The AIS Detectors Core Course is an introduction to aquatic invasive species (AIS) science, identification, and surveillance. You will learn how to report invasive species, best practices for preventing the spread of AIS, relevant rules and regulations, and how to search for AIS on your own.
The self-paced online course takes approximately 8 hours to complete, followed by two live, 3-hour online workshop sessions. The self-paced content must be completed prior to the start of the online workshops. You will select which workshop session pair you will attend when registering. You must complete both workshop sessions in order to receive credit for the course and become certified as an AIS Detector.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can become an AIS Detector?
Any motivated adult over the age of 18 in Minnesota can participate in the AIS Detectors volunteer program! It’s ideal for lake association members, recreational lake users, Master Naturalists, conservationists, professionals seeking resume-building opportunities, local AIS task force members, or any member of the public who has a desire to learn more about and get involved in AIS prevention and response.
What is the cost?
The 2021 Core Course is being offered for $150 for community members. Your registration fee covers unlimited access to the online course, a digital companion to the online training, access to the virtual workshops, an early copy of the new 3rd edition of our AIS Identification Guidebook, networking opportunities with other AIS Detectors and experts, as well as some goodies mailed to your doorstep. If the cost of the workshops presents a hardship for you, please visit this page to learn about sponsorship and scholarship opportunities.
What if I'm already a Minnesota Master Naturalist?
If you are already a Minnesota Master Naturalist, the hours you spend volunteering as an AIS Detector can also be counted towards your Master Naturalist service hours. Our program uses the same system for reporting volunteer hours as the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program, so reporting your hours couldn’t be easier!
Am I required to volunteer?
The Core Course is required for anyone who wishes to get involved and help build capacity for AIS detection, management, education, and prevention as part of the AIS Detectors volunteer program. You have no obligation to volunteer after completing the Core Course. If you wish to maintain your active status in the AIS Detectors volunteer program you must complete the annual volunteer service and education requirements listed above.