The Swimmer’s Itch Solutions Team
Dr. Curtis Blankespoor
Dr. Curtis L. Blankespoor, Ecologist/Parasitologist
Ph.D., Cornell University
Curt first worked on swimmer’s itch in 1988 while he was an undergraduate at Hope College. He continued his education at Cornell University where his Ph.D. dissertation focused on how parasites alter the behavior of their hosts. Curt served on the Department of Biology at Calvin College from 1994-2016. Currently he has an adjunct appointment at the University of Michigan and teaches both General Ecology and the Biology of Animal Parasites at the U of M Biological Station.
Dr. Harvey Blankespoor
Dr. Harvey D. Blankespoor, Parasitologist
Ph.D., Iowa State University
Harvey began teaching and conducting research at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, then at the University of Michigan and Michigan State Biological stations and at Hope College from 1964 to 2014 (50 years). Most of the research was conducted in the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. During this tenure, more than 50 publications resulted from research on the snail and bird hosts. His research involved both the snail intermediate and bird definitive hosts.
Dr. Randy DeJong
Dr. Randy DeJong, Molecular Parasitologist
Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Randy completed his Ph.D. in parasitology at the University of New Mexico with Sam Loker, a prominent schistosome expert, as his advisor. During that time, he acquired molecular biology skills that were further honed during a postdoc studying malaria at the National Institutes of Health. He continues to apply these skills in a number of research areas, including using qPCR to detect the sources of E. coli and other fecal bacteria in watersheds around the state. In addition, he has experience catching waterfowl while working for Harvey Blankespoor and while doing research on waterfowl blood parasites.
Dr. David Jude
Dr. David Jude, Limnologist
Ph.D., Michigan State University
David has a B.S degree from the University of Minnesota in Fish and Wildlife Management, a MS in fishery biology from Iowa State University, and a PhD in Limnology from Michigan State. He was on the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources as a research scientist, and has worked there for 40 years focusing on Great Lakes water quality and fishery issues, including research on cormorants. His main interest is with fish, taught courses on fish ecology, and he has extensive field experience on ships, ROVs, and small boats.
Dr. Ren Tubergen
Dr. Ren Tubergen, Mechanical Engineer
Ph.D., Purdue University
Ren completed his Ph.D. in Biomechanics at Purdue University in 1995, and is currently on the faculty of Calvin College. Since 2003 he has been a principal in Gumbo Product Development, an engineering consulting organization that specializes in taking concept to production. Ren served as the industry advisor for the design team that constructed the first common merganser spring trap.
The SWIMMER’S ITCH SOLUTIONS Advantage
Drs. Curtis and Harvey Blankespoor founded Swimmer’s Itch Solutions, LLC. We provide highly successful and customizable swimmer’s itch control programs for lake associations and other riparian groups. Our approach is based on unmatched expertise in the understanding of avian schistosome biology, anchored in more than 75 collective years of scientific research and experience, and has a proven track record of success on Higgins Lake (Roscommon Co., MI), Glen Lake (Leelanau Co., MI) and on Great Pond (Kennebec County, ME). All Swimmer’s Itch Solutions, LLC principals and collaborators (4 biologists and 1 engineer) have a Ph.D. degree and are experienced researchers.
Are SICON and SWIMMER’S ITCH SOLUTIONS different companies?
Legally, yes…but for all intents and purposes, no. A change in name was necessary when Ron Reimink decided to retire from SICON, LLC. So Swimmer’s Itch Solutions, LLC comes with SICON, LLC’s credibility and reputation, but just has a new name.