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Extension > Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Education News > March 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Become an Aquatic Invasive Species Detector

Are you a member of the public that has a desire to learn more about getting involved with the fights against the threat of Aquatic Invasive Species in Minnesota? Are you looking to build your skills in AIS identification and reporting? Do you want to be a part of the solution to AIS problems in Minnesota?

Become an Aquatic Invasive Species Detector, a volunteer network and science-based training program launched by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with U of M Extension. Registration is now open to become an Aquatic Invasive Species Detector! More information about the program and how to register can be found on the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center site.

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Image courtesy of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center


City Nature Challenge: Minneapolis/St. Paul


Which city in the United States has the most nature? The City Nature Challenge 2017 (April 14-18) will help us find out!

Just in time for National Citizen Science Day (April 15) and Earth Day (April 22), 16 U.S. cities are asking residents of and visitors to these urban areas to explore nature all around them and document the species they find. It all starts on Friday, April 14th and runs through Tuesday, April 18. Not only will these observations help build up the baseline of Minnesota biodiversity, but it also provides data for our local scientists, land managers, and governments about the areas they study and care for.

Who will come out on top? Which city will have the most species found, the most observations, the most citizen scientists involved?

University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension firmly believes that this challenge is something all Minnesotans can get behind. Let us show the rest of the nation what Minnesota biodiversity is all about!

So what can you do to help the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area win this challenge?

The absolute easiest way is to download the iNaturalist app on your phone and to make observations of any and every living thing: species you find in your backyard, in your favorite park, on your walk to school or work. Any observation made within the Twin Cities and the surrounding counties between April 14th and April 18th will count toward the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area. The great thing about using iNaturalist is that you don’t need to know what it is you’re documenting - you just need to take good enough photos that someone else in the iNaturalist online community can ID it for you! More information can be found on iNaturalist’s Getting Started page. Starting on the 14th, you can see your observations and others made in the Metro Area for the challenge here: City Nature Challenge 2017: Minneapolis/St. Paul.

If you’re familiar with Minneapolis/St. Paul flora and fauna, you can also help by adding identifications to other people’s observations on iNaturalist.

You can also participate in one or more of the events being held in the Metro Area during the week of the competition. These events are designed to bring people together to learn more about our local nature, try out iNaturalist, and make nature observations as part of the City Nature Challenge. Check the City Nature Challenge 2017: Minneapolis/St. Paul page for upcoming events.

We look forward to seeing what you find in the Metro Area during the City Nature Challenge!

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