Mosquito trapping goes solar at TMCC

Feb 25th, 2013 | By | Category: 24-3: The Science of Place, Tribal College News

For decades, people have used small, battery-operated mosquito traps for researching and monitoring mosquito populations. One of their drawbacks is being powered by batteries that supply power for only one or two nights. But now, at Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC, Belcourt, ND), students and faculty have been collaborating with Dr. Xiaodong Hou and Dr. Alexander Johnson at the University of North Dakota (UND) and Dr. Martin Hellwig at Fort Berthold Community College (FBCC, New Town, ND) to find a solar panel that will recharge the battery attached to a mosquito trap and field test the system.

TMCC students include Marcus Vivier, Cedric Peltier, Jeremy Dumont, James Stogner, Anna Decoteau, and Darrel Charette. Their faculty research mentor, Dr. Scott Hanson, had little trouble convincing them it was a worthwhile project, since it gave them a chance to combine their love of fieldwork with their interest in green technology. To construct the apparatus that holds the solar panel and trap in the proper position and conveys the wires that connect all three components of the system, the TMCC students traveled to UND and worked directly with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Hou.

Field tests, conducted in 2011 and 2012, showed that the solar panels were able to recharge the batteries enough to enable the mosquito traps to function for three weeks at a time without recharging the batteries with conventional chargers. The research at TMCC was supported by a TCUP grant from the National Science Foundation.

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