Join a trained network of volunteers and be part of the solution.

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As the threat of AIS continues to grow across Minnesota, there is a need for an organized statewide surveillance network of trained volunteers eager to make a difference. In partnership with University of Minnesota Extension, we are filling that need with the AIS Detectors program. This program provides participants with high-quality training, developed and reviewed by AIS experts. Participants will learn principles of basic aquatic ecology, AIS identification, impacts, and biology, Minnesota rules and regulations, preventing the spread of AIS, and reporting. Upon completing the training, participants are equipped to volunteer around the state and make a difference in the areas of citizen science, outreach and education, stewardship, and support of AIS programs. We offer training each spring so that material is fresh for new volunteers as the summer season begins. Workshop dates for 2019 are below. Registration will open in March!

What will I do as an AIS Detector?ais detectors

As an AIS Detector, you will serve a critical role in improving Minnesota’s capacity to detect, respond to, educate about, and manage aquatic invasive species. Examples of activities that count towards volunteer service hours include:

  • Citizen Science: Completing new detection surveys, participating in Starry Trek, providing support to DNR detection and research projects, helping MAISRC scientists in the field, reporting incidental AIS discoveries
  • Education/Outreach: Staff educational booths at the State Fair, county fairs, and other local events, help develop informational brochures, speak at your next Lake Association meeting or other event
  • Stewardship: Build sampling equipment for AIS such as zebra mussel samplers or aquatic plant rakes, hand-pulling of AIS
  • Program Support: Help with data entry from AIS projects, coordinate a volunteer event, stuff envelopes with AIS informational mailings

Workshop dates

  • Friday May 3: Arden Hills -- Ramsey County Conservation District Facility
  • Saturday May 4: Farmington -- Dakota County Extension & Conservation Center
  • Friday May 17: Willmar -- Willmar Conference Center (Note: This workshop will be held in conjunction with the Gathering Partners of Natural Resources Conference. Conference registration is not required to participate in the workshop, but it may be of interest.)
  • Friday June 7: Backus -- Cass County Land Services Building
  • Saturday June 8: Fergus Falls -- American Legion Post 30

Our Lake, Our Legacy: protecting Minnesota's life at the lake

 Frequently asked questions:

AIS Detectors