Frequency of ticks carrying Lyme disease

Sonoma County is listed as having one of the highest rates of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, cases per 100,000 people in the Western United States. Western black-legged ticks, Ixodes pacificus, are carriers of Lyme disease and can be often found in local grasslands. We investigate the frequency of ticks that carry Lyme disease at Pepperwood Preserve and Fairfield Osborn Preserve, two preserves that receive visitors daily. We sampled at both locations, then sorted the ticks by sex, site, and species. Ticks from each site were sent to the Sonoma County Health Public Laboratory and tested for Lyme Disease.

A Watershed Year is a freshman year experience that introduces students to local watersheds as they learn about science. The course focuses on teaching students how to conduct their own research. Course development was funded by National Science Foundation.


Project Results
Title Format Download Students
"How abundant are Western Black-Legged ticks in grasslands at Fairfield Osborn Preserve in the early spring?" presentation Evelyn Kim, Anjali Nand, Olivia Benedetti, Casey Rebel
"How many Western Black-Legged ticks carry Lyme disease at Pepperwood Preserve compared to Fairfield Osborn Preserve?" poster Evelyn Kim, Siah Baakoi, Olivia Benedetti, Alan Arreola