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Join citizen scientist network to help fight aquatic invasive species

Contact: Dan Larkin, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, 612-625-6350,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/8/2017)--Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a new volunteer network and science-based training program to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Minnesota.

The program is being launched at seven locations this spring by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension. 
Group of people at edge of pond

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 helping the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources respond to reports of possible AIS, weeding out false positives, being on the lookout for new infestations, and providing outreach to their communities. 

The program is ideal for motivated adults over the age of 18, lake association members, Master Naturalists, AIS managers and inspectors and anyone else who has a desire to learn more about AIS. Detectors will learn how to identify 11 aquatic invasive species that threaten Minnesota, as well as their common lookalike species.

The program consists of a self-paced online course and one in-person workshop. When registering, participants will choose their workshop date and location. Options include:
  • April 21, Andover 
  • April 28, Mankato
  • May 4, Detroit Lakes 
  • May 5, Alexandria
  • June 2, Grand Rapids  
  • June 9, Bemidji
  • June 16, Brainerd 
The fee is $175, 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. Scholarship applications are available.

To learn more and register, please visit


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 in Minnesota by preventing spread, controlling populations, and managing ecosystems; and to advance knowledge to inspire action by others. A portion of the funding for AIS Detectors program is provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Learn more at

University of Minnesota Extension works in communities statewide to create a stronger Minnesota through education and research.

For more news from U of M Extension, visit or contact Extension Communications at University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

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