Environmental Surveillance Core
Core personnel use geographic information systems (GIS) to integrate environmental correlates of disease risk on a common spatial scale, complementing and expanding traditional field and laboratory studies. In addition to specific studies, the Environmental Surveillance Core maintains a web-based service to provide daily updates on the environmental conditions in sub-Saharan Africa that affect malaria transmission.
The Core has created an environmental data base that can be linked to studies in the Macha area of Zambia, site of JHMRI's Malaria Institute at Macha. These data layers are linked to one another in a common format and scale so that researchers can easily query the relationship between their measured outcomes (such as the distribution or abundance of a particular mosquito species, or the locations of human cases of malaria) and numerous environmental features, such as land cover, meteorological conditions, soil types, positions relative to hydrological features (streams, rivers, wells, etc) and sociological data (locations of houses, villages, road networks).
The Macha Area
Data are also available for climatologic modeling of vector population dynamics. These data have been derived from several providers, such as NASA, NOAA, and WHO. In some cases, data have been merged using statistical methods to improve data quality. For example, satellite sensor estimates of land surface temperature have been merged with ground station instrumentation to obtain approximate + 1°C accuracy.