Registration for Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors program now open
Brainerd Dispatch, 3/26/2018
Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a volunteer network and science-based training program created by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.
Participants will learn how to properly identify and report new findings of aquatic invasive species such as starry stonewort, zebra mussels, round goby, and others. After being trained, AIS Detectors will serve a critical role by searching for new AIS infestations, providing outreach in their communities, and helping AIS researchers in the field.
The program is ideal for motivated adults over the age of 18, including AIS managers and inspectors, lake association members, master naturalists, and anyone else who has a desire to learn more about AIS. Detectors will learn how to identify eleven aquatic invasive species that are threatening Minnesota, as well as their common lookalike species.
"The AIS Detectors program is a terrific opportunity for anyone in the area who wants to help protect our lakes," said Megan Weber, extension educator, in a news release. "Preventing AIS is an all-hands-on-deck situation, and having more people who are educated about what to look for will be really helpful."
The program consists of a self-paced online course and one in-person workshop. A workshop will be held in Brainerd on May 18. The online course must be completed beforehand.
The course fee is $195, which includes unlimited access to the online course, a printed training manual, the full-day in-person workshop (including refreshments and lunch), an AIS identification field guide, and networking opportunities with other AIS Detectors and experts. To learn more and to register, please visit www.aisdetectors.org.
The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center works across the state to develop research-based solutions that can reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species by preventing spread, controlling populations, and managing ecosystems. A portion of the funding for AIS Detectors program is provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Learn more at www.maisrc.umn.edu.
University of Minnesota Extension works in communities statewide to create a stronger Minnesota through education and research.