Monday, July 4, 2022

Invasive Species Citizen Science Projects

Meadow hawkweed, Hieracium caespitosum Dumort, in June. 

Looking for opportunities to get outdoors and make a difference? The following citizen and community science projects are looking for volunteers to help with invasive species identification and management. 

Report garlic mustard aphids. The Midwest Invasive Plant Network is asking citizen scientists to look for garlic mustard aphids, Lipaphis alliariae. These small black insects appear to damage the seed pods and leaves of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and may be an agent for biological control. Garlic mustard aphids have been confirmed in Minnesota, according to EDDMapS. Further mapping will help determine the extent of their spread and their impact on garlic mustard. To learn more, click or tap on the header link above. 

Three Rivers Park District Rapid Response and Early Detection (R2ED) Team. Led by the District's invasive species coordinator, the R2ED team is a group of volunteers engaged in finding and removing invasive plants from Three Rivers Park District. There are opportunities for both ongoing and one-time volunteers. Training is provided. The District is a regional system of parks, trails and recreational areas in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Locations

Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN). Coordinated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WIFDN enlists volunteers for invasive species "monitoring, management and outreach." Online training is provided. 

Minnesota Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) Volunteer Program. SNAs are situated all over the state, and volunteers are invited to help control invasive species, collect seeds of native plants, or join a bioblitz, a concentrated effort to identify as many species as possible in a defined period. The website includes an events calendar and a link to SNA information. 

Moonseed Vine: A Poisonous Grapevine Look-Alike

Moonseed vine, Menispermum canadense , in early fall. Although most of its leaves have now fallen, it can still be identified -- and avoided...