and video are (or are soon to be) increasingly dominant in social media.

I’m an advocate for mosquito control to be part of overall wetland management. I think I’m sometimes seen as the enemy of wetland and wildlife conservation, not surprising given the perception of mosquito control still influenced by the DDT debate. As we push for the construction and rehabilitation of urban wetlands, the pest and public health risks associated with mosquito populations do need to be considered by local authorities.

I’m often arguing that ecologically sustainable mosquito management is actually critical to wetland conservation. If you’re encouraging the community to visit your wetlands, what happens when they’re chased away by mosquitoes? What about the community living around the wetland? Will nuisance-biting erode the good will of the community for wetland conservation?

You can watch my video, “Why is mosquito management important in our local wetlands?”, at YouTube or below:

You can check out some of my other posts of wetlands, mosquitoes and social media below:

Should we start pulling out mangroves to save our wetlands?

Does wetland rehabilitation need mosquito control?

Can social media help track environmental change?

Mosquitoes, constructed wetlands, urban design and climate change: Some workshop resources

Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing more videos! Send me a tweet.

Photos from the field (2012-2013)

I rarely head out into the wetlands without my camera. Having a stockpile of photos from my various study sites always comes in handy, not only for conference and workshop presentations or lectures but also to assist in interpreting some of my mosquito data. Shifts in the extent of tidal flooding of coastal saltmarsh or growth of invasive aquatic macrophytes across constructed wetlands can be captured pretty easily with a quick shot.

While I hope to upgrade my current camera (Canon PowerShot S5iS) to a digital SLR someday, having an iPhone (and being an avid user of Instagram) has opened up a whole new range of possibilities. The convenience of carrying around a reasonable quality camera has been great. Certainly much easier than carrying my other camera bag when I’ve got mosquito traps and other equipment to lug around.

I regularly post photos from the field to my “Wetland Field Guide” tumblr but I thought I’d put together a bunch of my favourite photos here from the recently completed “mosquito season”. This collection is from those posted to Instagram during the season. The vast majority of my field work is conducted between November and April each year. While it isn’t unusual to be out collecting data in early Spring, or even into May occasionally, it looks like I can pack away the gumboots for this season.

I hope you enjoy these shots.

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Hexham Swamp (Newcastle) IMG_7511

Kooragang Island (Newcastle)

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Newington Nature Reserve (Sydney Olympic Park)

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Badu Mangroves (Sydney Olympic Park)

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Narrawang Wetlands (Sydney Olympic Park)

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Jerrabomberra Wetlands (ACT)

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Gungahlin Wetlands (ACT)

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Badu Saltmarsh (Sydney Olympic Park)

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Kooragang Island (Newcastle)

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Ironbark Creek, Hexham Swamp (Newcastle)

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Ironbark Creek, Hexham Swamp (Newcastle)

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Saltmarsh, Newington Nature Reserve (Sydney Olympic Park)

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Saltmarsh, Newington Nature Reserve (Sydney Olympic Park)