Vermont Invasive Patrollers

VIP Online Trainings and In-Person Paddles for 2021 Season!

Thank you for your patience while we have quickly developed VIP opportunities for those interested in embarking, returning, or curious about volunteering to patrol Vermont waters for aquatic invasive species. All the 2021 VIP trainings and paddles are open to anyone interested. If you are a returning VIP that has gone through training, you are not required to attend the updated trainings but we want to make sure you are submitting your surveys so that we have the most current data. See the VIP Training Schedule Flyer for more details and online workshop Microsoft Teams links. Please feel free to share the flyer with others.

Pre-registration is required for all trainings. Please register here:

We have included questions in the registration form that we would like all VIPs to fill out even if you are not attending either the online training or the paddle.

VIP Training Schedule for 2021:

Saturday, July 24, Online workshop: 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Saturday, July 24, Paddle Lake Lamoille, Morrisville: 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Thursday, July 29, Online workshop: 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Friday, July 30, Paddle Peacham Pond, Peacham: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Friday, August 6, Online workshop: 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Monday, August 9, Paddle Lake Rescue : 10:00 am – 1:00 pm         


VIP Online Workshops (will not  be taped) are two-and-a-half (2.5) hours long and will include:

  • The fundamentals of lake ecology
  • The difference between native, exotic, nuisance, and invasive species and invasive (the latter will be emphasized)
  • How to conduct surveys for invasive species in their natural habitat
  • How to report your survey


VIP In the Field Paddle Trainings are 3-hours long and will include:

  • Surveying and monitoring demonstration
  • Hands-on aquatic plant identification
  • AIS specimen review

You will need your own canoe and/or kayak, personal floatation device and other on the water gear for a fun and safe survey. And don’t forget your water to stay hydrated!

For more information, please contact Julie Silverman at or Kimberly Jensen at

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).

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 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:

  • An indoor venue with electricity
  • A nearby waterbody that can be paddled, preferably with an existing invasive species infestation, such as Eurasian watermilfoil, suitable for plant survey field training
  • Canoes and/or kayaks and personal flotation devices (i.e. life jackets) for as many participants as possible.


If you’re interested in becoming a VIP or hosting a VIP workshop for a group of volunteers in your area, please email Kimberly Jensen or call (802) 490-6120.

VIP Resources

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