New York State Tick Blitz

The CCE summer intern will work with us to organize the second annual New York State 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 lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). The Tick Blitz will provide critical information on the presence of these two species in New York State and related public health risk. This project is a collaboration with NYS IPM colleagues, Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann and Joellen Lampman and local Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel in target counties. There are 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 risk. Second, we will provide tick educational opportunities for CCE participants who interact with the public regularly as well as participating volunteers on tick identification and tick bite prevention.

    Roles and responsibilities 

    The student intern will assist with delivering the tick blitz materials to CCE participant offices (sampling kits for each CCE participant, including a tick flag, collection vials and personal protective equipment). They will assist with 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. We anticipate multiple tick blitz collection events in the 2022 season. The intern would be encouraged to participate in the tick sampling component of each collection event.

    Qualifications and previous coursework

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

    Students should have an interest in the sciences, education and outreach 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 surveillance, tick identification and tickborne disease prevention practices. Interns will also gain skills in science communication and extension, working within a collaborative team, and working with the public and volunteers.