Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic invite community members to get "ticked off" for science

May 15, 2024 10:38AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Erik Karits on

By Laura Durenberger-Grunow - Boreal Community Media - May 15, 2024

For the fourth year, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic are partnering on the Citizen Science Tick Census Project. Krishna Woerheide, Environmental Specialist with Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, uses tick samples submitted by community members to look at tick population densities, new tick species, and tick-borne diseases in the Cook County/Grand Portage area. After ticks are collected, they are sent to the Center for Disease Control for testing. 

This year, data from the 2022 sample period has been released, which looks at the two types of ticks recorded in the area (deer and wood ticks), and the types of pathogens they have the potential to carry. Woerheide told Boreal Community Media, "In the table, n/a means that species of tick doesn't transmit that particular pathogen so we didn't test for it.  0% means that species of tick does carry that pathogen, so we did test for it, and it wasn't there."

 Image: Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic

When asked about possible trends, Woerheide shared that "The 2022 data is the first year of pathogen testing data we have, so that's our baseline." More information will be shared once the 2023 results come back. 

Samples are needed to continue collecting data and identify possible trends in tick pathogens, new species, and densities. To participate, community members in Grand Portage and Cook County are invited to send in any ticks they may find this spring, summer, and fall. 

Any samples collected will be used for data collection only, and will not be used as medical diagnoses. Community members who send in ticks will not be informed if any pathogens are identified. Any concerns about Lyme disease or another tick-related pathogen should be directed to your primary care provider, or the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic at 218-387-2330.

To contribute to the Citizen Science Tick Census Project:
1. On a zip-top plastic bag, write the date and location where the tick was “acquired.” Latitude/longitude would be ideal, but more general locations are fine.

2. Place the tick(s) into the bag and seal well.

3. Bring to any of the following:
-Sawtooth Mountain Clinic - Drop off at the front desk
-Grand Portage Health Services office
-Birch Grove Community Center entrance

For more information, contact Krishna Woerheide at 218-475-2028 or [email protected].

To learn about Lyme Disease, check out:
To learn more about Anaplasmosis, go to:


Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here