November 2016 Letter from the Director
Hello from MAISRC!
I’ve had a very busy three months traveling around Minnesota as the new co-director of MAISRC. I have been meeting with people to better understand the challenges we face and the opportunities we have to address our AIS problems. You have shared a wide range of reactions with me – from hopeful to hopeless. I understand that it has been frustrating for all of us trying to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species recently. Each week seems to bring with it a new species to a new lake, and consequently, new challenges.
However, overwhelmingly, the people of Minnesota are hopeful and eager to build partnerships and work together toward solutions. After all, that is the Minnesota way! I have seen this sentiment across the spectrum of stakeholders, from individuals, lake associations, non-profits, local units of government, counties, state programs, and federal agencies. While our specific experiences and roles vary, we are all in the same fight. I often say that AIS have had years, decades, or in some cases a century head start – give us a chance and we will find a solution.
This battle we find ourselves in must be fought, in part, with ambitious and innovative research. We can prevent, control, and manage AIS threats, while promoting our economy and protecting our natural resources. Along with many of you, we are working hard to figure out how.
I have heard you loud and clear and appreciate your encouragement and commitment to MAISRC. More than 200 of you came to our annual Research and Management Showcase in September, and hundreds replied to our research needs assessment survey – thank you! It is rare to have such an engaged group of passionate stakeholders to work with. With your support, MAISRC will continue to work as hard as we can to develop research-based solutions to our AIS problems.
Time to get back to the lab…
Dr. Nick Phelps