Crowdsourcing Ticks for Disease Surveillance Continues

Current Results from Community Tick Submission
So far, 400 ticks have been collected and submitted to the lab, including 39 Lyme-positive ticks and 23 anaplasma-positive ticks. The locations* where disease-positive ticks were collected are:

  • Lyme positives: Chassell (11), Maasto Hiihto Trails (7), Victoria (6), Pilgrim River Trails (5), Liminga (3), L’Anse – Haataja Road (2), Bear Lake Road (1), Dollar Bay (1), Houghton (1), Tech Trails (1).

  • Anaplasma positives: Maasto Hiihto Trails (9), Stanton Township – Liminga Road (7), Bear Lake Road (1), L’Anse – Haataja Road (1), Pontiac Road (1), Toivola (1).

* Several disease-positive ticks were submitted from unknown locations.

Crowdsourcing Ticks Project at MTU Continues Through Sept. 30
The Genomic Sequencing Lab continues to accept crowdsourced ticks from you, your family and your pets. The goal of this project is to identify the prevalence of tick-borne illnesses in the Copper Country. Through Sept. 30, please bring any ticks you find to one of two collection boxes on the Michigan Tech campus:

  • U. J. Noblet Forestry Building — Main Entrance
  • Great Lakes Research Center at 100 Phoenix Drive — Building Lobby

How to Remove and Preserve Ticks

  1. Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause its mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  4. Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by:
    1. Placing it in a sealed plastic storage bag. Multiple ticks from the same location can be placed in the same bag.
    2. Once the tick is sealed inside the plastic storage bag, bring it to a drop-off point within eight hours or place the bag with the tick in a freezer until dropping it off at Michigan Tech.
  5. Follow the directions at the drop-off site to ensure the tick is properly preserved.

Michigan Tech Fund Endowment Disbursement Policy Change

Beginning on July 1, disbursements from Michigan Tech Fund endowed funds will be made quarterly, rather than weekly. In order for the Michigan Tech Fund’s investment advisor to best manage cash flow in the endowment portfolio, the timing of disbursements from endowed funds will be done on a quarterly basis. The quarterly endowment disbursements will positively impact their ability to manage the endowment.

Check requests for disbursements from Michigan Tech Fund endowed funds may still be submitted to at any time during a quarter; however, payment of the check requests will only occur once per quarter.

The schedule for check request deadlines and payments dates for fiscal year 2024 are as follows:

  • Sept. 8, 2023 — Check request deadline for Sept. 27 payment date.
  • Dec. 4, 2023 — Check request deadline for Dec. 20 payment date.
  • March 8, 2024 — Check request deadline for March 27 payment date.
  • June 3, 2024 — Check request deadline for June 19, 2024 payment date.

There will be subsequent reminders of deadlines in Tech Today as the end of a quarter nears.

Important Note: Disbursements from non-endowed funds are not changing and will continue to be made on a weekly basis.

VPN Maintenance on Sunday

On Sunday (June 25) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Michigan Tech IT will be performing maintenance on our VPN hardware. If you are connected to the VPN during this time, your session may be disconnected periodically while we perform these updates. Additionally, the following production services will be unavailable during that time:

Banner Communication Management 
Course Tools 
OAP Rental System 
Oracle Reports 
Perceptive Content (Imagenow) 
Virtual Cashiering 

If you have any questions or concerns, we can help. Contact us at or call 7-1111.

Retirement Celebration for Joseph Burns, Lisa Phillips and Nikola Subotic

All staff and faculty are invited to celebrate the retirement of three Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) staff members next Friday (June 30) from 2-7 p.m. at MTRI, 3600 Green Ct., Ann Arbor. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Joseph Burns served as deputy director and senior researcher. He was the principal investigator on programs in the areas of electromagnetic analysis, image and signal processing, novel remote sensing concepts and sleep research.

Lisa Phillips was the office manager and facility security officer. She started MTRI’s office from the ground up and established the institute’s security program.

Nikola Subotic served as MTRI’s director and senior researcher. He was the principal investigator on programs in the areas of remote sensing systems, signal processing, computational imaging, distributed sensing, electronic warfare, waveform design and compressive sensing.

All three began their employment at Michigan Tech in 2006 when the Environmental and Emerging Technologies Division was purchased from the Altarum Institute. After their retirement, they will continue to collaborate with MTRI to facilitate a smooth transition.

Please join us in wishing them well as they begin a new chapter filled with adventure!

Jessica Brassard Recognized with Two NORDP Awards

Jessica Brassard (RD/GLRC) has been recognized by the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) for her work and contributions to the organization and the advancement of research development as a field.

Brassard received the Rising Star Award and the President’s Commendation at the NORDP2023 conference, held May 7-10 in Arlington, Virginia. The conference brought together over 600 research development professionals from around the world.

“I am deeply honored to receive recognition from the organization,” said Brassard. “However, what truly touches me is the nominations from my research development peers who hail from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country. I am proud to be included among their ranks and work beside them. Because of the work we do together, we are moving the NORDP organization forward one small positive step at a time.”

The Rising Star Award recognizes “outstanding, early volunteer contributions to NORDP and strong potential for future contributions to the organization and the profession or the field.” A maximum of three individuals can be recognized with this award in any given year. Brassard’s service to the NORDP organization includes the Conference Planning Committee, Mentoring Committee, Communications Working Group and as a member of the NORDP-Region IV Great Lakes Executive Committee.

Brassard was selected to receive the NORDP President’s Commendation in recognition of her dedication and tireless work to advance the mission of NORDP in the last year. This special award is given only periodically at the discretion of the organization’s president. NORDP President Anne Maglia awarded the commendation to Brassard and the other two conference co-chairs in recognition of their significant work to usher NORDP’s return to an in-person conference format for the first time since 2019. Their leadership, along with the work of the conference planning committee, used lessons learned from past conferences as well as post-pandemic event preferences to build a new conference format from the ground up.

“I’m thrilled to see Jessica’s skills and dedication being recognized by our professional organization,” said Peter Larsen, assistant vice president for research development at Michigan Tech. “I couldn’t be prouder to work alongside someone like Jess and to have her as a representative of Michigan Tech with our colleagues around the country and beyond. Congratulations, Jess!”

Patrick Hoxie Wins National API Scholarship

Michigan Tech undergraduate student Patrick Hoxie (medical laboratory science) is one of four MLS students nationwide awarded a $5,000 scholarship by the American Proficiency Institute (API).

“Whether through a poster, volunteer experience or advice from a valued teacher, exposure to the clinical laboratory may lead outstanding students to the field,” said Sue Harmer, API president, in a press release sent to MTU. “API is pleased to support future laboratory professionals through its annual scholarship program.”

While volunteering abroad as a medical assistant in Ecuador, Hoxie sought to gain experience working in a clinical setting. “My original role was to perform phlebotomy, IV/IM injections and collect vitals,” said Hoxie. “While there, I gained exposure to microbiology, chemistry, hematology and parasitology. The scientists were always eager to teach me what they were doing.”

“Patrick is truly deserving of this scholarship, as he has proven himself as an exemplary MLS student,” said Claire Danielson (BioSci), MLS program director at Michigan Tech.

“As a medical laboratory scientist, we enhance patient care by providing physicians and other health care providers with the information they need to create a diagnosis and effective treatment plan,” said Hoxie. “We are an important link in the chain.”

ESC Member Funding Awards for Spring 2023

The Ecosystem Science Center (ESC) at Michigan Tech is proud to announce its member funding awards for spring 2023. The ESC aims to advance our knowledge of the inherent complexity of social-ecological systems and thus provides small grants to members and their students to help develop externally supported research programs to that end. 

The ESC congratulates the following recipients:

ESC Student Research Grant Awards

  • Jessica Czarnecki, CFRES | Advisor: Evan Kane | Project: "Extracellular enzyme activity potential as a key controller of peat decomposition"
  • Victoria Hunter-Peck, CFRES | Advisor: Rod Chimner | Project: "Methods testing: restoring northern white cedar in degraded swamps"
  • John McCall, BioSci | Advisors: Gord Paterson (BioSci) and Kristin Brzeski (CFRES) | Project: "Quantifying the genetic structure of Isle Royale and Buffalo Reef lake trout ecotypes"
  • Adam Milenkowoic, CFRES | Advisor: Julia Burton | Project: "Field Assistant for the Purpose of Observing Microclimate in Temperate Old-Growth Forest"
  • Thomas Panella, CFRES | Advisor: Tara Bal | Project: "American Beech Planting Trials & Monitoring Protocol: Efforts to increase Beech Bark Disease resistant genetics at two National Lakeshores"
  • Eli Paulen, CFRES | Advisors: Fengjing Liu (CFRES) and John Gierke (GMES) | Project: "Elucidating Factors Controlling Stream Temperatures in a Seasonally Snow-Covered Forested Catchment in the Great Lakes Region"
  • Hailee Petosky, BioSci | Advisor: Erika Hersch-Green | Project: "Investigating the role of climate and anthropogenic changes on trophic interactions and insect biodiversity patterns"
  • Maci Quintanilla, BioSci | Advisor: Trista Vick-Majors | Project: "Microbial community dynamics and physiological responses to ice-cover in temperate freshwaters"
  • Cassandra Reed-VanDam, CFRES | Advisor: Valoree Gagnon | Project: "Bridging Indigenous and Western Sciences to Investigate Environmental Conditions of Manoomin (Wild Rice) Restoration Sites within Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Homelands"
  • Keenan Rivers, CFRES | Advisor: Juia Burton | Project: "Analysis of tree ring carbon stable isotopes for functional trait analysis of old-growth forest"
  • Ryne Rutheford, CFRES | Advisor: David Flaspohler | Project: "Ecological and anthropogenic factors associated with the occurrence of southern disjunct fauna isolated in warm refugia"
  • Amanda Stump, CFRES | Advisor: Carsten Kuelheim | Project: "Sampling and analysis of soluble plant secondary metabolites in Quercus rubra trees in the upper peninsula of Michigan"

ESC Student Travel Grant Awards

  • Ali M. Awad, AC | Advisor: Ashraf Saleem | Destination: 2023 SPIE - Defense + Commercial Sensing Meeting
  • Jenna Brewer, CFRES | Advisor: Jared Wolfe | Destination: American Ornithological Society Conference 2023
  • Swapan Chakrabarty, CFRES | Advisor: Carsten Kuelheim | Destination: 2023 American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting
  • Sarvada Chipkar, ChE | Advisor: Becky Ong | Destination: 45th Symposium on Biomaterials for Fuels and Chemicals
  • Ayush Chutani, ME-EM | Advisor: Ana Dyreson | Destination: IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 2023
  • Sam Hervey, CFRES | Advisor: Kristin Brzeski | Destination: Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution Satellite Meeting on Molecular Evolution in Small Populations
  • Kath Higdon, CFRES | Advisors: Tara Bal and Kristin Brzeski | Destination: 2023 Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
  • Ricardo Jaramillo, CFRES | Advisor: Rod Chimner | Destination: 2023 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
  • Samuel Mensah Opoku, CFRES | Advisor: Andy Burton | Destination: 2023 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
  • Tom Panella, CFRES | Advisor: Tara Bal | Destination: 2023 Society of American Foresters National Convention
  • Hailee Petosky, BioSci | Advisor: Erika Hersch-Green | Destination: Botanical Society of America's Botany 2023 
  • Eileen Reeves, CFRES | Advisor: Andy Burton | Destination: 2023 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
  • Emma Shedd, CFRES | Advisors: Molly Cavaleri and Andy Burton | Destination: 2023 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
  • Rob Tunison, CFRES | Advisor: Molly Cavaleri | Destination: 2023 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
  • Shelbie Wickett, ME-EM | Advisor: Ana Dyreson | Destination: IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 2023

ESC Member Seed Awards

  • Kristin Brzeski (CFRES) | Project: "GTseq: The Future of Wildlife Noninvasive Genetic Management”

Anabel Needham Earns CSC Academic All-America Honors

Michigan Tech Nordic skier Anabel Needham has been selected to the 2022-23 Division II Academic All-America At-Large Second Team by the College Sports Communicators (CSC — formerly CoSIDA).

Needham is one of five recipients from Division II to earn this honor for the second consecutive year. In the classroom, she holds a 3.96 GPA, majoring in environmental engineering. 

Needham earned Second Team All-America honors in March after placing  eighth overall in the 5km skate at the NCAA Skiing Championships in Lake Placid, New York. She also qualified for the U23 World Ski Championships and the FISU World University Games.

Read more about her accomplishments at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

In the News

Sarah Hoy (CFRES) was quoted by Yahoo! Life and Advnture in a story about the rebounded wolf population on Isle Royale. Hoy co-leads Michigan Tech’s annual Isle Royale Winter Study and co-authored the study’s 2022-23 annual report, which was released by MTU on June 14 in conjunction with a Michigan Tech News story.


Guy Meadows (GLRC) was quoted by DredgeWire in a story explaining how recent winters’ low ice coverage and stronger storms on the Great Lakes are leading to more sand movement, which worsens erosion and shoaling. The story was picked up from MLive.


The Alpena News mentioned Michigan Tech and the Great Lakes Research Center in a story about a research presentation yesterday (June 22) as part of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Lecture Series. Researchers presented information on sonar data collected for a collaborative project between MTU, Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan. The project seeks to develop new technology to collect data and make discoveries in the ocean and the Great Lakes.


The Daily Mining Gazette mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Houghton High School’s recent ranking as the 33rd best high school in Michigan by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking is the highest of all high schools in the Upper Peninsula. Collaborations with Michigan Tech were described as an example of ways the school creates opportunities for students.


Radio Results Network mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the new supervisor of the Hiawatha National Forest: Shannon Rische (B.S. Surveying Engineering).


Escanaba’s Daily Press and the Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about former Husky and NFL rookie Jake Witt’s upcoming coin toss at the Upper Peninsula Football All-Star Game. Witt played basketball for MTU before transferring to Northern Michigan and becoming a standout in the Wildcats football program.


Chemical Engineering Office Closed Today

The Department of Chemical Engineering office will be closed today (June 23).

We will resume normal operations on Monday (June 26). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.