2018 was an exciting year at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center! We started the year by receiving 20 submissions to our 2018 Request for Proposals, a new record. We funded seven new projects, including evaluating the efficacy of copper-based control on zebra mussels, an economic analysis of ecosystem services as they relate to common carp, creating a new tool for eDNA collection, research into the genetic control of common carp, and more.
Over the summer, we conducted our biannual Research Needs Assessment, and collected input from over 400 stakeholders. This process directly informed our 2019 Request for Proposals, which will allow us to fund projects starting in July 2019. We hosted 270 lakeshore association members, agency representatives, researchers, and concerned members of the public at our fifth annual AIS Research and Management Showcase in September (Missed it? Save the date for next year: Sept. 18, 2019).
Throughout the year, one of the most frequent questions that I am asked is “can we really do anything about aquatic invasive species?” It’s a big question, but it’s also one of my favorites because it’s why we’re here. MAISRC is working with researchers and stakeholders across the state, region, and world to find solutions to AIS, and I can honestly say that there is reason for hope.
At the core of our approach is the idea that we find better solutions more quickly when we work together. Our successes and opportunities are bolstered by the active engagement of local governments, management agencies, property owners, non-profit organizations, lake service providers, and citizens. The experience, knowledge, and energy that you bring to the table are an important part of the work that we do, and I want to thank you for being a part of this effort.
I’m pleased to share with you this Research Report for 2018 that highlights some of MAISRC’s accomplishments over the last year. We’ve made significant strides in the prevention, detection, and control of AIS in Minnesota and see tremendous opportunity and hope for the future. If you want to learn more, there’s a lot more where this came from here on our website.
As we move into the new year, I ask that you continue to be an ambassador for AIS research and help us have an even greater impact on the health and vibrancy of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Thank you for your dedication and I’ll see you out on the lake in 2019.
Dr. Nicholas Phelps
Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center