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Vermont Invasive Patrollers

2024 VIP Workshop Schedule

If interested in attending a VIP/A workshop, please review the 2024 VIP/A schedule of workshops flyer. 

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).

In 2022, VTDEC launched 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 kayak

Volunteering 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

Check out our Vermont Invasive Patrollers Manual for an overview of the program, aquatic invasive species distribution and identification, and instructions on how to survey for the different species. 

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:

People in a room looking at books and papers on a table

  • 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


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:
Kimberly Jensen at or call (802) 490-6120

VIP Resources