New York State Tick Blitz

The CCE summer intern will work with us to organize a "tick blitz" in the southern Hudson Valley region of New York state to determine the presence and distribution of the newly invasive Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) and the Lonestar tick (Amblyomma americanum). The blitz will provide critical information on the presence of these two species in New York State and related public health risks. This project will be a collaboration with NYS IPM colleagues, Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann and Joellen Lampman, and local Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel in target counties. Jody is based in Nassau County and Joellen is based in Albany County where this internship is also based. Target counties include Albany, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Nassau.

There will be two major project outcomes. First, we will obtain critical information on the presence of these two species throughout New York State and related public health risks. Second, we will provide tick educational opportunities for CCE participants who interact with the public regularly on tick identification and tick bite prevention.

Roles and responsibilities 

The student intern will assist with developing the tick blitz materials (sampling kits for each CCE participant, including a tick flag, collection vials, and personal protective equipment). They will also assist with the development of the online educational materials and webinars and, if safe, visit each county CCE office to work with staff at each location and conduct tick sampling.

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Students should have an interest in the sciences, education, and communication reflected in some prior coursework in these areas. They must be willing to work outdoors in the summer, sometimes in inclement weather. Students should have excellent communication skills.

Learning outcomes 

After conducting this internship, students will have detailed knowledge of tick biology, tick identification, and tick-borne disease prevention practices. Interns will also gain skills in science communication and working within a collaborative team.