Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN - Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a new volunteer network and science-based training program launched 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 helping the DNR 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, 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. "We are excited about this program and looking forward to hosting a workshop here for residents in and around Detroit Lakes," said Tera Guetter, District Administrator of the Pelican River Watershed District. "This is a terrific opportunity to learn about AIS directly from University of Minnesota experts and apply your knowledge to protect our lakes." 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 Andover on April 21, Mankato on April 28, Detroit Lakes on May 4, Alexandria on May 5, Grand Rapids on June 2, Bemidji on June 9 and Brainerd on June 16. The course 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. 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 www.maisrc.umn.edu.

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