Park service epidemiologist to speak about public health

BAR HARBOR — National Park Service (NPS) epidemiologist Danielle Buttke will speak about her work responding to urgent and emergent public health issues in over 400 national park units at College of the Atlantic’s next Human Ecology Forum in McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 4:10 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Buttke, who has been the One Health coordinator for the NPS since 2012, conducts both human and veterinary disease surveillance activities, consults parks on zoonotic disease issues such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease and tick-borne relapsing fever, coordinates public education and messaging, and has led public health investigations into a hantavirus outbreak and two human plague cases.

Buttke grew up on a small dairy farm in rural South Dakota and received her bachelor’s degree in ecology and political science from the University of South Dakota. Her doctoral thesis at Cornell University related to the investigation of the influence of membrane microdomains, specifically, the ganglioside GM1 in ion channel function and cell signaling using mammalian sperm during fertilization as a model. Buttke’s focus was on large animals, with a primary interest in public health, vector-borne disease, and livestock systems in developing countries and a background in habitat management and mapping.

Buttke previously worked as an epidemic intelligence service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. She was one of only 84 epidemic intelligence service officers, with her work taking her around the world.

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