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Vermont Invasive Patrollers

2022 Workshops have now been posted:

See the schedule of workshops, both online trainings and in-person paddles here.

Register for trainings here.

We need your help: Become a Vermont Invasive Patroller!

Early detection is vital to protecting Vermont’s water bodies from harmful invasive plants and animals.  With more than 800 lakes and ponds throughout the state, volunteers play a key role in our surveying efforts.  Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIPs) monitor water bodies for new introductions of invasive species and report their findings to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Also...DEC is launching a brand new Community Science Project this summer, 2022! Be sure to check out the Vermont Invasive Patrollers for Animals (VIPA) webpage, to learn more about the program and how to become a VIPA. 

woman inspecting invasive collector from her kayakVolunteering as a VIP

We ask volunteers to:

  • Participate in a VIP workshop to learn how to identify and survey for aquatic invasive species;
  • During the summer, survey for the presence of invasive plants and animals in a local lake or pond (or a section thereof); and
  • Notify DEC staff of their survey(s) and submit suspicious samples for positive identification.

VIP Workshops 

A VIP workshop spans two to five hours.  All workshops include introductory presentations and hands-on time with plant and animal specimens in the classroom.  Longer workshops also include “field” time on the water to learn survey techniques and practice plant identification skills.

Specific topics addressed include:A trio of kayakers

  • The fundamentals of lake ecology
  • The difference between native, exotic, nuisance and invasive species
  • How invasive species are introduced and established
  • How to identify common aquatic plants and animals, both native and invasive (the latter will be emphasized)
  • How to conduct surveys for invasive species in their natural habitat

Workshops and materials are offered at no cost to participants.  Space is limited.  For more information, contact Kim Jensen at kimberly.jensen@vermont.gov or (802) 490-6120.

Host a VIP Workshop

Do you have a group of volunteers interested in becoming VIPs? If so, consider hosting your own VIP workshop.

It’s helpful if you can provide:

  • A public indoor venue with electricity and source of water
  • A nearby waterbody that can be paddled, preferably with an existing invasive species infestation, such as Eurasian watermilfoil, suitable for plant survey field training
     

Contact

For more information or if you’re interested in becoming a VIP or hosting a VIP workshop for a group of volunteers in your area, please contact:
Carly Alpert at Carly.Alpert@partner.vermont.gov or Kimberly Jensen at 
Kimberly.Jensen@vermont.gov  or call (802) 490-6120

VIP Resources

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